I have a passion for getting outside and for fitness. Anytime I can combine the two, I’m all in. Hiking is a family favorite for my family. The adventure of going out into the woods and exploring new trails and terrain unlocks the human mind and spirit. I also like rucking for fitness as an alternative to running sometimes. Rucking has been around for a few years now, made famous by GORUCK. In the past, I have just thrown my GORUCK Ruck plate into my pack along with a bottle of water and go. While that is great for the fitness benefits of rucking, it really limited the adventure side of things and being prepared.
Although the ruck plate is a great option, why not use the weight of useful items that allow you to be a little more adventurous. Instead of a 15+ pound ruck plate, carry items that provide shelter, hydration, fire and food among other things?
Having a ruck set aside already loaded out for the purpose of adventure and fitness will allow you to become more consistent with getting outside, staying fit and practicing preparedness. Don’t think of it as a bug out bag that you load out and then never use. Take advantage of that gear.
This also affords you the opportunity to actually use the gear on a regular basis and shake out what works and what doesn’t. So when and if the time ever comes to evade the zombies, you’ll know your gear is not only ready to go, but actually works and you know how to use it.
So what do I carry in my adventure ruck? Let’s break it down into a few categories.
Shelter begins with what you’re wearing. Dress appropriately for the weather and you’re already ahead of most. I also like to throw in a rain shell and beanie in case the weather changes on me. For an actual shelter, I carry a custom 5×7 tarp with paracord. During warmer months, sometimes we’ll take the hammocks out with us and set up camp for a few hours of fun.
Quick and easy is what I’m going for here. I don’t want to waste time trying to get a friction fire started. Yes, that’s a good skill to practice, but I prefer simple easy to use options. Why? Because chances are some or all of my family will be with me. They need to be able to use this kit as well. For that, I roll with a bic lighter, stormproof matches and a ferro rod for ignition sources. For tinder, I carry a few short pieces of fatwood and vaseline cotton balls. With those ignition and tinder options, you should be able to get a sustainable fire going within a few minutes.
I carry two 32-ounce water bottles and a water filter conversion kit from Lifestraw. the conversion kit allows me to remove the original lid of one of my water bottles and screw on a lid with an inline water filter attached to it. If for some reason I run out an need a refill on the go, I can screw on the Lifestraw lid and filter. This allows me to then dunk my water bottle in a water source and start drinking immediately.
This is just your typical trail food to keep your calorie intake up and some sugar to keep the energy levels up. I will typically pack some granola bars, fruit snacks and slim jims. I never said they were healthy snacks. Just something fun and easy to eat while enjoying the outdoors.
I always have my Dark Angel Medical mini trauma kit and ouch pouch first aid kit. Simple and easy to use. Should cover most injuries that we might sustain while hiking or helping others that we come into contact with.
This is my catchall category. This includes a headlamp with spare batteries, a compass and small roll of duct tape. For edged weapons, I have a fixed blade Mora Garberg inside my pack and my folding knife in my pocket. I also keep my Gerber multi-tool inside my pack. My Vortex Optics monocular also gets packed and used for observation and scouting.
So how much does all this weigh?