Go bag Weight?


How much does you go bag or other equipment weigh? Can you comfortably carry it? For how far? Can the wife?

Have you ever gone hiking with that much weight on before?

I don't know if it fits in this forum but I've seen huge lists of stuff to pack that would take serious effort to move. Some conditioning is required for just hauling the basics on your back when the truck runs out of gas.

Where do you start?
For what its worth I went on a 5 day hike and had a pack that wieghed 55 pounds. I was hiking 12+ miles per day. It was tough but within my ability. I would consider myself fit but I don't spend much time working out. I think that I would want to keep a Go Bag around or under 50 lbs if at all possible. Of course, if at all possible I would think it best to try and stay close to home in the event of S.H'ing.T.F. Just my 2 cents.
The rule back in the Boy Scouts was "No more than %25 of your body weight" was to be carried. So if you're 160 no more than 40lbs. It also has a lot to do with what kind of equipment you're using. If you happen to have light weight equipment but a terrible pack, that could do more damage than breaking that %25 rule and wearing a pack that offers great support.
35lbs is about what most people in decent shape can deal with.. much more than that, or subtract for being in poor condition, and it might get killer in just a couple of miles. GOOD physical condition, and ruck conditioning- upwards of 75lbs becomes perfectly functional.

never underestimate the importance of ruck conditioning- you can run 20 miles a week and leg press and be as fit as you can be, and put a 75lbs ruck on and be dying within 4 miles. works muscles you don't otherwise use.
HA!! DO tell! I saw guys that could smoke my arse in the two mile run during the Army PT test (and I could run six miles in 40 mins.), but slap 35-100 pounds of gear on 'em, and they'd fold on the way to the flight line. I'm still enjoying the "conditioning" benefits (@ 44) from being a M60 gunner in my late teens and early 20's!!! LOL!!
I know I used to over pack for hiking, end up with a 65 pound pack for traveling the PCT I was slow, but I could keep on trucking. When I discovered the joys of slimming gear weight down hiking was much more enjoyable. I was still slow though. :) 35 lbs is a good pack weight, but unreasonable for anytime but the summer season.

Start adding weapons and ammo and it goes way up.
Want to find out what kind of shape you are in - strap your 50lb pack on and go down a 40 year old logging road that has downed trees across it - by the time you figure out how to get around or over that deadfall you will realize that there is alot more to it than just walking down a flat surface. Try climbing a steep bank , or walking through brush. Do this for about three miles and you also realize the type of muscle conditioning you need. This is a wake up call every year when I go hunting. It can break you down pretty quick.

James Ruby
The rule back in the Boy Scouts was "No more than %25 of your body weight" was to be carried. So if you're 160 no more than 40lbs. It also has a lot to do with what kind of equipment you're using. If you happen to have light weight equipment but a terrible pack, that could do more damage than breaking that %25 rule and wearing a pack that offers great support.
The Infantry follows that same standard - they just establish the pack weight for a 400lb man, and then make everyone carry the same packing list...
Finishing up the winter climbing season, an appreciating for the adaptability of the human body is on the forefront of my mind. My first "spring" climb, two weeks ago, with a pack weight of around 20-25lbs, I all but sprinted up, after 4 months of humping 45-55lbs up 6'000' per day per climb.

This winter also showcased the limits of out-of-condition performance... I watched guys who weren't in condition, but somehow thought they could do it anyway, drop out left and right. Guys carrying half loads, even NO load, still floundering and descending, sometimes still on approach- not ever at the climbing route. Not to rip on these guys (one or two being friends)- but it does underscore the importance of continual conditioning. If you sit, you WILL soften, and when your back seizes up, or your heart is thrashing your chest cavity, or your calves start spasming uncontrollably, there is no gritting and bearing- you're done.

Train, train, train... there's never "enough," and you won't keep it unless you use it.
The Army (officially - though they don't practice it well) uses a load-carrying system: Fighting load; mission load; sustainment load.
Fighting load includes the base uniform, helmet, webbing with magazines, e-tool, water, protective mask, and weapon.
Mission load includes that stuff than an individual carries to perform his duties during a mission. Assistant machine gunner carries the spare barrel, tripod, and 300 rounds of ammo for the gun. This is in addition to the fighting load.
Sustainment load is all the rest hat he must have available for long-term survival, loaded into a rucksack: Sleep system, spare clothing, water, rations, and anything else the young hero tucks away that the platoon sergeant and his squad leader fail to catch.

You can travel farther and much faster with just your fighting load then you can with your sustainment load, but without it you won't last long. As noted above: Train with it!

