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Runner’s (& Canicrosser’s) Emergency Kit

What should you be carrying with you when you run?

We don’t often need anything other than water and our own meds (if you use any, eg. Inhalers). But I have been on enough runs with groups where I have handed out my first aid & emergency kit to want to carry just a small bum bag with me with some essentials. You can buy runner specific first aid kits and dog travel first aid kits, but they don’t include things like mirror, knife, shoe-lace, collar (see below for why). So here is my list of basics for a run, your can adapt yours to suit you.

Cuts – non-adhesive wound dressing, a single role of bandage, 4x sterile wipes, 4x plasters, 6x Steristrip.

(NB - To clean a wound first aid courses teach to use water, not sterile wipes. Sterile wipes are meant for things, not people. I have 3 items I carry to clean people/dogs, a bottle of hand sanitiser (great for hands after opening gates during a pandemic, not great for open wounds), tap water, & saline solution in a small tube (this can be used for eyewash or wounds)

Blisters: Blister Cushion (not that these are an emergency, but better to prevent a blister when you feel that hotspot coming)

Sprains: sling (this triangular piece of fabric can be used for so much!). I know that some people recommend athlete tape, compression wrap and ice packs, but I keep these in a bigger first aid kit in my car as they are bulky.

NB - I put all of the above in a plastic bag in case of rain or soaking

Foot ware & clothing problems: Shoe lace & dog booties in case of a cut, safety pins (also good for event numbers!)

Extreme weather or shock: Space Blanket (foil) & water


Needle & thread - not that I think you’ll be stitching up anyone, but these can be used for pulling out splinters or help in all sorts of scenarios.

Tiny mirror (as a contact lense wearer, this is essential for those mysterious pop-out lense moments)

Bottle of hand sanitiser

Pen knife (it is worth nothing that according to it is illegal to “carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less”. I am from the school of thinking that gafa tape and a knife will cover most scenarios!!

Night runs only:

Spare battery (if you use a headtorch that uses batteries and are out long or late). You will wearing your reflective wear and the dog can wear their reflective wear (Could be collar or pendant, or even coat. Be wary of putting coats on dogs when they run, they can over-heat and dehydrate).

Optional meds:


Stomach settlers (if you find that you get unsettled by running or gels)

Ibuprofen for inflammation

Cocodamol, aspirin or paracetamol for pain

Epipen (if advised by a doctor)

Canicross extras:

Dog collar (depending if you leave your dog’s collar on when wearing a harness)

Dog bootie (just one in case of a cut pad)

Squeaky ball (this is a life-saver, used to attract attention of over-friendly dogs as they run to my reactive dogs)

Lots of treats and of course...

Poo bags

(I haven’t yet got a Dicky bag, but I know those who do)

Dog carrier (for larger dogs you can get a rucksack type carrier in case your dog can’t walk and you are in inaccesible area. You can read the Pack-a-Paw story of how this saved a dog’s life here:

Wrap it all up in a small bum bag.

Take your mobile phone and don’t forget to put your emergency first aid contact in your phone under ICE (In Case of Emergency) and on you your dog.


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