One of the best tests of physical endurance is carrying a fully loaded pack setup for combat operations. Most active-duty infantry personnel are tested in this manner through Indoctrination programs, Special Forces selection programs, or through testing systems such as the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation; which sets the standard for a forced march at 40 kilometers in eight hours. If you haven’t done a GoRuck event you are missing a taste of what being a “grunt” is all about, or if you are a veteran you are missing out on a reminiscent stroll with some buddies. If you want to do a GoRuck event right, and you don’t have any left-over patrol rucks from your military days, GoRuck has made and tested some of the best American made and fit-for-purpose gear. Having the correct piece of gear for a mission is extremely valuable, and it is one of the lessons learned that I have maintained since leaving the Marine Corps. In addition, to “having the right stuff for the job,” all of that gear will need to be accessible, organized, and protected. In times before 9/11 military folks either modified issued gear while on deployment to places like Okinawa or Philippines, or they found a local sewing shop that could work with nylon and canvas; as there wasn’t as much largely manufactured 3rd party gear as there is today.
Today, as part of my operational gear load out and physical stressed induced strolls with buddies, I like to use GoRuck field pouches to protect my important stuff; most of which are electronics and optics, which requires some padding. There are various types of GoRuck pouches, the padded field pouches come in three distinct sizes and are matched to the packs in which they were named after. However, you can swap them across any of the GoRuck packs or use them with any pack that has MOLLE/PALS webbing. The other type is the Shooter field pouches; these have a “hook and loop” (e.g., Velcro) set up on the back for attachment to the Shooter pack; these types of pouches also worked very well with the Vertx packs and bags. The layout of the pouches can be used for a variety of loadouts like for medical, communications, or EDC. What I also like about the pouches, they can be placed on the outside of a GoRuck GR1, GR2, or Rucker pack and used as a bottom handle. Like I said if you haven’t been on a GoRuck challenge yet, you will want to have a few handles on your pack, as there are exercises with your pack that will require as many grab handles as you can use.
The Echo field pocket is the smallest and is great for field notes, GoPro camera, camera lenses, cellular phone, or small digital items. If you are attempting to use the Echo as a handle, for reasons described previously, just note that due to the MOLLE/PALS configuration, it will not hold over 50 lbs without coming undone. The Echo’s dimensions are 9”W x 4”H x 2.5”D or 2L, made from 1000D Cordura nylon, and can only be obtained in black. It also fits nicely inside a Oakley Breach Range Bag.