Letter Re: Making Our Bug Out Bags Work: Shaving Weight

First, thanks for the great blog.  I wanted to take a minute and let the readers know of a great way to test what it is like to be stressed and carry a load of 40 plus pounds for an extended period of time.  Last weekend I participated in a GoRuck Challenge.  The premise is based on Special Forces type training where participants (max of 30 per event) act as a team to accomplish any task that the cadre gives them.  There are a few requirements, the most notable being that each person 150 lbs or more must cary six bricks, 149 or less four bricks, in a backpack for the entire event.  This challenge is not for the faint of heart or for those that are new to exercise.  My total pack weight was 47 lbs dry at the start.  After many a trips into the ocean and rolling around in the sand, pack weight got to be about 55 lbs.  For those who plan on bugging out, being under stress, acting covert, and taking care of others, this is the ultimate test run you could have.  It goes way beyond putting on your pack and going on a hike.  Think a crossfit challenge combined with a marathon, while wearing a weighted pack.  The final stats for my event were 14.5 hours long (start time was 10 pm, finish 12:30 pm following day) covering 24 miles.  Each event is different and is based on the cadres experience so what we did will be irrelevant.  I will say that after nine months of intense training and diet, I was prepared physically for the challenge.  Mentally I was pushed to my limit.  I drank three gallons of water and lost eight pounds (total kCal expended was 25,000 to 30,000).  If someone wants to know what there body and mind will do in a stressful bug out situation this is the event.  Though six bricks is a minimum, you could add more if you want to get it to the weight of you bug out bag.  It is also a great way to test gear and know what your caloric and water requirements will be to get to your final destination.  The only way you could get this level of experience would be to join the military and do the real thing.  I must warn anyone who takes on one of these challenges, that it is addicting, and you will want to do more!! 

Thanks for your dedications to helping others prepare!  May God bless your efforts and those that seek to be self-reliant. – Scott L.