Overnight Ruck -
Everything You Need to Know

The PATHFINDER Overnight Ruck Challenge was designed to directly translate training to the real event scenarios experienced in a GORUCK Event.

Preparing for an Overnight Ruck is different than preparing for a ruck during the day. You'll learn how to ruck when you're tired, in the dark and with a group, which is key for thriving during any overnight endurance ruck event.

The Overnight Ruck has value in two ways:

1) If you've never rucked overnight or have limited experience If you're new to GORUCK Events particularly, overnight rucks can seem daunting. Participating in a group Overnight Ruck Challenge will ease the anxiety of moving distances in the dark and will make you better prepared for your Event.

2) If you're training for a larger or longer Event than you've previously participated in Here, the value is not in the unknown. You've done overnights plenty during Events. The value is in the physical systems stress that occurs after you've done your overnight miles. You know that overnight miles are no different than day miles - but that your body responds differently to a lack of sleep.

If you're training for a much longer, grueling Event (Heavy and up), use your Overnight Ruck Challenge as a precursor to your workout the next day. Ruck your mileage overnight, sleep, and then kick your workout into a higher gear later that day. You may feel like garbage - but that's the point. You'll learn how your body works under sleep deprivation and hormonal stress, if it works differently from the last time, and take the lessons forward as you continue to train up for your planned Events.

Challenge Purpose

The Overnight Ruck Challenge prepares for overnight stress conditions experienced at endurance events and on long-haul overnight rucks, with a focus on three main areas:

  • Preparing you physically and mentally for disrupting your circadian rhythm by rucking for an extended time in the dark. Demanding effort from your body when your body expects you to be sleeping can really only be experienced in a Challenge like this.
  • Gives you the chance to test out your full clothing, footwear, ruck configuration, food and water, and other gear setup that you plan to use for the event.
  • The overnight ruck is perfect for distance conditioning. Mileage per program is below. 

Challenge Parameters

  • The Roster must start after sunset.
  • There is no time limit for this Challenge, but once you start, stop only for breaks for stretching, foot care, hydration and to refuel.
  • Practice night vision using red filter head lamp.

Challenge Distance Requirements

  • Life: This is not currently a Challenge for Life programming.
  • Forward: 10 miles
  • Endure: 12 Miles
  • Advanced & Advanced: Ocala: 15 Miles
  • Compete: 15 Miles
  • Stirling: This is not currently a Challenge for Stirling programming.

Challenge Weight Requirements

  • Forward and Endure: there is no stated minimum ruck weight requirement. An appropriately challenging weight for the rosters fitness level must be in the ruck at all times.

  • Advanced and Compete: 45# ruck dry weight for body weight of 150# or more, or 30# ruck dry weight for body weight less than 150#
  • *Advanced: Ocala ruck weight is 35-40lbs ruck dry weight

Challenge Time Requirements

  • There are no time requirements for this Challenge.

Safety Considerations

  • Ruck safely. Communicate your route and estimated times to another individual/party who can alert.
  • Use reflective elements, runner's safety vests, flashing lights, headlamps, and similar safety gear especially rucking near roadways.
  • Stick to known routes and well-lit pathways
  • Ensure phones are fully charged and carry a fully charged backup battery to recharge a dead phone.

Challenge NOTES:

  • You must begin after sunset.
  • You must complete the entire Challenge without stopping aside from periodic breaks as described above.

Challenge Restrictions

  • Ruck safely. Communicate your route and estimated times to another individual/party who can alert
  • YOU MUST COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND RESTRICTIONS. DO NOT TRESPASS. If you are in doubt contact facility management for a clear understanding of access to and usage of any facility’s property. PATHFINDER assumes no liability whatsoever for any actions taken by a PATHFINDER roster.

PATHFINDER assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries, damages or death. A roster assumes all risk associated with their participation in any and all PATHFINDER programming.


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