How Much can You Really Carry, and for How Long?

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How Much can You Really Carry, and for How Long?

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:30 pm

I have been practicing for years now. The first time I tried to trek any distance with my BOB, I suffered stress fractures in both of my feet after about 8 miles carrying 55lbs averaging just 1 mph. Now I carry 55lbs regularly at a pace that exceeds 4mph over twice that distance. That is not SOF grade, but it is better than just about anyone I know, and I am in my mid-40's. I also run with a 30lb pack three times per week, with the goal of sub 10-minute miles over steep hilly terrain. I'm almost there.

I do this for fitness, and "just in case." I don't really ever expect to use this skill. But just as Capt. Alfred C. Haynes, First Officer William Records, Flight Engineer Dudley Dvorak, and Dennis E. Fitch never intended to be forced to fly a loaded DC-10, with 100% failed hydraulics, by engines alone, it happened. It is not so much that I believe in a SHTF event so devastating that my family and I are forced to walk out the door with just our BOBs, but that shit does happen from time to time, and there could be a situation where one might be forced to walk great distances with whatever they can carry on their back. You are not going to get very far with stress fractured feet.

Over the years, I have come across all sorts of survivalists and preppers. More than a few have BOBs that weigh well in excess of 80lbs, yet have never put them on and gone on a long hike. "Sure, I walked around the block with it, and it felt fine," was one response I received. For me, I carry 55lbs normally because that falls in line with what I might reasonably carry in various situations. No matter how I seem to configure, the 55lb number is always within 10lbs of one extreme on another. My fighting load with sustainment weighs about 51lbs, my long range hunting set-up is 59lbs, the I.N.C.H. bag is 64lbs, and my light weight, move fast gear is 45lbs. All of these loads include what I carry in my pockets and on my belt.

So do you practice regularly? Do you know the best and worst case loads you might carry for different situations? If you had to carry a small child a great distance could you? How much water and food to you need to keep you going in various environments? Can you keep it up, day after day, with little (or poor) sleep, food, and water? These are the questions I seek to have answers for myself. It is good to know what you can actually do and what is wishful thinking.

If anyone wants to test themselves, I have a great trail that is almost 12 miles long. Hike one way, camp, then hike back the other, as primitive as you want. I have walked in with my BOB in all seasons, and under various weather conditions to test myself and my gear. You can too, if you wish. One other advantage is that you will learn what you actually need to carry, and what you do not, which in most cases will be less, not more.
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Re: How Much can You Really Carry, and for How Long?

Post by Texas Patriot on Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:02 pm

This has been a very serious concern of mine. I am very strong but have no stamina when it comes to load bearing any kind of serious weight. For this reason I have started working out again and hitting the treadmill. Once I feel like I have recgained some of stamina, I intend to try out hauling my load to see how I'm doing.

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Re: How Much can You Really Carry, and for How Long?

Post by doc g on Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:15 pm

Please leave me on the trail, sort through my gear, take what you think you need, leave me with the rest, preferably some food so I can die fat, WITH, a weapon.

Please God, protect the American citizens 2nd amendment rights until we right this ship.

Or, perhaps, I'll get there 2 weeks later!

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