How To Survive Your First Army Ruck March

Today I want to go over how to survive your first-ever Army ruck march!

Simply because many people think it’s easy just to throw 35 pounds on your back and go walking in full Army Combat Uniform (ACU) anywhere from 2-25 miles.

They think it’s just a little walk that anyone could do without any trouble or training.

They’re wrong; it isn’t as easy as many claims, and I know that for a fact because I’ve seen those who think it’s such an easy struggle with each step they take!

You do need training, and you do need some tough skin!

Below I will go over what a ruck march is all about and how you could survive your very first one.

What Is A Ruck March?

how to survive your very first army ruck march

In the Army, a ruck march is described as a little walk with a loaded rucksack(backpack) containing all the military gear that you will need on a mission.

In most cases, your rucksack will contain about 35 pounds, not including your weapon, fighting load carrier (FLC), and other small essentials you’ll need on missions.

Ruck marches prepare you for deployments and many other pieces of training you will go through throughout your military career.

These ruck marches could go from 1 mile long all the way up to 25 miles, depending on what is required of your unit.

Don’t worry, though, if you are planning to join the Army, the minimum requirement to graduate from basic training is 12 miles, nothing too strenuous.

It may seem like a long walk and something you couldn’t possibly do, but with the right training, it will be nothing but a regular walk in the park.

Preparing For Your First Ruck March

If you plan to join the Army, prepare to do some ruck marches.

No matter what job you choose, you will end up doing a couple of ruck marches in basic training, and you can’t hide from that.

Here are a couple of tips to help you prepare for your very first ruck march:

1.) To prepare for your first ruck march, you want to make sure you build up your leg muscles.

Do a lot of squats, lunges, leg lifts, flutter kicks and everything you can think of to train your legs to be stronger.

You will do a lot of running throughout basic training, which will help you tremendously with leg workouts.

A big thing to take note of is in basic training, you don’t need to really worry.

Your Drill Instructors will know precisely how to break in your legs.

2.) The next thing you will need to focus on to help you survive your first ruck march is hydration.

You have to ensure you stay hydrated so you don’t pass out.

Staying hydrated will help keep you from cramping, which is the worst feeling to get while on a ruck march.

3.) Wearing the correct size of boots.

This is a big thing to keep in mind.

In the Army, the boots run slightly different from your regular shoe size.

So make sure you get a boot that isn’t too big and isn’t fitted perfectly.

If your boots are fitted, you will hurt your feet pretty badly, and if your boots are too big, you will get blisters like nobody’s business!

Get a boot size that is right in between what I just mentioned, be sure to try them on and walk in them a little before you get issued them.

Having comfortable boots make ruck marches a whole lot easier!

4.) Stride out when you start your ruck marches.

Try not to run with weight, you could really mess up your lower back and knees.

Trust me, I know.

I have bad knees and lower back from thinking I could run the 12-mile ruck march.

Try your best to stride with short but very brisk steps, and don’t stand straight up when you’re going uphill.

Lean forward, and try to walk in a zigzag pattern to prevent your legs from getting burned out.

Now downhill is a different story.

Try and bend your knees when you’re going downhill to try and absorb most of the shock of each step you take.

Those are some tips to help you get through your very first ruck march in the Army.


Ruck marches are one of the things that people really hate in the Army, but all you have to think about to make yourself feel better is it’s a little hike.

Just like how you would hike in your civilian life!

Ruck marches are a thing that is hard at the beginning for most people, but if you keep doing it, you’ll build all the muscles you need to get you through any distance.

Train hard, follow the steps I listed above, and you’ll get through your first ruck march with no problems.

Hope this article has helped you out and given you the information you were looking for.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask below, and one of my team members will get back to you promptly.

Thanks for reading!

Survive-All Guide

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