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GORUCK Challenge – Firsthand Account

For those that don’t know the GORUCK Challenge, it is a team event inspired by the most elite training offered to Special Forces soldiers and led by Green Berets. GORUCK brings military-grade gear tough enough for Special Forces to adventure seekers the world over. The backpacks are simple, streamlined and really tough. The 13 hour challenge takers all wear GORUCK backpacks throughout the Challenge but with a twist: they are weighted down with 35 pounds (approx. 14 Kg) of bricks, water and some food. The hardest thing here is mental. You have to push yourself over the pain and discomfort.

During the training I did and the Challenge itself I used a Source WXP 3L bladder with the Storm Valve. The Source bladder with the Storm valve was great. We didn’t have time to stop and drink, you have to do it while on the move and under heavy weight so the fact that I didn’t have to work hard to get the water flowing was a welcomed thing. Highly recommended.

We started the challenge in Chicago and signed the infamous Dead Waver. Yes. What did the Most Interesting Man in The World say?

“If you have to sign a release form, it’s probably worth doing.”

The challenge consists of a series of evolutions designed to build the team. It starts with Indian runs, high crawls, pushups and inchworm pushups. It continues with lots more running, carrying bricks, sand and even logs! With all the extra weight to carry the event becomes a real challenge.  It took every ounce of will power to cut through that pain and continue.

After a long run we ended up in a baseball field where we crawled for 3 hours. It was a welcomed break, but then it was back to running. At this point they told us that we were not allowed to talk anymore. We had to figure how to communicate as a team and slow down or go faster to keep up with all the team members. It was an awesome team building exercise.

After the small break we were presented with our new best friend. A huge tree log. We had to carry it. Initially we were not doing a good job but we figured it out. Then a second log came into the team. More good livin’. All the while Jason kept on reminding us that this was a team event and that we needed to work as a team to succeed. We learned it the hard way but we did. The team was coming along very well. We moved those two logs for several miles. It was morning already by the time we dumped them.

Eventually we finished the challenge, as a team, with fireman buddy carries. 13 hours of tough fun. We all became GORUCK Tough.

The Source bladder with the Storm valve was with me through the entire challenge. With no time to stop and open a bottle the valve allowed me stay hydrated while on the move. If anyone out there is considering this challenge, or any kind of hike or trip where you will have a backpack, you should make sure to include a Source bladder. It will make your trip much easier!

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