How to Pack a Tactical Gear Bag for an Outdoor Workout

For outdoor running, be prepared with a tactical backpack carrying the hiking essentials.

You might not think much about packing your backpack for running outdoors. You probably don’t need to for a regular run within a town or suburb. But trail running in nature areas has become a popular fitness activity. If you’re going for a run in the rugged outdoors, the tactically smart option is to bring a bag packed with essential gear for outdoor workout sessions.

What Kind of Gear Should You Bring for an Outdoor Nature Workout?

You can find numerous packing lists online for outdoor activities such as running and hiking. But the first step is always to determine your use case. What exactly are you planning to do in the outdoors? Different activities come with different requirements.

Let’s start with the most straightforward activity: going for an outdoor run. You’ll only need a few items, such as a water bottle, a towel and a change of clothes. You might not even need a backpack, although we still recommend that you use one!

Now, what if you want to go outdoor running on a rugged trail? You’ll want to bring a backpack for running outdoors. Then you can conveniently carry the Ten Essentials of outdoors adventure. 

The list of ten essentials varies a bit between sources. You can’t go wrong with the American Hiking Society’s list. It recommends having these items: proper footwear, navigation tools, food, water, rain gear and dry-fast layers, knife or multitool, first aid kit, safety items, sun protection and shelter. All together, they comprise a lightweight bundle that should easily fit into a 14er Tactical Backpack.

Alternative Gear Lists for Outdoor Workouts

Let’s consider other use cases. What if you are going on an outdoor trip where exercise is only a part of the planned experience? You’re focused on travel activities, and scheduling workouts alongside that. Then you’ll have to plan your exercises ahead of time and pack gear to match.

Once you’ve figured that out, it becomes easy to figure out what to pack for exercising while traveling. If you favor one bag travel, you’ll need to be selective with the items you pack. For starters, you’ll want a tactical backpack, workout clothes and a pair of running shoes. (Most travel destinations are friendly to running.) Planning to do yoga or stretching? Bring a yoga mat. Not sure if you’ll always be able to go out on a run? A jump rope could come in handy. Want to squeeze in a few weight training exercises? Bring along a free weight barbell. 

What if your purpose is to attend a sports camp? You should first pack the Ten Essentials in your tactical backpack, then add whatever equipment you’ll need for the sports you’ll be playing. Swimming goggles and a swimsuit for watersports, for example. Appropriate footwear in the case of other sports (shoes with cleats to play soccer, for example). Ideally, you should bring broken-in shoes for sports camp, not brand new, unused shoes.

Keep a water bottle and an IFAK pouch accessible on your 14er Tactical Backpack.

How to Pack the Right Items Effectively?

The best reason to choose a tactical backpack is its organizational efficiency. A bag like the 14er Tactical Backpack is well designed to be a backpack for running outdoors. It’s smartly  configurable, letting you organize your things to suit your preferences. This handy bag utilizes the MOLLE system which lets you attach or detach compartments to better store gear for outdoor workout activities. That gives you great flexibility and functionality.

You’ll want to put a change of clothes in the depths of the backpack. You’re not likely to need that until the end of your workout, so it doesn’t need to be highly accessible. If you happen to be carrying anything heavy, try to arrange the pack so that the heaviest items are at the bottom. That creates the safest weight distribution, and will prevent your backpack from toppling over easily if you have to stand it on the ground.

Your individual first aid kit (IFAK) should be easily accessible. We recommend keeping it in an IFAK pouch clipped to the side of your backpack. If you ever get into an emergency, you’ll want the IFAK to be at the ready!

Other things you’ll want to have in easy reach: water bottle, snack items, sunglasses, navigation tools, utility knife, towel. Keep these items in pockets or pouches around the surface of your 14er Tactical Backpack.

How Does Packing the Right Items Help You Stay Safe During a Workout?

Tactical assessment comes with being prepared to encounter adverse conditions or situations. Going on an outdoor run is no different. Safety concerns should be considered for any activity you plan to do.

This is especially important if you will be trail running in a nature area. Safety considerations should influence what to pack for trail running. In the great outdoors, you’re at the mercy of the elements. That’s why you’ll have to carry sun protection as well as rain gear. If there’s any risk of needing shelter at some point, you should pack an emergency sleeping bag or at least a space blanket. You’ll want a bag like the 14er Tactical Backpack, which can accommodate all the gear for outdoor workout safety.

On some trails, you may have to consider the possibility of animal encounters. Carrying a can of bear spray should prepare you for such an eventuality. Other hazards to consider include bugs, wasps, hornets, poisonous plants, and foliage you might be allergic to. Be sure to pack your IFAK with remedies to deal with allergic reactions, bug bites and skin irritations.

No matter what activity you plan, start by getting a good tactical backpack.

Why Should Your Bag Include Medical Supplies?

Anyone tactical minded will always prepare for the worst-case scenario. That means being prepared for a medical emergency. At a minimum, that requires traveling with an IFAK at all times, even when working out.

An outdoor run brings some risk of physical harm. This can mean a muscle cramp, which you can alleviate with a bit of rest. Or it can be something more serious. In the outdoors, a slip-up can lead to a painful bruise or even a bloodied gash. If you don’t have any way to treat such an injury, you’re in for a bad time!

By now, you already know that you’ve got to have an IFAK pouch strapped to your 14er Tactical Backpack. You’ve also got to be aware of what to put in an IFAK pouch so that you’ll be ready for any emergency.

A fun set of tactical patches⁠—that adds the final touch to your outdoor adventure gear-up!

How to Use Tactical Patches to Boost Your Morale

Outdoor workouts can be draining for your stamina and motivation. Sometimes you’ll have to give yourself a morale boost to keep going until you achieve your fitness goal. You can keep up that psychological edge through small but effective motivators⁠—like tactical patches.

What are tactical patches? Basically, they’re fabric badges that you can slap on your clothing or backpack, much as GIs do with their gear out in the front. It’s an old military tradition that’s become popular with tactical enthusiasts everywhere.

Also known as morale patches, these irreverent badges make a statement of purpose. And having made that statement, you’ll be more invested in following through with your purpose. As their name implies, these patches help boost morale and keep your mind in the game.

Tactical patches are fun to collect. Then every time you go for an outdoor workout, you can swap in new patches to display. It’s a cool way to showcase your personality. Wanna start collecting? Check out some quality pieces from this 14er Tactical pack of tactical patches. These will get you feelin’ motivated in no time!

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