We’ve been getting more messages and questions about rucking and as a result, I have got out on the trail with a 45-pound rucksack myself a lot more than usual which has been fun.

We’ve posted some tips based on our experience that we feel will be of good value to you. I don’t claim to know it all, but after many years in SF, these tips and techniques worked for me and hopefully, they’ll work for you as well.

Your weight should be packed up high between the shoulder blades. If your ruck has radio pouch up high, that is where the sandbag or weight plates belongs. I prefer sandbags because it will mold to your pack and back and doesn’t have any sharp edges that can rub you on a ruck.

On this particular practical exercise I used the waist strap on my rucksack, that way, the weight rides on your hips and you can loosen your shoulder straps a tad so that the weight isn’t all on them.

While saying that, I got some emails about using bricks… yes, of course, you can use them, and for the purposes of my last few rucks, I put a load of bricks in my ruck that should get you up to weight. Most of the bricks in ruck weighed between 5-6 pounds so they do take up quite a bit of room.

We covered boots in a couple of our earlier articles. I have several pairs that I take on hikes depending upon the conditions. For the purposes of this practical exercise, I wore my heavier duty Merrell Sawtooth boots. This course has quite a few rocks and rocky outcrops at the top and bottom of the loop so those boots are a perfect fit.

Part of the trail I used goes near or next to a road that is heavily traveled, especially on the weekend. A word to the wise, walk facing traffic, it is much safer and if you’re carrying a green rucksack next to a wooded area, a driver may not see you. Be safe.