Every Tuesday morning is Foot March PT for C Co, 67th ESB. We form up a little early with our rucks and PT belts and head out by platoon for a semi-not-really-tactical practical foot march to help everyone keep their feet appropriately rough and ready. This morning the headquarters element completed about a 6 mile ruck in an hour and a half.
Our typical standard for the ruck is 30% of your body weight, though some of us traing with more. My packing list usually includes the issued sleep system, an overnight kit of a change of acu's, toiletry bag, and change of boots, and a few odds and ends to bring my ruck up to about 40 to 50 pounds for training. Some items I always keep readily available when rucking are my camelbak, packed in such a way that it still flows easily (some people throw their camelbak on its side on the outside of their ruck, and then complain that they can't drink all the water. Ummmm, what?) and on longer rucks, I bring a package of ShotBlocks. My flavor this morning was Mountain Berry. I don't like to eat breakfast before PT, so a quick snack like this along the route keeps my electrolytes in check and gives me plenty of energy.
A big part of marching for any length of time with a 35 pound pack is mental. If you're not talking to someone else or just staring at the ground or the person ahead of you, it can be easy to bored or just start focusing on how much your feet hurt. When you're in a leadership position, it's a little bit easier to avoid this because you're thinking about your pace, location, accountability of personnel, and such. Keeping a positive attitude and focused on the finish is key to getting through.
In addition, a reflective belt is key to ruck march success. A good belt will keep you safe from drivers, repel bugs, block the sun, and act as a flotation device in case of emergency........................ Just kidding. That's just what I tell people.