What would be a good weight to practice ruck marching?
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  1. #1

    What would be a good weight to practice ruck marching?

    I've done 2 hikes with a weighted backpack (25-30 lbs), and just today got an actual ruck sack from the military surplus store. My question is what would be the best thing to put in the ruck sack, and how heavy should it come out to? My best guess as of now would be books, coming out to 40-60 lbs, but I think that may be too much by some people's reactions, and probably a bad idea to use books. Any advice?


  2. #2
    In all honesty, I cannot think of one good reason to practice marching with a ruck. It isn't really a skill you'll have to acquire, and the conditioning you build that is specific to doing that activity will diminish before you ever do it.

    But, if you're wanting to do it, then do it. A sand bag filled with about 40 pounds would be the best option. If that isn't possible just find something that will distribute the weight evenly. Books may be OK, but they wouldn't be the most comfortable thing to have jabbing at you.


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanficken View Post
    I've done 2 hikes with a weighted backpack (25-30 lbs), and just today got an actual ruck sack from the military surplus store. My question is what would be the best thing to put in the ruck sack, and how heavy should it come out to? My best guess as of now would be books, coming out to 40-60 lbs, but I think that may be too much by some people's reactions, and probably a bad idea to use books. Any advice?
    Medium ALICE pack with frame should be the pack you use.
    Find, borrow, or acquire a sand bag and fill to 30-40 lbs, nothing more then that unless you want serious lower back problems down the road.
    Place sand bag into radio pouch, cinch it down tight.
    Roll out.

    Don't allow this to supplement your normal PT.
    Vary the terrain, avoid pavement whenever possible.
    Use proper techniques when hiking.
    Have proper insoles and shoes/boots. (most neglected step)
    Have an adequate nutrition plan for your activities.
    Drink water.

    Pete


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanficken View Post
    I've done 2 hikes with a weighted backpack (25-30 lbs), and just today got an actual ruck sack from the military surplus store. My question is what would be the best thing to put in the ruck sack, and how heavy should it come out to? My best guess as of now would be books, coming out to 40-60 lbs, but I think that may be too much by some people's reactions, and probably a bad idea to use books. Any advice?
    To start I think your on a good weight about 30lbs. You need to learn the art of filling your pack so the weight is even across your shoulders just play around with it and than bump it up as you get better. The most we ever carried on a forced march was bout 75-80lbs for 22 miles. With all our weapons including crewserves. So at times you were carrying well over 100 lbs but not for very long periods of time maybe 2 miles at most than you had about 5 miles with just your ruck. We did have a crazy Drill Instructor for a Plt Sgt so we probably carried more than most cause he was a d!ck. I wouldn't suggest you do this as you will have major problems before you even get into the Marines. I wouldn't suggest going over 45 you won't be carrying much more than that in boot.


  5. #5
    Hmmm, all very good advice and I thank you for it, Marines! I've also heard that it is a smart idea to pack stuff under the weight, such as sleeping bags, jackets, etc. in order to elevate the weight, which was said to be better for the back.

    I'm sure this whole process will be trial and error; I probably just have to experiment a little bit. All advice is welcome and greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    EDIT: Echo_Four_Bravo (unsure of what to call you, sorry!), if for nothing else, would this not be a reasonable way to prepare myself for ruck marches and get into the right mindset? I mean, I'm sure it can't hurt anything -- it's a healthy way to spend time. It's not so much that I'm trying to get a technique, as it is I'm trying to get accustomed to it.


  6. #6
    I did this before boot...let me give you some tips my buddies and I learned the hard way.

    Do it in the early morning... its winter time so you're lucky there...and not on pavement. Wear boots if you have them, make sure they fit right.

    Bring as much water as you think you can carry, and then double it.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanficken View Post
    ...what would be the best thing to put in the ruck sack
    Food, water, spare socks, vaseline, duct tape, map, compass, rain gear, flashlight, pocket knife, waterproof matches, moskeeter dope... the weekend is near, why not light out into the hills for an adventure and hump items that are useful? If you don't feel sufficiently tortured, add shale and scoria rock, sounds a bit silly huh? better yet find rougher country
    and how heavy should it come out to?
    If a loaded outfit ewe's your neck and hunches your back while hiking on level terrain, plan a route with a consistent slope gradient using terrain to enhance form and function.
    I'm sure this whole process will be trial and error
    Eventually something will awkwardly dig into you no matter how you tweek the weight, tape down straps and vaseline hot spots, then you just gotta hack it. Most would like a long linear load evenly dispersed and close to the body, yet some experienced hikers like most of the load up and still others like it low and bulging. It may depend on your skeletal and muscular conformation.

