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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[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).