Rucking, the act of walking or hiking with a loaded backpack, has gained immense popularity in recent years. It is not only an effective way to improve cardiovascular fitness, but also a great outdoor activity that allows you to explore new terrains and push your limits.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rucker, having the right rucking gear is essential to make your experience safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. In this article, we’ll explore the most important gear you need to get started rucking.
The backbone of any rucking adventure is a sturdy and well-fitting rucksack or backpack. Look for a backpack specifically designed for rucking, like the GORUCK Rucker, with a capacity of around 20-40 liters, depending on the duration and intensity of your rucking sessions. It should have a comfortable harness system, adjustable straps, and a padded hip belt to distribute the weight evenly and prevent discomfort or strain on your shoulders. If you need more help, check out our Best Rucking Backpack Guide.
- Ruck Plates:
Ruck plates are specialized weights that fit snugly into the dedicated compartments of your rucksack, simulating the weight of a loaded backpack. They are typically made of steel or other durable materials and come in various weights, ranging from 10 to 45 pounds or more. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it as your strength and endurance improve. Check out GORUCK Ruck Plates or the ruck weights on Amazon.
- Hydration System:
Staying hydrated is crucial during any physical activity, and rucking is no exception. Invest in a reliable hydration system, such as a hydration bladder or water bottles, that can be easily accessed while on the move. Look for a system with a sufficient capacity to carry an ample amount of water for the duration of your ruck. Here is our complete guide to finding the best hydrations system for rucking.
Additionally, consider electrolyte supplements or energy drinks to replenish essential nutrients during longer rucking sessions and check out this article about the importance of electrolyte replenishment while rucking.
Proper footwear plays a vital role in preventing injuries and ensuring your comfort while rucking. Opt for a pair of sturdy, supportive, and lightweight hiking boots (check out our best rucking boot guide) or trail running shoes that are specifically designed for rugged terrains. Look for features like ankle support, good traction, and cushioning to protect your feet from impact and reduce the risk of blisters. Don’t forget to break in your footwear before embarking on longer rucking adventures.
- Clothing and Accessories:
Choose appropriate clothing based on the weather conditions and the intensity of your ruck. Layering is key to adjust to changing temperatures during your outing. A rain shell for rucking can help with both staying warm and dry. Select moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics that keep you dry and comfortable. Don’t forget essentials like a hat or cap, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the elements. Consider wearing moisture-wicking socks (here’s our complete guide to rucking socks) and blister prevention accessories like toe socks or lubricants to minimize foot discomfort.
- Navigation Tools:
If you plan on exploring unfamiliar terrains, having navigation tools is essential. Carry a reliable map or use a GPS device or smartphone app that offers offline navigation capabilities. Familiarize yourself with the route and landmarks beforehand to minimize the chances of getting lost.
- First Aid Kit:
Safety should always be a priority. Pack a compact first aid kit containing essential items like band-aids, disinfectant, pain relievers, blister care supplies, and any necessary personal medications. Be prepared for unforeseen situations and minor injuries that may occur during your rucking adventure.
- Headlamp or Flashlight:
If you plan on rucking during low-light conditions or after sunset, a reliable headlamp or flashlight is essential. It helps illuminate your path, ensuring your safety and allowing you to navigate efficiently. Look for a headlamp or flashlight with adjustable brightness settings and a long battery life to meet your specific rucking needs. Check out our full guide for the best rucking headlamps.
Rucking is an excellent way to challenge yourself physically and mentally while enjoying the great outdoors.
To ensure a successful and comfortable rucking experience, investing in the right gear is crucial. Prioritize a well-fitting rucksack, ruck plates, a reliable hydration system, proper footwear, suitable clothing, navigation tools, and a first aid kit.
With the right gear in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on memorable rucking adventures and push your limits while reaping the numerous benefits of this exciting activity.