I’m not going to focus on the intimacies of the GORUCK Challenge as the Challenge is an event that cannot be put into words. Suffice to say, you’ll go in as a fit group of individuals and many hours later emerge as a fit, well-oiled team who can smile through any work put in front of them.
My pre-GORUCK loadout is as follows:
- GORUCK GR1 Pack
- 3 Liter military surplus Camelbak reservoir
- Three bricks, padded with an old foam camping pad, taped together and strapped to the MOLLE webbing in the upper area of the pack
- Solomon shorts
- Underarmor quickdry tee
- 2 pair anti-blister socks
- Mechanix gloves
- GORUCK Hat (not pictured)
- Two amphipods with 10oz of Hammer Gel each
- Petzl headlamp
- Six Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem packets
- Six Clif Builder bars (ate one)
- Two carabiners (not pictured)
- Three 5 Hour Energy (didn’t use)
- Sunglasses (didn’t use)
- Cloth tape (not pictured, didn’t use)
- 1 pair sock liners (didn’t use)
- Bandanna (didn’t use)
- ENO Slapstraps (didn’t use)
- Duct tape (didn’t use)
- Cycling sleeves (didn’t use)
- Film canister filled with ibuprofin (didn’t use)
- Film canister filled with electrolyte tablets (didn’t use)
- Ziplock with blister care and band-aids (didn’t use)
- Sunglasses strap (didn’t use)
Pictured but not bringing: Arya, the rug.
Things I brought and were just dead weight have (didn’t use) behind them.
In retrospect I should have left the extra weight (bandanna, blister stuff, duct tape, cloth tape, webbing, etc) at home. All I used during the challenge was the food and water. And the dry socks were great at the end. Double-bag the socks. Or bringing flip-flops is probably the better idea.
Regarding food, the best decision I made was to mix the Hammer Perpetuem into my Camelbak reservoir. It didn’t taste great but during the thirteen hours of the challenge I only ate four packets of Perpetuem, one Builder bar, half an Amphipod worth of Hammergel and I never had a crash or hit a wall. The Perpetuem was fantastic.
In addition, the carabiners were attached to the outside of the ruck and made for excellent hand-holds. I would highly recommend one or two carabiners be attached to the outer MOLLE.
If you’re thinking about bringing something that is not on the GORUCK Challenge official packing list (available on any of the event pages), leave it at home. All you need is easy-to-eat food, water, or (best) food that can be mixed into water. During the challenge I drank 9+ liters of water so I’d advise bringing a Camelbak.
Lastly, if you’re on the fence about doing the GORUCK Challenge I have only two words: do it.
Any and all questions can go to Twitter (@inhll) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.