I am a big fan of rucking. If you’ve been around for a while, then you already know this. Walking from place to place, especially under load, is a foundational human movement. Rucking has benefits to both health and fitness. Overall, I’d call it one of the core practices here at The Everyday Marksman.

And that is why I’ve chosen it as the challenge for the month.

The 30 for 30 Challenge

Last month we focused on marksmanship, now we pivot to fitness. The challenge is simple. Ruck for 30 miles within 30 days with 30 lbs.

How you approach the challenge is up to you. You can ruck for one mile per day for 30 days, 5 miles per day over 6 days, or do all 30 miles in a single day. How you split it up determines which badge you earn for the challenge.

The Badges

There are three possible badges for this challenge.

For Level 1 (Black) you must simply complete the challenge. Ruck 30 lbs for 30 miles within 30 days of the first documented session.

To achieve Level 2 (Blue), you must complete the challenge in 10 or fewer sessions, which means you ruck for at least three miles per session. This must still happen within 30 days of the first documented session.

Level 3 (Gold) is awarded for completing the challenge in three or fewer sessions. If you’ve never rucked 10 miles at a go, I wouldn’t suggest trying to shoot straight for this one.

Providing Proof

As with all challenges, you need to provide proof of completion. Luckily, there are several free applications for phones to help you with this. I’ll suggest a few in a moment. At the end of a session, take a screenshot of the results including the distance covered and the date.

If your results photos total the required distance of 30 miles within any 30-day period, then you have completed the challenge.

Rucking stats from Garmin Fenix
An example of acceptable rucking stats from my Garmin

This challenge does not include a required pace, only the distance and weight. Speaking of that, you must also provide a picture of the weight you carried.

If you don’t already have something to help you keep track, here are some free suggestions:

  • Runkeeper (Android, iOS)
  • Runtastic (Android, iOS)
  • Strava (Android, iOS)
  • Map My Run or Map my Hike (Android, iOS)
  • Geo Tracker (Android)
If you can’t do this one outside for some reason, then you can do it on a treadmill with the incline set to 1%. The incline is not a true match in energy cost to actually moving outside, but it’s better than keeping it flat. 

One more thing, the 30 lb weight only includes the weigh itself, not any other ancillary equipment such as water, sidearms, heavy boots, or anything else. All of that is on top of the 30 lb dead weight requirement.

Rucking Tips & Tricks

The first question is usually what to use for weight. Amazon has quite the selection of rucking weight options.  I have purpose-built rucking plates from GoRuck, but that’s the most expensive option. You can get some more affordable options form Titan Fitness and Yes4All.

For the record, a weighted vest in lieu of an actual ruck is allowable for this challenge if that’s what you’ve got.

If you don’t want to purchase a rucking plate, you are welcome to use sandbags, dumbbells, or any other weighty material.

Another common option is purchasing six regular masonry bricks from a home improvement store and taping them together with duct tape. These bricks weigh about 5 lbs each and cost between 60 and 90 cents per unit.

Here are a few quick videos on rucking technique, wrapping bricks, and pack selection.

Good Luck!

Don’t forget to chart your progress in the forum. I fully expect to see a lot of black and blue badges earned for this one. And if you’re going for the gold, then kudos to you!

Matt

Matt

Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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Steffen

Dang. Haven’t rucked in a while. The level 2 version would actually be more achievable for me due to my work schedule and the level of exertion involved when I work.

I do still have all the necessary equipment on hand, but don’t know if the wife is down for three mile walks.

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