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  1. #1
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Default 5 military backpacking rules every hiker should know.


  2. #2
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    I Believe....
    KK4VKZ -SOTA-SUMMITS ON THE AIR-
    SUPPORT LNT

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    Holy shart, the U.S. military is fiiinnallly coming around after 200 some yrs. I've seen these findings, which have been known about for many yrs outside of the U.S., showing up in military gear, tactics, etc. I've seen it in the construction of their boots and packs for example. It makes our military a better fighting force. GOOD.

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    All sounds right except #4. I think that one is just plain wrong. at least for fit people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    All sounds right except #4. I think that one is just plain wrong. at least for fit people.
    Agreed. Well, kind of. It might cut your speed in half, but only given a constant level of exertion. If you increase your output on the ascents, you'll likely maintain most of if not all of your pre-ascent pace.

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=NEHikingNewbie;1978098]Agreed. Well, kind of. It might cut your speed in half, but only given a constant level of exertion. If you increase your output on the ascents, you'll likely maintain most of if not all of your pre-ascent pace. [QUOTE] Yeah, I guess if that rule is talking about "at same level of output", a 50% reduction sounds right for a 10% grade, but I don't think it implied that. Maybe I missed it....

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    12 years in the grunts and I never heard a single one of those.

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    Registered User ekeverette's Avatar
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    once you get out there, do a couple hundred miles...... you"ll figure it out. What works for you.
    eveready

  9. #9
    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    Todd's laws and theories on rucking
    1. The army would rather pay some researcher(s) millions of dollars to say lighter boots are better than to actually provide lightweight boots. (they will, however, authorize you to spend what little money you earn buying your own)
    2. The more lightweight gear they come up with, the more gear you will be expected to carry. The grunt's "base weight" will not change.
    3. Uphill sucks under a 120lb load. Downhill sucks even more. Anything cross-country sucks even more. Anything in the dark...you get the picture.
    4. When Murphy is on your back everything sucks more.
    5. A pack rated for 70lbs (ALICE) will carry 125lbs...unless it doesn't. In that case the pack failure may be spectacular. By this reasoning a pack rated for 125lbs (SPEAR) can hold 180lbs...right?
    6. The lightweight carbine you have to carry was nice a svelte 6lbs until you put in a full mag and add optics, flashlight, tacti-cool sling and IR laser. Now it weighs more than a M1 Garand grandpa carried in WW2.
    nous défions

  10. #10
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    #4 may be a bit off for in-shape hikers - but it depends upon the degree and duration as well. The numerous 3000' over 3 miles climbs (roughly 20% grades) in the Whites are a prime example. I doubt most hikers maintain even a 1 mph average from notch to ridge. #5 is suspect as well on really steep descents. Descending sometimes takes just as long (so you don't fall and kill yourself) and can be as tiring (in a muscular sense as apposed to cardio-vascular) as ascending.

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    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I would complete agree with everything there.

    A pair of lightweight boots can be helpful in keeping your energy up but they can also be harmful if you are carrying too much up on your back. If you try using running shoes, for example, and have a large ruck well it not going to work to well. You are more likely to sprain an ankle on tough terrain.

    My total pack weight is 5% of my body weight. It the same time to walk/hike a mile. It make no different in time if I'm carrying a pack on or off. Where the weight makes the differences is in your duration - over long distance. Short distances, it makes no difference.

    The 10% grade cuts your speed in half. Again this can varies on several things. The biggest one that many people don’t think about is your hip-belt. If you have your hip-belt real tight, it restrict your oxygen and wears you out quicker. What are you travel up… a hill or a road?

    Going up slows you down twice as much as going down speeds you up. Not always. Go down a cliff, see how long it takes you. Going down a steep hill with a large pack on can make almost anyone think twice about speeding up their pace.

    Wolf

  12. #12

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    [QUOTE=colorado_rob;1978102][QUOTE=NEHikingNewbie;1978098]Agreed. Well, kind of. It might cut your speed in half, but only given a constant level of exertion. If you increase your output on the ascents, you'll likely maintain most of if not all of your pre-ascent pace.
    Yeah, I guess if that rule is talking about "at same level of output", a 50% reduction sounds right for a 10% grade, but I don't think it implied that. Maybe I missed it....
    Do ya think the Military tested, proofed and retested this assertion. I'm gonna say a big yes.

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    1. The army would rather pay some researcher(s) millions of dollars to say lighter boots are better than to actually provide lightweight boots. (they will, however, authorize you to spend what little money you earn buying your own)

    I've seen lighter wt boots then the heavy traditional ultra high top leather boots that seemed so customary only 20 yrs ago that some of the military is now being issued as part of their gear. I inquired from several in the Army and Marines about them when I noticed it. Great improvement from my perspective as well as from the guys and gals wearing them.

    2. The more lightweight gear they come up with, the more gear you will be expected to carry.

    Will not debate that.

    The grunt's "base weight" will not change.

    It depends on the assignment. Base wts do vary in the military.

    Constant rates of speed are easier for the researchers to digest and further crunch numbers but what recreational backacker really hikes at the same rate uphill and downhill especially under such heavy loads and steep grades? That's a terrible expenditure of energy IMO. Maybe it's OK for the military but extremely questionable IMO for the recreational or professional backpacker on a thru.

    4. When Murphy is on your back everything sucks more.

    Hey, he's/she's your brother your team.

