Rucking Accessories and Gear

Now that you’ve picked out your ideal rucking backpack you should look at some rucking gear that helps you get the best packing and storage efficiency out of your backpack.

We’re going to review several rucksack accessories. These choices have been vetted by rucking enthusiasts – so consider them the “best of the best”.

MOLLE We’re going to mention “MOLLE” a lot in this article. MOLLE, or Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, is the military’s solution for versatile equipment loading and accessories. The most important feature of MOLLE is the rows of heavy-duty nylon (also called PALS) stitched into equipment that let you customize and configure as your needs dictate. Rucksacks like the GORUCK GR1 contain both internal and external MOLLE attachment points. By the way, MOLLE is typically pronounced just like the name “Molly”.

Packing Efficiency for Rucking

Need to pack more in the space you have in your rucksack? Here’s some useful ideas. Consider these “best practice” accessories that will help you sub-divide the space in your ruck, or to use the space more efficiently. These choices have been picked from the “best of the best” reviews from experienced ruck marchers.

NOMATIC Vacuum Bag - great for getting more space out of your ruck sack or backpack

The NOMATIC Vacuum Bag (Buy on Amazon) is a great solution for packing more in the space you’ve got. Its durable air tight fabric and air valve allow you to suction down clothes or other soft goods to conserve space. The Vacuum Bag also makes a great place to put wet or dirty gear while traveling to keep your other valuables clean and separate. You can increase packing efficiency up to 300% for soft goods – and best of all no pump is needed.

The NOMATIC Vaccuum bag helps make more space in your ruck - by compressing out all the air - fit more in the same space.

Another item that can help with keeping your ruck’s contents better organized is the Eagle Creek Pack It Cube Set (Buy on Amazon). What is this? It’s a set of small zippered containers that let you keep gear better organized within the backpack – it’s almost like having “shelves” in your backpack. These are available in a selection of colors, are easy to wash, and are sized as follows: Small is 4″ x 8″ x 2″, Medium is 7″ x 10″ x 2 1/2″ and the Large is 10″x14″ x 3″. These don’t make more space, but they make the space more usable, and easier to access. These work great in your regular travel luggage too. And they’ve got a lifetime warranty.

The Eagle Creek Pack It Cube set can help keep your gear organized - in your backpack, rucksack, or luggage

Need to keep your gear better organized?

Greyman Tactical rigid MOLLE panel

Additionally, you can use a Greyman Tactical rigid MOLLE panel (Buy on Amazon). This size will fit nicely in the GORUCK GR1 – and let’s you secure various items as you see fit. This is a great supplement to the 3 rows of internal MOLLE in the GR1, and will extend the full height of the bag.

This MOLLE Panel will work great with an item such as the VooDoo Tactical Men’s Enlarged EMT Pouch (Buy on Amazon).

VooDoo Tactical Enlarged EMT A timeless classic based on a revised British Special Forces design. This large pouch holds survival and bushcraft equipment, waterbottles, food rations and similar items. There is a sleeve on the back that will hold a folding saw/knife/axe. MOLLE/PALS compatible. Dimensions 19.5 x 15 x 7 cm/ 7.68 x 5.91 x 2.76 in

Here’s another one we like. It’s a design based on a classic piece of British Special Forces gear – but revised to be even better. The HELIKON-TEX Bushcraft Line, E & E Pouch (Buy on Amazon) is a large pouch that holds survival and bushcraft equipment, water bottles, food rations and and more. There is a sleeve on the back that will hold a folding saw, knife, or axe. It’s also MOLLE compatible, and would work well on the external MOLLE webbing of the GR1.

Tactical Tailor Fight Light Enhanced Admin Pouch

An admin pouch like the Tactical Tailor Fight Light Enhanced Admin Pouch (Buy on Amazon) is another necessity for many ruckers. What’s an admin pouch for? It’s designed to carry small tools, pens, batteries, chem lights, or anything else that will fit. These are very convenient for people that use their ruck for EDC (Every Day Carry).

And whether you are attaching things on an internal MOLLE Panel or on the MOLLE webbing on the outside – you can use these Maxpedition’s Grimloc D-rings/Carabiners (Buy on Amazon). These are super-versatile and put ordinary carabiners to shame. It’s a locking D-Ring that can be used on any 1″ wide piece of webbing and replaces the metal carabiner. It’s strong enough to hold equipment – but has a break-away design to prevent snagging hazards.

Maxpedition Grimloc 4-pack D-rings

Here’s another great MOLLE clip – Tactical Tailor’s Malice Clip (Buy on Amazon) – use these when you need to make sure something stays attached. These fold in half, and require a screwdriver or other tool to disconnect. They are available in “short” and “long” sizes (link above is for “short”).

Tactical Tailor Malice Clips Short (Pack of 4) - Use these for MOLLE and PALS connection that won't come undone without a screwdriver.

According to the manufacturer, these are injection molded, heavy duty, reusable connecting clips that are designed to attach modular pouches to MOLLE/PALS style equipment. They are not affected by heat or cold, and will never corrode or lose their subdued finish. Once properly closed, the clips will not open until it is disengaged by the user using a flat tipped object such as a knife or screwdriver or similar tool.

