Rucking

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Regarding running. I have a habit of running sort of "on the spot" in my basement for exercise every so often. A number of years ago I agreed to go running with a group of avid runners through the woods. We ran for 2 hours straight and I had no problem at all keeping up with them except while running up steep slopes.
 

Darren Best

Triple-Digit Post Count
On shoes, it depends on the terrain.

Roads (paved and unpaved), sidewalks, city trails and even really nice out of town trails I prefer as minimal as possible. I use the cheapest trail runners I can get from Big Five. Concrete tears them up fast. Don't go tromping around on pavement and concrete in $400 boots.

I very highly suggest that anyone starting out in rucking stick to the above mentioned locations. Ankle and knee injuries can take years to heal and some never do.

For off trail, steep, uneven and rocky terrain, great boots are a must. I use Lowa, they have a stiff sole and locking ankle on the laces. This prevents your foot from sliding forward on steep descents. The German's and Italian's make the best boots. My opinion is that rigid boots are a must have for rough terrain, but on nice smooth easy ground they are overkill and also do not allow your foot to move much which won't help in making them stronger. I use them only when needed.

Socks - Darn Tough merino hiking socks, hands down the best and full replacement if you manage to wear a hole in them.

Boot fit is absolutely crucial, most people buy their shoes too small, get a pro to fit you. Lathrop and Sons does a fantastic job. Look for a shoe store that has been business a lot time, virtually everyone ends up going up a half size once they get a proper fit.

Packs - you get what you pay for, plain and simple. If you buy a cheap pack you will be absolutely miserable under any load over 20 pounds. Up to 20 pounds virtually anything will work. As the weight climbs fit is paramount. A decent pack can run you $100 to over $1000 for a McHale custom made pack. I use a Kifaru.

Pack loads - more is not always better here, 40 lbs is a good goal to shoot for and there is really no compelling reason to go more unless you plan on hauling more. Even guys that go more rarely carry weights heavier than 40. My load out of a steep canyon this fall was 95 pounds. Build up your weight slowly over several months, go easy on your knees, they will thank you later in life. One elk hunter I know has had 10 knee surgeries.

Pack fit - this is absolutely as important as shoe fit. Kifaru and Stone Glacier have excellent videos on pack fit on YouTube. The load lifters pull the center of gravity forward and get the load over your hips. Even a measly 40 pounds fitted poorly will be worse than a 100 pound load with a good fit, so yes it's that important.

Learn to take care of your feet. I can post up a thread on my foot care kit, I'm heading out to the park for some X country skiing so I won't be back until this evening.

Rain gear is also another subject that deserves it's own thread.

Most of all, take your time and enjoy the scenery, don't put your head down go nose to the grindstone. It's supposed to be fun. There is nothing wrong with stopping and soaking in the scenery. Really early morning and late evening will also get you a good chance of seeing local wildlife. I've seen moose, elk, deer, turkeys, bear plus numerous other small animals.
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
One of my UK friends Matt Shore, just completed the FanDance today in 3 hr 54 min with a 20 kg ruck in serious winter conditions.They have a winter and summer race series. This would do instead of the GoRuck 12 miler :)
The Fan Dance Race Series
 

DavThew

More than 500 posts
Just registered for the fandance. Not quite ready to do their load bearing challenge of 35lb in the ruck but I think I should be good for a Clean Fatigue run by July. Thanks again for pointing this out @Rif. I can see this and the TSC being 2 great biannual competitions to build my year's training around :D
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Just registered for the fandance. Not quite ready to do their load bearing challenge of 35lb in the ruck but I think I should be good for a Clean Fatigue run by July. Thanks again for pointing this out @Rif. I can see this and the TSC being 2 great biannual competitions to build my year's training around :D
Yes though two events would cover just about everything anyone needs to be ready for anything!
 

mprevost

More than 500 posts
A good pack, with a decent stay height and proper fit will alleviate the need to lean forward.
To some degree, yes, but not completely. Some degree of lean is necessary to balance your center of gravity. Otherwise you work to hard to oppose it. The Army has researched this and found that if they balanced the load in the front and back, workload decreased. However, load on the front interfered with breathing, so it is a no go.
 
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