Question: What is the Bare Minimum Gear to Get You Through a GORUCK Event

I received this email the other day which is the second time this month. So I figured there may be others out there with the Question: What is the Bare Minimum Gear to Get You Through a GORUCK event? I see all these athletes with $300 Goruck packs and $300 tactical boots? I cant afford all that. Coach Brad; do you have any ideas? Jim K.

Good question Jim. Here are a few tips on how to save a few dollars but also get good used gear that will help you finish your first GORUCK event.

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I would get a used backpack at a local ARMY-Navy Surplus store. You can pick up a pack for under $50 and you will get many years out of it. I would look for a pack that fits you well – that is the first thing. Then I would look to see if there is an area to secure your 20 lb brick or metal plate. Whatever extra load you will carry during the GORUCK event – make sure that will fit inside and be able to secure it. Do the same for your hydration bladder. Make sure it fits inside and you can secure it.

Check out an interview with an athlete that completed the GORUCK event with an Alice pack.


You can easily spend $300 on the latest tactical boots that will fit you great and be lightweight.

During the first GORUCK event that I did in Atlanta – I noticed 2 guys that were wearing running shoes. I heard them talking later and they had both finished multiple GR events. They both said that they hard started their first event with much heavier boots and had slowly slimmed down after a few events. They both had trained with running shoes with a load hiking in the neighborhood.

Check out this article with several athletes finishing GR events with running shoes or trail running shoes.


I think that you should spend the money and get a hydration bladder. You could put your water in a plastic bottle and tape it up. I would rather have water to be able to get when I want it. Having your water tube at shoulder access makes it far easy to sip on your water supply a little bit at a time. If the water bottle is in your pack – you have to wait till the group stops to get your water. I prefer the hose.


I noticed that several athletes at the event had a metal plate that slid down into the pack and was secure. This is the preferred method if you can afford a nice tactical pack with a sleeve for the metal plate and method to secure it.

A cheaper method is to make a weight plate with brick. Check out that article on how to make a brick weight. That will save you $40 for the metal plate. I like the metal plate so if you do more than 2 or 3 GR events you may want to invest in that later.

Am I missing anything? Post up down below or shoot me an email and let me know your experience with a GORUCK event and how you trained and slayed the dragon.

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