    So yeah, play around with it and if something hurts try and fix it directly.

    Spare socks, vaseline and duct tape are underated nuggets on endurance humps or hunts. If you feel blisters brewing, lay the vaseline on thick and change out your socks, it feels great. If a piece of equipment is cutting or banging you, use the old socks as pads and duct tape the offensive component. Yes now is the time to experiment with the effects of weight distribution on your frame, trouble shooting a load and doctoring up abused body parts on the fly.

    --->Dave


  8. #8
    Marine Free Member Quinbo's Avatar
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    Not a new idea but a grunt custom. Put on a pair of dress socks, the put a couple dashes of foot powder in some white athletic cotten socks and put them on, the some green cushion sole od green socks. Every hump I have ever been on was walk for 50 minutes and pause for 10. Carry water. Even if that is all you carry a bunch of bottles of culligan and your 10 minute pause have yourself a bottle of water. If you have a genuine alice pack then for sure use the radio pouch for the heavy stuff. Weight up near your shoulders is easier to carry than down by you hips. It is tried and true walk for 50 minutes and stop for 10. Push yourself to keep moving for the entire 50 minutes.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bulkyker View Post
    Not a new idea but a grunt custom. Put on a pair of dress socks, the put a couple dashes of foot powder in some white athletic cotten socks and put them on, the some green cushion sole od green socks. Every hump I have ever been on was walk for 50 minutes and pause for 10. Carry water. Even if that is all you carry a bunch of bottles of culligan and your 10 minute pause have yourself a bottle of water. If you have a genuine alice pack then for sure use the radio pouch for the heavy stuff. Weight up near your shoulders is easier to carry than down by you hips. It is tried and true walk for 50 minutes and stop for 10. Push yourself to keep moving for the entire 50 minutes.
    If you can wear 3 pairs of socks under your boots, they probably don't fit as well as they should.
    Sock technology has advanced in recent years.


  10. #10
    Marine Free Member Quinbo's Avatar
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    I don't care if it is the 22n'd century. Tried and true ... black socks, white socks, green socks with foot powder. You can walk a hundred miles wearing that and not get a blister.


  11. #11
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    Borrow the biggest damned rucksack you can find. Fill it with the heaviest stuff you can fit into it. Wear that for about one block. Then you will know why you carry only EXACTLY the bare minimum you can get away with.

    Having rucked around a bit with the military and Scouts, the less you carry, the better off you are in the long run. Good boots that fit well are essential, regardless of socks.

    A good friend in Scouting did the whole Appalachian Trail this year. Being an Eagle Scout, a professional Scouter by occupation, and having been on long hikes at Scout high adventure bases, etc, he knew to pack reasonably light and have food and such sent ahead for pickup. He was also in very good shape, about 25-years old.

    He figured he started the AT with about a 35-lb ruck load, counting water. By the end of the AT, he was down to carrying about 15-lbs (mostly water) and doing just fine without all the extras the other 20-lbs represented.


  12. #12
    The hike's aren't an issue in boot camp. Yes they suck, but oh well, they'll build you up for them, from a 3mile ending with a 9mile. Your feet are going to hurt, and you'll drink a lot of water, it's just how it is. The weight of the pack doesn't even matter since it is so light. Also we used the ILBE pack instead of the ALICE.

    Last edited by MLMonk; 11-15-08 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Grammar

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bulkyker View Post
    I don't care if it is the 22n'd century. Tried and true ... black socks, white socks, green socks with foot powder. You can walk a hundred miles wearing that and not get a blister.
    Sgt. Bulkyker is correct, I used to do a ton of backpacking and one of the keys is to wear at least two pairs of socks so they slide on each other instead of your skin. We usually used a thin liner sock underneath a pair of wool socks.

    Yall may laugh at this but another technique is to put duct tape on your feet on the spots where you usually get blisters (heel, toes, etc.). I did it on a backpacking trip where we averaged about 12 miles a day. Everyone laughed at me but I was the only one at the end of the 10 day trip whose feet were not all messed up.


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