View Full Version : Packing your ruck....

02-09-2004, 14:53
I've heard different opinions on this....

Going heaviest to lightest, all things being equal, where do you prefer to pack the weight in your ruck. Thought it would be interesting to get the opinions of the Quiet Professionals. I attached an image with 4 "zones" to make the conversation simpler.


02-09-2004, 15:47
I pack mine with the heaviest item in position 1 and then the next heaviest items in position 2. This keeps the weight closest to your center. Placing the heaviest item in the other two positions, or combination thereof, will cause a cantilever(sp) effect and put more stress on your lower back/sacral muscles to keep your spine aligned, which in turn will lead to fatigue faster and the added possibility of spinal injury down the road. Also the further away from your back the weight is, the further one must bend forward to keep the weight over their hips.

Just my .02

02-09-2004, 18:16
I always packed my ruck based on practical access considerations. What did I need to have access to fast in various situations? Batteries generally went in position 1 following weight bearing issues, but a claymore would go just under the top flap, regardless of its weight. Ammunition, NVGs, and other heavy but combat related materials were placed for access, not based on their weight.

02-09-2004, 19:46
Roger that. That's what I intended by the qualification - all things being equal. I completely agree, if you might need it you should have it where it's accessible.

At the drill this weekend a few soldiers were saying they think it's best to pack the heavy stuff on top of your shoulders. In my experience it's best on my hips. In order 1,2,3,4 - excepting considerations for things you will need access to. I was under the impression, for the reasons that SurgCric mentioned, that 1,2,3,4 was pretty universal. So when I heard otherwise, I thought perhaps there was a good reason I was not aware of as to why the heavier items should be in the 2 spot. But perhaps it was just a preference on their part, and nothing more.


02-09-2004, 20:16
I totally concur with respect to those items you must have access to regardless of their weight.

That being said, there are a couple of guys here I ruck with who place the majority of the weight in the 2 and 4 positions because they carry all the weight on their shoulders and do not even utilize the belt. This may also be the reason the guys you mention above pack their rucks in this manner. I do not see the benefit of carrying the weight on the shoulders alone, or the majority of it there anyway. I tend to wear the belt tight and the shoulders a bit loose. My legs and hips are much stronger than my shoulders and it just feels better there.

my .02 once again.

02-10-2004, 13:45
What little bit that I had to carry one usually resulted in 2,1,4,3 based on the reasons GH cited. I always had the radio and radio-related gear at the top. Some of the batteries went close to my back at the bottom, but some had to remain near the top for easy access.

02-10-2004, 13:57
Huge difference between rucking and patrolling with a ruck. I'm with GH. M5 used to go right under the top flap. When rucking to be rucking, I used weight plates I uh, found. Put them in the ALICE radio pocket and cinched them down. Get the exact weight in pounds and kilos. Ruck looked empty, but it would take two legs to pick it up. LOL

02-24-2004, 19:35
Sleeping bag on bottom, everything else on top of that.

I was an RTO in Ranger Batt, so I always had a top heavy ruck.

I was always taught to place heavier items on top, and to always use the waistbelt, as to place the weight on your hips.

At Lrs we would always take the flat bottomed "assault pack" from the CFP-90 and rig it on top of our Alice pack as to carry more gear.

A quick deployable woobie fit nicely in the outside pocket of the assault pack. ;)

Team Sergeant
02-25-2004, 07:26
Having been a Special Forces Communications NCO for a number of years I know first hand what a heavy ruck is, and I agree you should pack a heavy ruck with the weight in the 2 position if possible.
By possible I mean any gear you may require on the march or patrol should be easily accessed and therefore on the top or outside of your ruck. Claymores, water, IV bags (in a warm climate) come to mind. Those outside pockets are not for a woobie, they go to the bottom of your ruck.

02-25-2004, 10:31
Team Sarn't,

You and I both know that soldiers pack differently based on needs. What's important at the time.

Peacetime Ft. Lewis in the winter, a woobie in an outside pocket will definitely come in handy. ;)

Team Sergeant
02-25-2004, 11:15
Originally posted by woobie master
Team Sarn't,

You and I both know that soldiers pack differently based on needs. What's important at the time.

Peacetime Ft. Lewis in the winter, a woobie in an outside pocket will definitely come in handy. ;)

Let me catch a Combat Arms soldier with a woobie in their outside ruck pocket!

Train as you fight.

BTW I was stationed at Ft Lewis for a few years, I know the terrain. Short story…
A couple of combat service support types were setting up a range for me and called me on the radio when they arrived at the range.

Them: “Sergeant XXX, there’s a big black bear on the range, what do we do?”

Me: “SP-4 Smith, Did he sign for the range?

Them: “No Sergeant!”

Me: “Then get him the fuck off my range!”

Them: “How Sergeant?”

Me: “Go and find your LBE you’re supposed to be
WEARING, you’ll find it laying in the back of the hummer you were driving, and locate that huge fucking Rambo knife you’ve got strapped to it. Take out the knife and charge that black bear. He will know you mean business when he sees your Rambo knife. If you are dead when I arrive with the ammo I promise I will personally kill the bear and avenge your death.

Them: “Yes, Sergeant….”

Something to that effect….

Train as you fight.

The Team Sergeant

02-25-2004, 13:15
Good story Team Sarn't.

I only got to use my quick deployable woobie on one LRS mission........many a security halt I wished I could have used it more.

I did see a lot of great big "SF fires" out at Lewis.....;)

Only got to do that 3 times in my 4 year career, twice in Batt, and once as OPFOR in LRS.

I remember seeing a lot of deer on the ranges at Lewis, with warnings (of course) not to shoot at the deer. Never saw a bear......

Heard a lot of sasquatch/yet's though!