We have 10 more gift ideas for your favorite ultrarunner. Whether they just like to trail run or compete in ultramarathons, these are gifts that they are sure to like. These ultrarunning gift ideas also apply to beginners as well as experts, so no worries if they are running their first ultramarathon or their twentieth. We have identified ultrarunning gifts that are great for stocking stuffers and also full on presents. Make their birthday, holiday celebration or just a thank you surprise something to remember with one of these gifts. Get them ready for their next ultramarathon, solo trail run or just a run home from work. Besides these items, another great gift idea is to plan a trip to one of the destinations or ultramarathon races described at the Ultrarunning Destinations blog.
This hoodie is great to wear by itself for any cold weather run. When it is below freezing, this is my go to shirt for a long run. However, my main use for this hoodie is as my emergency layer in case something happens while out on a run and I can’t keep moving fast enough to keep warm. That’s a real concern since when ultrarunning and trail running you don’t have on enough clothes to stay warm if you stop moving. I have one of these stuffed into my dry sack at all times so I can pull it on in case I need it.
I always carry two lights on any solo ultrarun since you never know what can happen. Trails can get very dark, especially in a forest, so a good light is essential. My main problem with headlamps though is that I misplace or give them away, so you can never have too many. While there are rechargeable headlamps on the market, I recommend the old fashioned kind that takes batteries since I can carry an extra set of batteries with me. It’s an awful feeling to remember the headlamp but then realize the charge is out. Buy 1 of these, maybe even 2, to keep your ultrarunner in the light.
I’ve tried other filters from the Lifestraw to the MSR Mini hand pump and this Grayl filter beats them hands down. While I almost always carry my Lifestraw, it is super impractical to use and it is also like sucking water through a cocktail stirrer, only worse. The Grayl filter also filters out viruses and some chemical impurities in addition to the larger particulates such as Giardia parasites. Every time I’ve used it people are like WOW. It is fast, easy to use and is the size of a standard water bottle. There is no reason to risk getting infected if you’ve got this with you along for a run.
Paracord is commonly recommended as an item to have in a survival situation. In the most simple case it could be used to create a tent with your emergency blanket or maybe even repair a strap on your back pack. There are probably 100 other uses, even using it to rappel in a pinch, that you might have a need for one day when an unexpected situation arises on the trail. Ensure your ultrarunner is always prepared with this item on their wrist or stored in their pack. I also have my paracord stored right along with my duct tape.
Just the other morning my wife’s iPhone 7 wouldn’t start. After several hard resets it got stuck in a loop of continually rebooting itself. We took it into the store and they said it most likely had a logic board error and would need to be sent in for repairs. I was immediately freaked out since when I’m travelling my entire life is on my phone, including my maps for how to get out of wherever I’m at. As such, I have an unlocked phone that I can buy a SIM card for anywhere in the world and also keep updated with my downloaded maps to Gaia GPS and Google Maps.
There are a lot of choices for these on the market, but I’ve found the REI ones to stay on the best. I don’t wear them on every run, but when I know there will be lots of loose rocks or dirt then I pull them on. It’s another item easily misplaced or that gets worn out, so every ultrarunner would appreciate these as a gift.
My hands get super cold easily, so a good pair of gloves is an absolute essential for a winter run. In my first post about Top 10 Ultrarunner Gift Ideas I listed a pair of mid-weight mountain bike gloves. I love those things for almost all seasons unless its below freezing. In case of below freezing temps, I go for this pair of gloves that are both wind and waterproof. I like to pick biking gloves since you know for sure they’ll be windproof as that is the only way to stay warm on a bike by blocking out the wind completely.
I’d never had a pedicure until a few years back, and consider it one of my bigger mistakes in life. Before any ultramarathon I treat myself to a pedicure for two reasons:
It just feels good. You get a mini-massage, some hot compresses and your callouses get shaved down (sounds gross but feels nice)
It gets my toenails ready to be abused. I’m pretty fortunate to only have lost a few toenails, but also credit that to keeping my nails extra-short.
Check your local Google or Yelp directly to find something good and close bye. Even the most hardened ultramarathon runner will find this to be a great gift, and you can never have enough.
I’d never wear one of these out by itself since it makes you look like an astronaut about ready to put their helmet on. However, this is another piece of emergency gear I always carry with me since it is so light weight and has almost a magical way of keeping your head warm. It’s also tight enough that you can pull it on underneath your hat so you don’t look quite so strange when wearing it. I’d recommend this for any ultrarunner’s pack since it’s easy to pack and can fix a really unpleasant cold situation quickly.
Not only is this book super interesting to read, but it helped me formulate my own views on risk taking and the responsibility we take when venturing out alone on an ultrarun. I picked this book up while preparing for the Presidential Traverse of the White Mountains and didn’t expect it to have such a profound impact on my own thinking. The book itself is hard to put down given the suspense from each story. The authors provide a lot of detail for why many of these tragedies occurred as well as the impact on the rescuers. I learned a lot from it and think it should be required reading for any ultrarunner, especially those who head into the mountains, no matter where in the world they are running.