Rucking. Funny word, right? But that funny word has some serious health benefits, not to mention being a great way to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors!
Rucking is technically defined as “hiking under a load.” If you have ever hiked or gone camping, chances are you were also rucking (unless you conned somebody else into carrying all your stuff)!
Anytime you are exercising, staying hydrated is extremely important. When you are just lifting some weights at the gym, this isn’t hard to do – you have all kinds of easy hydration options. But when you are rucking, you don’t have an easy, close, accessible water supply. You have to bring the water with you.
The problem is – water is heavy! So what are the best ways to pack water with you while rucking? Today I’m going to share 3 tips about taking water on a ruck that you need to know!
Make Sure You Have a Full Bladder
No, I don’t mean drink a lot of water before going rucking. I’m talking about hydration packs. There are tons of options to choose from these days, from simple bladders you add to your existing rucksack, to full-on packs with bladders, drinking tubes, and storage.
One of the best benefits of hydration bladders is that they allow you to drink on the go. You can cover more ground and stay hydrated, without having to stop and dig around in your pack to find a water bottle. They also come in insulated versions to keep your water cool (or prevent it from freezing if you’re rucking in winter).
When you’re first getting into rucking, the first step is picking out the right rucksack. If you don’t want to go the hydration bladder route mentioned above, I’d recommend finding a rucksack that has bottle holders.
Rucksacks come in all different shapes and sizes, so you will definitely want to buy one that fits whatever size, style, and shape of the bottle you will be using (go for a lightweight, BPA-free plastic bottle if you can. This saves weight and money!). Be sure to test it out and make sure the bottles will fit snugly and carry right.
For a balanced weight in your pack, you will probably want to get two bottles. This makes for a better, more comfortable carry. When one bottle is empty, you can fill it halfway from the other bottle to keep the load balanced. On a hot day, start out with one bottle frozen. It will thaw as you hike, providing you with cold refreshment later in the day.
If hydration packs or fancy water bottles are out of your price range, consider carrying several of your average grocery store plastic water bottles. While this option is not quite as “green,” it is extremely cheap and the bottles are surprisingly packable.
But instead of just throwing a bunch of bottles in your rucksack, take a minute to do some prep. Layout however many bottles you plan to take (a good rule of thumb is 32 ounces for every 2 hours of hiking). Then use duct tape to strap them all together. Now instead of them all settling down into the bottom of your pack and throwing off the weight distribution, this “bottle brick” can be slid neatly and evenly right into your rucksack. And as mentioned above, freeze a few of them. This will help keep the other bottles in the brisk cold, too!
Ruck Hard, Hydrate Often
Rucking is such an awesome way to enjoy nature and get in a good workout, but remember to sip continuously from your water supply. Don’t wait until you’ve worked up a sweat or feel parched. Don’t tell yourself “I’ll drink when I reach that mile marker.” Pushing yourself through thirst isn’t an accomplishment; it’s a recipe for dehydration.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
An avid archer, political junkie, and aspiring musician, Brady makes his home on the edge of society, just close enough to get good WiFi, but far enough to not be bothered.