We’ve gone over the rucking tips quite a bit and everyone preparing for selection should be very comfortable with a ruck on their back and be humping long distances. It goes without saying that rucking and land navigation is the bread and butter of special operations forces. If you can show the intestinal fortitude needed to keep driving on and keep your head about you, the rest will come with training.

I’ve gotten a few emails about gear. Like I’ve said before, when it comes to personal gear, it is all a matter of taste and what works best for you. However, in one of the emails that I received from a brother from 12th SFG(A), Jeff M. he asked for my opinion on some aftermarket rucksacks and what would work for some training and weekend type hikes.

You’ve come to the right place, Jeff! As my wife would tell you, I collect(ed)…boots and 3-day rucksacks like some guys had trading cards. Just couldn’t get enough of them and would always be testing out another new one. That’s why when it comes to boots, I love Merrell’s because they work for me, and Under Armor workout shoes. Those two brands fit my feet perfectly, why I have eight pairs of Merrell’s and three pairs of UA workout/running shoes. But again, whatever works for you.

I’ve had tons of backpacks/3-day packs and will go over some of the ones I’ve had and still had. Now as a caveat before we go any further if you are heading to a selection course, you’re going to have to use what they issue. And if you can’t stand ALICE packs as Jeff M. and myself or the MOLLE, you’ll have to suck it up during training. There’s no way around it.

I too hated the ALICE, to me it was as my Brit friends call “shite.” I had a couple of them. One courtesy of someone in the 20th Engineers who didn’t attach his lowering line to it on a jump on Holland Drop Zone and I found it in the treeline. I guess someone skipped over that on their JMPI. But I had an aftermarket frame and a few different accessories put on by a guy right outside of Ft. Bragg that made it tolerable. For issue rucks I liked the British Bergen much better. But if you’re doing your own personal training and want comfort while embracing the suck…read on.

These are listed in no particular order but I’ve either owned or tried these out and think you’d be pleased with the results.

5.11 Rush 72 Backpack