Getting Started

Rucking Gear List

If you’re just starting rucking, you can easily get by with any-ole-backpack and something heavy to put into it. But, as you continue to ruck, here are some items you’ll want to add to your gear list.

A Ruck

While any backpack will do, if you’re going to be rucking regularly, you’re going to want to invest in a quality rucking backpack that is built to carry heavy loads over long distances.

Our favorite bag is the GORUCK Rucker. Yes, it is expensive (less so if you qualify for the Earned Service Discount). But, we love this bag. It is literally built for rucking and comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you invest once and have it for a lifetime.

If the Rucker is too spendy for you, then consider the 5.11 Rush. It is a quality bag for rucking and built to carry a load.

Now, you can find much cheaper rucks online, but we can’t vouch for any of those and “you get what you pay for” is usually true. But, if you’re still testing the waters of rucking, then maybe a  short-term investment in a less expensive ruck will give you some time to save up for the Rucker. Once you’re ready for an upgrade, check out our Best Rucking Backpack article.

Rucking Weight

A heavy book or spare dumbbell certainly works to add weight to your ruck. But here are two items to consider that are built for rucking.

GORUCK Ruck Plates are custom ruck plates manufactured in the US and come in 10,20,30, and 45# options. They are built to take up minimal space in your ruck and to be easily secured. When they were first released, we were skeptical. Now, we’re believers.

For a little bit less than the GORUCK Ruck Plates you can pick up some Titan Cast Iron Ruck Plates. While we haven’t tried these, the only downside could be the raised embossing on the plates has the potential to be abrasive on whatever it rests against within your ruck.

Hydration Source for Rucking

When you’re rucking, you don’t want to have to swing your bag around to dig out a water bottle every time you get thirsty. We highly recommend the 3L Source Tactical Low Profile Hydration Bladder. This bladder is ideal for storing in your ruck while taking up the minimal amount of space. And, at 3L, there’s plenty of hydration to keep you going.

Reflective Bands for your Ruck

Always pays to be safe when you’re out on the roads. Adding a reflective band or two on your ruck is always recommended.

Headlamp for Rucking at Night

If you’re heading out early or late, it is always recommended to have a headlamp. There are endless options and varieties. Personally, we like the Petzl e+light, but you can shop around and find what you like best.

Foot Care Kit for Rucking.

A great little addition to your ruck is a foot-care kit. The ability to address any blisters as soon as they start to form is a real life-saver. Be sure to check out our writeup on how to care for blisters during and after rucking.

And more…

Like any sport or hobby, there are endless things you can buy. But, the list above is a good start for your core items as you get started in rucking.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below. We’re happy to help.

Posted by is managed by Ryan Burns and is a part of The Rucking Collective, LLC. Ryan discovered Rucking through GORUCK and has completed numerous GORUCK events, including their 50-mile Star Course. You can reach him at