Ruck march, and a Jetboil Zip Burner reveiw

Had the opportunity to do a 6 mile ruck to a primitive campsite with a couple of guys this weekend. It was a bit of an eye opener.

The weather was in the mid 90’s the afternoon we stepped off, with bright sun and little breeze. The plan was to hike out, spend the night and hike back to our start point. By mile 2 it became apparent that my trail mates feet were not going to fair well the rest of the day. We took our time, stopped often, changed socks, drank water, and just chilled out in the afternoon heat as best we could. There was no hurry to get anywhere and we were in the mindset of a marathon vice a race. Mostly I was worried about hydration and keeping feet from being to badly blistered from the pounding of the semi paved trail.

When we did arrive at our campsite, we found the best shade we could in a nice grassy area, dumped our rucks, pealed off the boots and socks and relaxed under the trees. It was nice to get out of the sun for a bit with a nice breeze that had kicked up late in the afternoon.We prepared some chow and set up our shelters for the night.


Our grassy knoll


A ENO and a Hennessy hammock in the background and a small pup tent forward.


The trees were 30 and 40 ft apart. It made for some creative hammock hanging exercises. Again 550 cord saved the day!


 Not sure what my friend is contemplating. New boots perhaps?


I purchased a Jetboil after my SUP class in May from Cabellas on my way through Sydney NE.


After a couple uses, the Jetboil had a melt down heating water and a MRE a couple of times. Pretty disapointed. The way the plastic melted, it didn’t allow the pieces to be collapsed into the  cup for compact carry anymore. Another bummer. What I will say about the product is it will bring 12 oz or water to a rolling boil in nothing flat. It is also pretty easy to start and setup. When the pieces are not melted the whole unit, butane canister and all fit inside the cup for easy storage. The unit weighs nothing. Setup is quick and easy.


Mountain House Rice and Chicken. One word, Yummy! It took longer to rehydrate the meal than it did to boil the water. Worth the wait. This is the only MH meal I have tried and I am pretty impressed.

We didn’t hike out the way we came mostly because of the amount of water we used on the route in. With the other guys feet pretty beat up I didn’t want to get 3/4’s of the way back to our pick up site and run out of fluids. So we opted to call a spouse to come meet us at the closest county road.

A couple take aways.

In 90 plus degree heat with a full pack you will drink an exorbitant amount of water, much more than you think. I killed almost 4 liters before night fall, and then I drank another liter the morning we packed up to leave.

Primitive camping means no water replenishment in most cases.

Water weighs A LOT! My ruck weighed 72 lbs when I left the house. 20 plus pounds of that weight was water.

Don’t under estimate good boots.

Carry extra socks. You can dry the nasty ones by hanging them off the back of your ruck.

Carry an extra shirt. Or get some of the quick dry shirts that are available. Under Armor is good, but WalMart sells the same off brand for $10

Carry enough first aid supplies for beat up feet to go around your group.

Carry 550 cord. In my case it saved me a night of sleeping on the ground.

Know where you are so others can find you in an emergency. The lat/long I gave the wife wouldn’t enter into the Magellan GPS unit she had in the truck. She tracked me by using the Find Phone app on her iPhone. At the camp site we didn’t have cell service and had to move about a mile and a half  north so we could get a signal and she could home in on our position. Interestingly I could text intermittently even with zero bars. Not reliably though.

Only go as fast as your slowest guy.

We did pretty good for a guys night out, had some good chow, sat up till after midnight shooting the shit and saw some awesome stars. I will admit I was a pretty tired pup when I got home but the workout felt good, and I am going to boast a bit here. This is the first ruck I have done with a 50 plus lbs pack and didn’t get one blister. Yeah me!