Packing A Rucksack: A Step-by-Step Guide

A rucksack can hold a lot of items for an adventure into the great outdoors if you know how to pack it correctly. As you move, contents in a ruck will shift. To avoid injury, we recommend packing your rucksack army style to help get the most out of your experience. 

  image courtesy of: https://www.wonderfulwellies.co.uk
  • Create a List. You’ll need to know what you are going to carry in a tactical rucksack, so make a list. If you are attending a GORUCK event, there will be a checklist of items that you are required to take with you. Don't over pack as you'll be carrying your rucksack for several hours, so bring only what you need. 
  • Separate Items. Lay out all of your gear and group similar items together. Put appropriate items in Ziploc or dry bags with all of the air squeezed out before you seal them.  
  • Pack Horizontally. Start by placing your rucksack on the ground and pack it horizontally to ensure that your bag is packed evenly. 
  • Build a wall. Light and bulky items such as a sleeping bag, clothes or jacket should go at the bottom. Then pack your heaviest items and line them up against the plastic frame for maximum support. The lightest of your heaviest items should be positioned towards the opening of your rucksack for better balance. Very light items should be packed against the cloth shell. Position first aid kits, water and snacks at the top or in side pockets for easy access. 
  • Packing the Outside. Sometimes outside attachments are necessary. Not everyone will need this, and it is advised that you try and pack everything neatly inside your rucksack. However if you are taking a sleeping mat, for example, and it does not fit inside your rucksack you can attach it to the outside. Strap your mat vertically to minimize damage when you set your bag down. Avoid attaching anything to the outside of the rucksack that you can't afford to get wet, damaged or lost. 

Hopefully this guide has taught you how to properly pack a rucksack for maximum comfort. Now it's time to hit the trails. If you're interested in rucking and want to meet up with an awesome community in Fort Worth, check out the enduraLAB Ruck Club and sign up for our email list. There are also two GORUCK challenges coming up in July designed for all levels. See the event links below for more details. Email us at info@enduralab.com if you have any questions. See you on the trails!