    6. The lightweight carbine you have to carry was nice a svelte 6lbs until you put in a full mag and add optics, flashlight, tacti-cool sling and IR laser. Now it weighs more than a M1 Garand grandpa carried in WW2.[/QUOTE]

    Yup. Go back to your #2

  14. #14

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    My pack weight wasn't what sucked so much as the gear in my pack. My bag was a heavy down bag from godknowswhat vintage. My poncho was probably15 years old, moldy and the strings were tied in knots around the hood. The gas mask was probably vietnam era (and this was 1987), but I did love my leather boots. I mean, once they were broken in they were like bed room slippers. I never took them off except to change sox (wool). I slept in them and when they finally wore out I almost cried.

  15. #15

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    A consequence of this realization is some nice surplus clothing. I recently got a fleece as good or better, and no heavier than civilian models. And it was much cheaper. And it came in my tall size, thus fitting well.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  16. #16
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    now if only the military can come up with lighter explosives, ammunition and water to carry, then they may be on to something. I was in a combat engineer unit. Some of the TO&E hadn't changed since WW2. Who the hell wants to carry a wooden box of shovels, pick axes and sledge hammers?

    "Well, we give you a truck to carry that stuff in"

    "But, but...its a dump truck and the tailgate is 6 feet tall. Who is going to lift that?"

    "Work as a team, dammit!"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by greentick View Post
    Todd's laws and theories on rucking
    1. The army would rather pay some researcher(s) millions of dollars to say lighter boots are better than to actually provide lightweight boots. (they will, however, authorize you to spend what little money you earn buying your own)
    2. The more lightweight gear they come up with, the more gear you will be expected to carry. The grunt's "base weight" will not change.
    3. Uphill sucks under a 120lb load. Downhill sucks even more. Anything cross-country sucks even more. Anything in the dark...you get the picture.
    4. When Murphy is on your back everything sucks more.
    5. A pack rated for 70lbs (ALICE) will carry 125lbs...unless it doesn't. In that case the pack failure may be spectacular. By this reasoning a pack rated for 125lbs (SPEAR) can hold 180lbs...right?
    6. The lightweight carbine you have to carry was nice a svelte 6lbs until you put in a full mag and add optics, flashlight, tacti-cool sling and IR laser. Now it weighs more than a M1 Garand grandpa carried in WW2.
    Excellent response. We wore jungle boots in Panama ('69--'72) which I found decent enough except for heel pain. In those years we did ALL OF OUR PT in high top military boots. Sucked.

    The job of a grunt is to . . . well . . . grunt. Hence the "opportunity" to carry tremendous loads.

    I've done thousands of uphill climbs with 85+ lb loads. It sucks. I've written essays about arriving at the top with different organs, a male becomes a female, things are torn off, other things are inserted etc etc. "When the rich mixture of goat semen and fresh urine passes over your erect Uvula" about says it all. Is a swollen brainstem a good thing?

    And going down a mountain with a 90 lb pack is comical and a near-death experience.

    In fact the current pack I carry was reportedly designed (so they say) for Navy SEALs to carry 150 lbs "comfortably" without sagging etc. Is it possible for GIs to carry heavy gear and be comfy? No. Must they continue to hump ridiculous loads? Yes.

    As regards the article, well, foot weight is related to pack weight. The heavier the pack, the heavier the boot needed. I know, some sherpas carry 150 lbs and go barefoot. Not my cup of tea.

    These are not really rules but observations. Will you slow down climbing a 3,000 foot elevation gain with a 90 lb pack? Oh heck yes. Will you take baby steps going down the other side to avoid femur snaps and tendon howls and misplaced hurtling into space? Yup.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    I'm not sure I would complete agree with everything there.

    A pair of lightweight boots can be helpful in keeping your energy up but they can also be harmful if you are carrying too much up on your back. If you try using running shoes, for example, and have a large ruck well it not going to work to well. You are more likely to sprain an ankle on tough terrain.

    My total pack weight is 5% of my body weight. It the same time to walk/hike a mile. It make no different in time if I'm carrying a pack on or off. Where the weight makes the differences is in your duration - over long distance. Short distances, it makes no difference.

    The 10% grade cuts your speed in half. Again this can varies on several things. The biggest one that many people don’t think about is your hip-belt. If you have your hip-belt real tight, it restrict your oxygen and wears you out quicker. What are you travel up… a hill or a road?

    Going up slows you down twice as much as going down speeds you up. Not always. Go down a cliff, see how long it takes you. Going down a steep hill with a large pack on can make almost anyone think twice about speeding up their pace.

    Wolf
    This is the same concept as an airplane having a built-in headwind.

  19. #19
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Which year did the US Army start to allow anything other than duty boots during PT or in the field in Non Combat conditions? I got out in 1978 and the only time we could get away with non issue footwear was when way out in the bush. Then some used sneaker which wore out really quickly.

  20. #20
    Registered User jdc5294's Avatar
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    I'm in the Army right now and I could think of 5 military rucking adages that are way more useful then some statistics like these. Also Todd I've seen a guy with a spear pack put 5x45 plates in there for a ruck march. Someone's always trying to one-up heh.
    There's no reward at the end for the most miserable thru-hiker.
    After gear you can do a thru for $2,000.
    No training is a substitute for just going and hiking the AT. You'll get in shape.

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