people, rocks, sourland mountain
© Khürt Williams


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[exif id="26578"] Ben Brooks recently wrote about his new form of exercise that combines a backpack and hiking.

Rucking is a military thing, but the civilian form is detailed well by GORUCK here. And while I’ve never done a challenge, nor do I have much interest in them, this seemed like a great way to work out. I can be outside, in nature getting fresh air, the walk to the area is short, and I get to wear awesome backpacks. Basically, this was tailored to me.

Interesting that the top two definitions of rucking that I found with a Google search are the ones on GORUCK. I did not find a dictionary definition that includes the use of the words exercise or training. However I found a link on that added a little more context.

For many, the term “ruck” is a new word. Defining RUCK is difficult to someone who has never moved out with 50+ lbs in a backpack for many, many miles. The definition can be as simple as walking around with a backpack on a hike or as difficult as moving fast with all your military gear, loaded for bear, over rugged terrain, infiltrating to your objective. But the terms ruck, hump, or forced march, all really mean getting your gear from A to B in a backpack.

My first impulse after reading this, is that this form of exercise most likely appeals to mostly male real men type civilians. I know I am stereo-typing, but according to this Men's Health magazine article "rucking" is an excellent form of exercise for “guys”.

For the average guy, a 30-minute walk burns about 125 calories, according to the Compendium of Physical Activities. But throw a weighted backpack on and take that exact same walk, and you burn about 325 calories, also according to the Compendium of Physical Activities. Just wearing a backpack with some weight in it makes walking incinerate nearly three times the calories! Think about that. Let’s assume you take three, 30-minute walks each week. If you begin wearing a weighted pack, you’ll burn 31,200 more calories over the course of a year. That’s the amount of calories contained in nine pounds of fat.

I love hiking. Perhaps the next time hike the Sourland Mountain, I'll be carrying a weighted backpack. Should be easy to do once I load it up with water and diabetes supplies.

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