Choosing the right ruck/hydration pack for your Hurricane Heat or HH12HR
By Krypteia Amy Saldana
Well, you signed up for the Hurricane Heat or HH12HR. Many of us are veterans to endurance racing, but this my be your first endurance event and naturally, you’ll have questions. One of the most popular questions concerns that of what Ruck/hydration pack to use at the event.
With so many styles on offer, it can become intimidating when it comes to choosing which may be right for you. So here are a couple differences in brand of rucks and packs that you may like to consider.
Please note these are simply suggestions. You by any means do not need to purchase these specific brands.
The CameBak M.U.L.E Hydration Pack with 3L water bladder
This would be ideal for the Hurricane Heat. Hydration packs like these aren’t for carrying dry weight, instead, this style is great for short term endurance racing or hiking. This type of pack will typically carry your belongings, water and fuel, therefore keeping weight to a minimum. Usually, hydration packs like this one come standard with sewed in sternum strap and a non-padded waist belt. This particular hydration pack costs around $100 but you can always find something similar for less cost.
GORUCK RUCKER vs GR1
These two rucks are ideal for the HH12HR or longer endurance events that required you to carry dry weight such as 20# or 30# ruck plates, 3L water bladder, nutrition or anything that may be on your required gear list. These two rucks are extremely durable and have great longevity. Yes, the price tag on the two tend to spike upwards a little, but you get what you pay for. They also are backed by “SCARS”, meaning if anything happens to the ruck you can send it in for a free repair. If the damage is not repairable at times the ruck will be replaced free of charge.
The RUCKER is around $195 with about the same specifications of the GR1, but does not include the laptop department. It opens flat with a inner pocket and your weight plate, should you have one, is secured by the Velcro strap.
The GR1 is about $295 and comes in two different sizes — the 21L and 26L. When looking into the sizing of this ruck, it really should be based on your height. As previously mentioned, the GR1 comes with the laptop department and usually, this is where your weighted plate would go.
So basically it comes down to what you’re looking for in this ruck. Is the laptop department that necessary or is saving around $100 more important? That’s a question for you as the user to decide.
There are other brands out there such as 5.11 Tactical, TRU-SPEC and a myriad of others, but I’ll be honest I’ve seen many of these packs break their straps during a event or somehow be faulty. Believe me, it’s something you do not want to happen to you, especially when you’ve got event tasks to focus on and one should not be your gear.
Waist/hip belt and the across the chest sternum strap
How many times has your pack slid up while doing bear crawls, burpees, leaning rest and/or during the tunnel of love? Straps are there for a purpose and are their to aid you.
Hip belts are there so you can rest more of your rucks weight on your hips and minimize your pack from swaying side-to-side. The hip belt also helps stabilize load bearing weight onto the center of your back.
The sternum strap is worn across your chest, and just like the hip belt, it helps with stabilization and movement.
Straps that remove the weight from off your shoulders, therefore minimizing strain, are also strongly recommended. Ruck smart, not hard. This gives you the added bonus of not being struck around the neck or head with the weight in your ruck, should you find yourself doing various floor and bodyweight challenges. These straps are not expensive and worth the purchase.
Dry Weight & prepare
For the “dry weight”, some of us use steel plates of various weight denominations. In my own opinion, these are the way to go. They are slim and stay in place. There are companies that make these plates but if cost is a concern you can always go to your local steel workshop and have one or two made for you. I do not suggest you use a sandbag for dry weight. If the sandbag gets wet you would be carry extra weight than you need and that’s no fun!
As always train and dial up your gear before your event. Know what makes you comfortable and works for you.