The Ballantyne Ruck - Moderate 5 miles

Charlotte Piedmont Hiking Club
Charlotte Piedmont Hiking Club
Public group

Location visible to members


Featured in Ballantyne Magazine:

Quick Overview:
• Bring a weighted pack to join us for 5 miles on the greenway
• Increase the weight 2-3 lbs a week
• No, you cannot walk to "try it out"
• Also bring a flashlight/headlamp and rain jacket
• Stay to the right or center on the path
• Respect others


• First Time?
Let us know beforehand (at least a day in advance) if we can help you with your pack or weight. We have extras of both.

• Can I Just Walk?
No. Please find one of our easy rated events if that's what you are looking for.

• What Is Rucking?
Rucking is an exercise where you add weight to your backpack for a better workout. This is recommended for backpackers, hikers and people who want a challenging workout.

• What We'll Do
We’ll ruck on the flat greenway for a total of 5 miles. Even though there are different skill levels we tend to walk around the same pace (17 minute miles or so) and socialize during the outing.

• Goals
Slowly increase your pack weight each week. Men = 35 lbs, Women = 30 lbs. Some believe it's risky to hike with more weight than this. Do so at your own risk.

• Difficulty
Most start with 7-15 lbs. When you increase to over 25-30 lbs it's a more moderate workout.

• Health Benefits
Burning up to 3x as much calories compared to walking
Low impact on your knees
Become faster on regular hikes, lessen pain on backpacking trips
Strengthens your shoulders, core and back

• More on Rucking:

• Put Your Ruck Together by Bringing:
A weighted backpack, aim for no more than 10% of your body weight (and no more than 15 lbs) if it's your first time rucking. We'll weigh your pack before we start. Bring extra weight just in case.

Backpack = any used or basic backpack works to start.
Weight = Duct taped loose Ziploc bags of sand work the best. Workout weights and water can work too.

• Sandbag Instructions:
Add sand to your Ziploc bag and weigh it just under the desired weight. Make the bag loose by not zipping it up. Fold it and do not tape it up too tight. A set of 1, 2, 3, 5 and three 10 lb bags work great.

Materials =
One 50 lb bag of sand at Lowe's $4
One roll of Duct Tape $5
Ziploc Sizes: 2.5 gallon for 10 lb bags, 1 gallon for 5 lb bags, 1 quart size for all other bags
Ozeri ZK14-S Scale amazon $13 (also use this to weigh your backpacking items before trips )

• Packing Tip:
Bottom weighted bags may cause discomfort. Try to balance the weight on both sides. Push the weight up with something that takes up volume like a deflated raft, towels or a cheap blue tarp.

• Clothing and Other Gear
Shoes = Running shoes work fine on the greenway, some prefer boots
Optional Rain Suit = $20 Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Suit, they run big

• As You Carry More Than 20 lbs Consider Adding..
Black/Green Superfeet insoles = for greenway rucks / hiking
Ultralight Backpack for rucking/weekend backpacking trips = These are great for weekend backpacking with capacity up to 30 - 35lb.
These items can be found gently used on eBay for a lower price.

• Carry More than 35 lbs? Consider Adding...
Backpacking pack for heavy training/week long backpacking trips = Something like an Osprey Aether 70 is designed for more heavy loads between 35 - 60 lbs.

• Dogs / Trail Etiquette
Dogs are welcome but the park requires a 6 foot leash.
While on the trail please leave space on the left for runners and bikers that share the greenway with us.

• Those with Injuries/Health Issues
Check with your doctor if you are unsure about doing this excercise. It should not be assumed that leaders are certified in CPR/personal training. Any advice is from our experience as a hiker/backpacker.

• Issues or Concerns
Let me (Alex) or our group organizer (Leigh) know.

• Scale to Weigh Your Pack at Home
Dr.meter Fishing Scale $10