Gear, Other

GORUCK Packing List

Not sure what to pack for your GORUCK Heavy, Tough, or Light? This post covers everything you need to pack. If you’re doing GORUCK Selection… this post won’t help you at all. You’re pretty much screwed already.

I’ll start with a basic packing list that applies to all events. After that, I will indicate any additional items you may want to bring based on the particular event you’re packing for.

(Note: if you’re wondering what to wear, check out my What to Wear for Your GORUCK Event post.)

Basic GORUCK Packing List:

  • GR1 or a Rucker – You don’t need a GR2 for any event. You’ll just end up overpacking. If you’re not sure if you need a GR1 or a Rucker, the difference is a laptop compartment. You either want it or you don’t. That’s the biggest difference.
  • Source Hydration 3L Low Profile Water Bladder – These guys build water bladders that are super tough and the “low profile” feature will save you a lot of space in your pack.
  • 30# Ruck Plate if you’re over 150 pounds (20# plate if you’re under) – I’ve used bricks and I’ve used ruck plates. Ruck plates are just better. If you don’t want to drop the coin, the go the brick route. But, seriously, plates are the jam.
  • Mechanix Gloves – They are inexpensive and get the job done. Just get them. I recommend packing them in your front zip pouch for easy access.
  • Dry Bag – Your ruck will be submerged in water at some point. Having a dry bag in your ruck that has all your gear is a really good idea.
  • Small ziplock with your $20 and ID – I keep it in a ziplock in my dry bag.
  • Medium ziplock with some snacks – I recommend a couple 4 Kind bars and some jerky. But bring whatever you like. Just don’t overdo it. You don’t need 3 meals. With the calories you’re burning, you’re not going to be able to replace them with snacks. So, get something that is a mental pick-me-up.
  • Small ziplock with energy gels – I prefer energy jelly beans. Just a little pick-me-up.
  • Small ziplock with extra socks – They are light and it never hurts to have a spare.
  • 1 weight-bearing carabiner – Not a toy one. A real one. Also, don’t bring a “locking” carabiner unless instructed.
  • Reflective straps – I prefer these to over the PT belts.
  • A Sweet Patch – Rule Number 1.
  • OPTIONAL Shell Jacket – It is light weight and is great for trapping body heat if it gets cool or cold out.
  • OPTIONAL Blister Kit – If you think you’ll get blisters (know your feet) then pack a blister kit.

Supplemental GORUCK Light Packing List

  • Sub your 30/20# Ruck Plate for 20/10# Ruck Plate – Some people opt to not switch out their weights in order to work harder. That’s cool and all until the Cadre makes everyone change rucks and you turn into a Blue Falcon.

Supplemental GORUCK Tough Packing List:

  • Nothing. The event is 12 hours, not 12 days. You’ll be wet and possibly cold. Toughen up, eat some jelly beans, and get back to work. You don’t need anything else.

Supplemental GORUCK Heavy Packing List:

  • Extra snackies – I typically increase my “snacks” and “energy” items a little bit. Partially for myself, but also to share with my team. I’ll bring 5 bars, 4 jelly bean packs, and a bag of jerky.
  • Small Sunscreen – Depending on the weather forecast.
  • Spare Mouthpiece – 2 is 1, 1 is none.
  • Empty Nalgene – Again, 2 is 1. 1 is none. If your hydration bladder busts on a 24-hour event, you’re screwed. Water is your lifeline. An empty Nalgene doesn’t weigh too much and could (literally) save your life.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But what about, ______? Yeah, if it isn’t on my list, you don’t need it. But, just to make you happy, I’ll address some of the common things people “think” they need to bring.

  • Change of clothes – Nope. If you wear the right gear, anything that gets wet will dry quickly and you’ll be just fine.
  • Med Kit – Cadre and first responders will take care of things that need a med kit.
  • Extra Shoes – No. Just no.
  • Phone – I used to carry mine. But, there is absolutely no reason to carry it. If you need to make an emergency call in the middle of the night, the cadre or a shadow will hook you up. Otherwise, it is just dead weight that may get ruined. Leave it out.
  • Watch – If Cadre sees you checking the time, it could get nasty. Part of the fun is not knowing the time. So, just leave it out.
  • Knife – Honestly, I always look at my multi-tool when packing. But, in all my events I’ve never seen anyone need or use a knife. I just think it is unnecessary weight.
  • Extra, Extra socks – Nope. 1 extra pair. That’s all. Just toughen up. They’ll just get wet like the other ones anyway.

Want to watch a video of my talking through my actual packing of my GR1 for an HTL? Not only do I cover all the above, you can learn the why and how of packing for an event. Click the image below to check it out.

Click to watch the packing list video.

8 Replies to GORUCK Packing List

  1. Jimmy-I’m from Richmond too. Cool to see how passionate you are about this crazy sport or whatever it is.

  2. Don’t agree with the pack choice. My 20l rucker often is too small for everything I need. In Normandy 2018 we had to bring 8l of water! Eben with bricks it might be to small for the rest of the gear. So a GR1 is fine, ut the weight should not be in the laptop compartment. I think the rucker 25l is the jack of all trades here…

    Furthermore, a windcheater is a MUST HAVE. Saved my life in Dublin 2018 and was very useful when just rucking in windy conditions. Especially after being sent into the water…

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