Safety precautions prior to a Barefoot run (or any run.)

by Clint Voris
(Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Minimalist gear for a barefoot run.

Minimalist gear for a barefoot run.

Howdy, y’all! It’s been a while since I’ve added an article on barefoot running. The Midwest had a hellacious winter, then some job and career-related issues cropped up in the spring and continued into the summer.


I finally had some energy, and time to get in a small ‘starter run’ at a local park. Prior to starting my run, I couldn’t find any of the stuff I usually take on a run. Then I realized, “Maybe other runners would like to know what a barefooter takes with them on a run.”
Here is my pre-run preparation kit, with the emphasis on personal safety.

First, an email to my wife, telling her what I’m doing, where I’m going, when I’m leaving, and when I expect to return (think safety.)

Next is a ‘dog tag’ to carry along with me. It lists my name, age, address, SSN, DOB, ICE numbers and names, and blood type. It also has my dog’s name and description on it (I frequently run with my border collie, Einstein.) All this can be listed in a MS Word document, then printed out. These are cheap, so make several copies. Since it’s just paper, I’ll cover the whole thing in clear packing tape, punch a hole in it, and loop it on my string necklace (with the car key.)

Finally, a single car key. See photo. That’s it! Oh, and let’s not forget running shorts. That’s all. I bet all this weighs less than four ounces. :)

Needless to say, the dog tag has some really sensitive data, so be mindful of guarding it. I leave my wallet and cell phone under the floor mat of my car, if I’m driving to a run.

Let’s examine the logic behind my minimalist selection: If I’m mugged, hit by a car or stroke out, then paramedics and/or police will find this information most useful in speeding my treatment. I’m assuming the absolute worst-case scenario here, that I can’t function for myself. All of this serves to get me the correct medical treatment, should something really, really bad happen.

Blisters, getting lost, wrong turns, excessive heat, ice, barking dogs, all that I can handle on my own. I prefer not to run with headphones or music; I like to be aware of what's going on around me. That's just a personal thing; I see lots of other runners out there enjoying music.

Have fun on your next run (I hope it’s barefoot!) And be safe, too.

-Clint
Fort Wayne, IN.

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog
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