Ruck Plates Comparison: Goruck, SHplates, and DIYing

Ruck plates for Goruck or rucking, what are the options?

After using bricks, sand or whatever cheaper options for our ruck weights, maybe we finally want to invest in a more compact option: ruck plates. In short, these are the most common options:

  1. Buy ruck plates from companies (e.g., Goruck, SHplates, Sprouse Metal Craft).
  2. Buy/obtain a piece of steel that fits in a ruck (e.g., OnlineMetal.com).
Ruck plates comparison between SHplates, online-metal plate, and Goruck

Ruck plates comparison: SHplates, online-metal plate, and Goruck (10lb, 11lb, 20lb and 20lb).

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Goruck Bullet Ruck (10L) vs. Goruck GR0 (GR1 21L) for EDC

Goruck probably needs no introduction to the awesome packs they make. However, they make packs of difference sizes, which one is best for me as an average built, 5’5 female? My first go-to was the Goruck GR0 (now the GR1 21L), which was recommended for those under 6 feet. It was my daily EDC pack for about half a year. I didn’t plan on switching to a new pack anytime soon. When ‘Christmas-in-July” sale happened at Goruck, I bought the Goruck Bullet Ruck (10L) as my weekend pack. After using the GR0 for half a year, and recently switching to the Bullet, I think I’ve found my perfect EDC pack 😀

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

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Goruck Light Packing list and what I would change next time

My Goruck Light Packing list and Principle of Organization

This past weekend, I completed my first Goruck Light Challenge, where we carried a weighted backpack for 6.5 hours, rucked (a.k.a. walking with a weighted pack) for 7-10 miles,did PT (physical training), and had a lot of fun with our whole team. I think packed right for a first-timer, but I also learned a few things that I would do different. So I’ll share my packing list and setup, and what I would do different next.

How I pack turns out to work really well for the event. The two improvements I would do is to (1) pack another bladder, and (2) pack another pair of shoes (light weight is fine). The following picture shows everything I brought to the challenge.

Goruck Light packing list

Top row: weight, ruck, bladder. Bottom row: dry sack (sock + shirt), pelican case with food, pelican case with personal items + batteries, head lamp, gloves

I’ll go over how I actually setup my ruck in the following section. The key thing is, I did not overpack. It is not a week-long camping trip. Bring the essentials, and have some spares for the essentials 🙂
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How to sell the things I don’t need anymore?

Determine whether an item should be sold:

My rule is if I haven’t used something for 6 months or more, it should go to someone else that will make good use of it. I am constantly trying new things, and sometimes that means acquiring “stuff”. So getting rid of of “old stuff” has to keep up with my acquisition.

Where to sell all these things?

It always helps to cross-list in multiple places, you just never know where the right audience may be hunting for a good deal. I usually cross-list my items on Auction Sites, Local Classified Websites/AppsForums, and through personal network (if I happen to know someone would be interested). Certain category of items work better on one platform or another. And there are category-specific avenue to sell certain items (e.g., musical instrument, sporting gear).

onlineselling

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[Explore] Goruck Challenge, starting from Light

Last week, a friend and I signed up for a GORUCK Light. A rucking/team-based challenge. Neither of us have ever done it before. Actually, neither of us have ever participated in any similar type of “race” or “event”.

It will be something new, which is in alignment with what I’m trying to do: to explore novel things!

  • In 2014, I tried navigation, got certified for first aid and wilderness first aid, and started doing Krav Maga.
  • In 2015, I began my BJJ journey, which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far, and helped me in improving the ground-aspect of Krav Maga.

It is passed mid-year now, so I’m up for something new again 🙂

Although I’m physically pretty fit (not ripped, but I can run a half-marathon and I exercise regularly through different martial arts), rucking seems to utilize a very different set of muscles and skill set. Specifically, load-bearing muscles and endurance. The more I thought about it, I realize this is actually a good chance for me to reach another level of fitness, which will in turn better my martial arts training.

So we signed up, not 1, but for 2 events. Figured we might as well go for it and do one in another city as well.

In the coming months, I will document my training and also see how this type of training helps my more long-term activity (i.e., BJJ, Krav Maga, kung fu, fitness in general).

[Review] Orbitkey alternative – Thrux Lawrence Horween Leather Foldover Fob

Finding an alternative to the Orbitkey

I have been a fan and a backer of Orbitkey since its Kickstarter campaign in 2013. And while I loved the concept of key-carrier that is not noisy (i.e., leather wrap-around), low profile (i.e., small size compare to traditional leather key pouches), and quick access, it has become apparent to me that the leather used by Orbitkey cannot withstand the wear and tear I put my key-carrier through on a day-to-day basis (with keys being part of my EDC).

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Thrux Lawrence Horween Foldover Fob (left) and Orbitkey in tan leather with stitching (right).

Comes the Thrux Lawrence Horween Leather Foldover Fob, a very similar key carrier made with a much more substantial leather (quality of Horween leather is no joke). The pros and cons between the two is that Orbitkey definitely has a more complex design, but there is no way it will beat the Thrux Lawrence in terms of leather quality. Time will tell if the Fob is the answer to my ideal key carrier. (The runner-up candidate is the TPU-version of the Orbitkey, which will negate the issue with their leather quality).

* If I already have all the tools to work with leather, I would’ve probably just made my own following this video tutorial.

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[Early-Review] Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag by Bomber & Company

Out of the half a dozen of projects that I have backed on Kickstarter/Indiegogo (e.g., Orbitkey, MVMT watch), the Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag is probably the one I was most excited about. it is a small/medium size duffel bag that is water-resistant, lightweight, and good looking 😀

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Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag

My main purpose for the duffel was travel. I have always been a light traveler, so one medium size laptop backpack is all I need for a week-long trip. However, I got tired of having to empty out my backpack in the hotel room in order to use the backpack throughout the trip (KEY: washing and hanging in the hotel room is critical to keeping my load as light as possible). Also, I can always stuff this into my backpack in case I ended up needing more space on my return-trip (you never know if you see a good deal you can’t pass up while traveling :p).

I set out to look for a light weight duffel that can (1) store all my clothing and leave my backpack more ready-to-go once I get to my destination, and also (2) be used for outdoor activities (e.g., beach, picnic, canoeing), where my I’d rather not use my everyday backpack (usually carrying my laptop).

The Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag fits these two descriptions, so I backed the campaign. The bag arrived last month, and so far, I’m quite happy with it. In addition to the two uses I planned to use it for, it also serves as my light gym bag (when I don’t need all my sparring gears).

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[Review] Thrunite TI3 vs. Foursevens Preon 1 – I’d pick the Ti3

This is a comparison between two 1xAAA  flashlight that is small enough to go in a jean pocket for EDC. I owned both of these flashlights, I got the FOURSEVENS Preon 1 at first and then lost it during a trip. Now I own the Thrunite Ti3, and I’m much happier with the Ti3.

Here are photos of the two flashlight beside the same knife (Spyderco Cat) and ring. The Preon 1 is slightly longer (0.2″).

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Thrunite Ti3 (left) and FOURSEVENS Preon 1 (right) besides Spyderco Cat and my ring. Very similar in size.

Forewarning, I’m not a flashlight geek who deals intimately with lumens, candela, flux, throw…I care about ease of operation, construction, and having a solid low and high setting for brightness.

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