Tricks of the Trail

Trail runners can be a crafty lot, and ultrarunners rely on even more MacGyver-like skills to stay comfortable over miles on end. The littlest—or strangest-looking—piece of gear can make a big difference on a long run. Here are a few tricks from the gear bag seen on some of the best trail running gaiters, and what they can do for you.

SaltStick Mini Capsule Dispenser, $19.95
Electrolyte capsules, taken with water, can help a runner keep up their salt intake. They’re quick to digest, and sometimes easier to get down than an equivalent amount of sports drink, but small pills aren’t always easy to access—and keep clean and safe—while on a run. Originally designed to fit inside mountain and road bike handlebars, this creative little dispenser holds electrolyte capsules and dispenses them trough the red plastic opening with a quick twist. It comes with a clip that holds the dispenser and attaches easily to a waist belt, race bib or hand-held water-bottle holder. This mini version holds just three capsules (either SaltStick capsules, or any other brand), while the larger version holds six capsules.
OUR TEST: The twisting required to access a pill can be tricky and takes some practice, and is very hard to do while wearing gloves.

BONUS: Carrying the dispenser reminds you to take pills regularly, a bonus, especially on hot race days.