03 January 2016

How to adjust your pack before rucking

Had a long time student message me about about rucking.  More specifically about how much weight was I carrying and how to adjust your pack.

When I started about 5 weeks ago I started with 25 lbs in my Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack.  That was including my water.  I quickly added a 10 lb plate that I got off of Amazon.

Adjusting your pack- unless you were in the military or hike, there is a good chance that you don't know how to properly adjust your pack.  This will  quickly lead to discomfort on a ruck or any situation where you need to carry the pack for a few miles.  Keep in mind that the majority of people who have a pack that they carry every day usually never even use both shoulder straps and the farthest they travel will be from their house to the car.  What I am going to explain is a combination of what I was taught and adapted to myself over the years.

The first thing to understand is that if weight is being pulled in both directions it is harder to adjust.  A good example would be your waist belt.  If you try to pull on both sides at the same time it will be difficult and you will get limited adjustment.  Instead pull one at a time to cinch to where you want it.

Putting on the pack-

You probably know how to put on a pack, but most of the times doing this you will not be carrying it for distance.  To be comfortable the pack has to become part of your body.

Put the pack on and put your back up against a solid vertical surface such as a wall or tree.  Move around until the bag is pinned between you and the wall where you want it to ride.  The belt should be in the small of your back.  Once you are happy with the location close your belt.  Now one side at a time cinch it as tight as you can while allowing for circulation and comfort.  To do this without the wall means that gravity is pulling the pack down while you are trying to pull it forward, that does not work well.

Next I snap the chest strap just tight enough so that shoulder pads are not slipping off the sides, this allows you to cinch your shoulder straps down without them being pulled to the side.  Pull your shoulder pad cinch straps down and to the rear, again while up against the tree.

Now you may want to adjust your chest strap before moving away from the wall.

While moving you may want to adjust your straps.  Just remember that as you tighten, do the sides of the belt one at a time and the shoulder straps together.

I also have a tendency to use a wall or a tree to loosen my pack when taking it off.

Please fee free to share if you do something different and why you do it.

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