Getting Started

What is Rucking?

Very simply, rucking is wearing a backpack (aka:ruck) with some weight in it while you go for a walk.

So, it is just walking or hiking?

Sure, you can call it what you want, but we call it rucking. The big difference is the ethos of the people you’ll meet while rucking. They are men and women that tend to love America and want to make their communities a better place (just check out some of the causes connected to rucking).

They love to have a good time while getting out and enjoying their cities at all times of the day and enjoy it, even more, when a friend is along for the ruck.

Is it better than running?

Yes. Running sucks.

When you run you have to find someone who is just as slow/fast as you, which rules out like 99% of the people you know. And, trying to have a conversation or enjoy the beauty of your city while slogging through those miles? Forget it.

When you go for a ruck, weight is the great equalizer. You can team up a hard-charging super-woman with a dude who just got off his couch for the first time in 2 years and they can ruck together. We’re just going to add more weight to super-woman to slow her down and allow her to get just as good a workout as couch-man AND they’ll get to talk and enjoy the ruck together.

But, walking is easy. I need a challenge.

Toss 45# in your ruck and hit a sub 15-minute mile for 5+ miles. Trust us, rucking is plenty challenging for those who work at it.

Will I get into shape by just rucking?

Well, “get in shape” is a bit ambiguous. But, here’s the deal. The Federal Government just released guidelines stating, “For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity…” So, yes, Rucking a couple times a week with your friends is getting you well on your way to being “in shape.”

What are the benefits of Rucking?

1. Being awesome.
2. Hanging with cool people.
3. Health.

If you’re rucking a couple times per week you are engaged in an activity supported by “a growing body of evidence that documents immediate benefits of exercise such as reduced anxiety, improved sleep and improved blood sugar control, and long-term benefits (of regular physical activity), including cognitive benefits, and significantly lower risks of heart disease and certain cancers.” (link)

Studies also support that regular exercise, like rucking, “… help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancers (including bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung and stomach). In addition, physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.” (link)

So, yeah, rucking is rad!

Do I need any special equipment to ruck?

Technically, no. A backpack and a heavy book are a good start.

But, if you’re looking to move past your Jansport and an old dictionary, then here are some gear recommendations for those getting started in rucking.

How do I get started?

Well, for one, you can read our “How to start rucking” article. You can also check out this page to try and find a Ruck Club in your area where you can find some amazing people to go ruck with.

Got any questions? Drop them in the comment section below and we’ll try to help.