In the current war, what with living on FOBs and moving mostly in vehicles, units have not been practicing this. It will hurt them in the next war - you know, where they must learn to walk and to dig again.
I wish to add to what I said earlier about Army Doctrine with respect to the Soldier's load.

I recognize that civilians in TEOTWAWKI, or even civilians performing their constitutional militia duties in a lesser disaster would not normally equipped as infantry Soldiers are.

I suggest that people take a look at the fighting, mission, and sustainment load concepts and modify them to fit their particular needs.
"Fighting load" for instance should actually include a basic set of survival items carried on the person in pockets and belt-pouches to include ammo, knife, water, fire-starting and shelter-making material, first-aid kit, a compass, red/white-lens flashlight, and other stuff. Keep it light, try to come up with items that can serve several different functions in order to save weight and numbers of gadgets carried. Robust and rugged is vital, too. If it breaks/wears out on the first or second use, it's not worth carrying. Military-issue is usually pretty tough, and because of this may be somewhat heavier than the Coleman-brand stuff that you get at Wal Mart. Look to places like REI Coop for Everest Expedition-quality gear and clothing. Be aware that you won't find ANTHING in subdued/camouflage colors, and you WILL pay for the quality you get.

Practice with it: If you ain't tried it, how do you know that it will work? How do you know that it will save your life?

Mark W.

When my daughter was a Corpsman in the US NAVY and when she was training with the Marines she weighed in at 118lbs barely 4'11.5" and her pack was the same as the Marines + her medical bag and she carried a weapon. Forced 6 mile hikes.

But then shes a tough little girl.

When I did backpacking I would generally carry 50lbs in my REI Cruiser pack and maybe 10lbs of Camera gear I was younger then.

Now I got this great green garden wagon that will easily haul 200lbs. I can drag it for miles.
Went on a 7 mile ruck hike with my bosses yesterday. Flat ground (circles around the helipad, mostly) with mixed pavement and gravel. 1 hour and 45 minutes, and a few seconds. My Ranger Captain boss did it 3 minutes faster than I did (He's also almost ten years younger- there; that assuages my pride a little). My bird Colonel boss's boss did it in the same time.

We each had 35 lb rucks and combat boots on. Biggest lesson of it- I can do the road march no problem, but I stupidly, stupidly, stupidly forgot an important lesson. I wore the cotton "lumberjack" style grey socks with red top.

Never wear cotton socks on a road march. As soon as they're soaked with sweat, they ball up, and start rubbing. I have what is probably the single worst blister of my life on my left foot towards the heel. On the ball of that foot and front and back of my right foot, I have blisters with the skin still attached over about 40% of my foot. The bad one on the left is almost 25% of that foot and is completely skinned bare. I wouldn't quit even though I was knew I was doing some damage, because my Ranger buddy was giving me bubblegum about USAF troops not being able to do it. Well, this ex-AF old dude did it, and would've had no problems with it if I had worn the right socks. It was strenuous but well within my fitness capabilities. I'm not even sore today, except for the way the blisters made me start walking funny.
The last few posts prove that being a "Barney Bad-A$$" is 90% mental. I majorly friked up my left knee on the SECOND DAY of Air Assault School, but I was determined to pass through the training w/o the "shame" of being recycled. I made it, and if anyone remembers the daily 5-mile combat boot formation runs @ the end of each day, and that forced-pace, 15 mile full combat load road march (more like jog/run) with 50 push-ups and 10 pull-ups at the end of that to earn your wings.... There were no excuses for an able bodied soldier to drop out, other than they just didn't want it bad enough.

Good job, Bastidge! (way to represent all former wing-nuts! ;) )
I was actually thinking about this the other day... mostly in terms of "just how much weight do I want to carry" when it comes to a few different things, as I am always playing with the type, config of my gear as I rarely get much opportunity to run around fully loaded.

However, I take a few things seriously, and one of them is being able to carry weight over distance, especially when all that weight I'm carrying is full of stuff that's going to make whatever I have to deal with that much easier when the time comes. As a consequence, I do my best to be an over-achiever when it comes to training, and will find little ways of making everything an opportunity for better physical conditioning.

Example: wear your pack and leg weights while you mow the lawn.

Also, I recently bought a duplicate of my "bob" pack, and have loaded 2 50 cal ammo cans of wet sand into it, and will take that with me when I go on a walk, in addition to my boots, I will also wear leg weights usually 5lb'ers. The big reason for the wet sand, is if I get stopped by friendly local LEO, they will be able to determine pretty quickly that they are dealing with someone just carrying weight, and not have it feed into some kind of domestic terrorist fantasy the cop may have.


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