For a quick MOLLE connect and disconnect – use the BLACKHAWK! Speed Clips (Buy on Amazon). Pretty simple how these work – take a look at the photo. No more tedious weaving of bulky straps!

BLACKHAWK! Speed Clips (6-Pack #3) - Quickly mount or disconnect pouches and other gear quickly and efficiently - no more tedious weaving of bulky straps

You Can Never Display Enough Patches

Brown 3 inch x 4 Inch - Hand made in the USA by Americans 100% made in the U.S.A. For vertical use lifetime guarantee (we will fix or replace this for life) Malice clips included

The GORUCK bags have a single 2×3″ velcro patch area, but some competitor bags such as the 5.11 Tactical RUSH12, RUSH24, and similar have two patch areas.

Certainly we can’t let GORUCK lose the patch arms race.

The solution is the 3×4″ Tactical hook/loop Modular Badge Morale Panel Brown (Buy on Amazon).

3x4 inch Tactical hook:loop Modular Badge Morale Panel Brown on a bag

This great little device let’s you attach another hook and loop (aka Velcro) patch area anywhere you’ve got MOLLE webbing.

Also available in black, and other colors.

And it’s got a MALICE clip built in – so it’ll stay secure.

And, made in the USA.

Slightly simpler is this solution: the MOLLE PANEL ACCESSORIES Del Molle Strips for Attaching Tactical ID Patches – 4-count in Black (Buy on Amazon).

MOLLE PANEL ACCESSORIES Del Molle Strips for Attaching Tactical ID Patches - for 3-inch high patches - 4-count - Black

Hydration Bladders for Rucking – Drink on the Go

The Widepac hydration bladder from Source Outdoor features a wide opening for easy filling, cleaning, draining, and ice insertion.

On any significant ruck march you are going to need to stay hydrated. You certainly can bring a water bottle but a hydration bladder like the Widepac Hydration System Reservoir (Buy on Amazon) is going to be a better option. Why? Because with the GR1’s built-in hydration port you can drink on the go. Don’t underestimate the energy it takes to drop your pack , get a drink, and continue on. You’ll be much better off with this bladder. Especially if you need to keep pace with a group.

But, if you don’t need a hydration bladder, there are products that can help you rig up a good old fashioned water bottle on your rucksack. The advantages of a water bottle are – you can carry it external to the main storage area of the rucksack, and there are some nice vacuum insulated designs that keep your beverage hot or cold, as you desire.

The HYDRA Water Bottle Holder is your lightweight "One-Size-Fits-All" solution for carrying any cylindrical item from a skinny 16.9 oz (500 ml) bottle, to a giant Klean Kanteen 64 oz (2000 ml) Growler. Made of grippy Hypalon rubber and ultra-tough 1000-D CORDURA, the HYDRA is built to serve you for years. The HYDRA also comes with built-in MOLLE straps for quick attachment or belt carry

The Vanquest HYDRA Bottle Holder (Buy on Amazon) is the perfect accessory. What is it? It’s a MOLLE compatible water bottle holder that can accommodate any size water bottle up to 64 ounces.

Attach this anywhere you have MOLLE, and thanks to it’s tough 1000D Cordura and grippy Hypalon rubber construction it is both functional and durable.

The Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Growler 32oz bottle was designed with high-performance and will keep beverages at their tap-fresh temperature for hours on end. The Insulated Growler 32oz will keep drinks cold for 30 hours and iced for 80 hours. Long enough to fill up at the tap and drink the next day, still cold, fresh and delicious. Crafted of high quality food grade 18/8 stainless steel, food grade silicone with laser engraved logo. Wide 1.75 inch (44mm) opening fits ice, is easy to fill, pour, drink from and is fitted with the Swing Lok Cap. The Swing Lok Cap is removable, stainless steel, easy to open with one hand, creates an all stainless steel interior and threadless for a tight, leakproof seal. Electropolished interior and rounded corners make the Vacuum Insulated Growler 32oz bottle easy to clean and maintain.

Please note that the water bottles shown are sold separately. I’d recommend a Klean Kanteen Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Growler (Buy on Amazon) in the Vanquest holder. 32 ounce or 64 ounce are versatile sizes.

The Klean Kanteen is a vacuum insulated design that can keep beverages cold for 30 hours, or iced for 80 hours. And, it’s made from food grade 18/8 stainless steel. And it works just as well for keeping things warm, too.

SaltStick FASTCHEWS 60-count Bottle of Chewable Electrolyte Replacement Tablets

During intense physical activity, such as rucking, it’s important to maintain hydration. But don’t forget about electrolyte replacement as well. Electrolyte salts are used to reduce heat stress, boost stamina, reduce muscle cramping, and maintain electrolyte levels. Sports drinks are an option to replenish electrolytes and help replenish glucose as well. For a low calorie option, try these SaltStick FASTCHEWS 60-count Bottle of Chewable Electrolyte Replacement Tablets (Buy on Amazon). Each SaltStick Chewable contains: 100 mg sodium, 30 mg potassium, 10 mg calcium, and 6 mg magnesium. With two flavor choices, and sweetened with all-natural Stevia, it’s recommended to take two of these every 30 minutes. Why? The ingredients are formulated in a ratio to closely resemble the electrolyte profile lost in sweat.

Waterproofing

Waterproof backpack rain cover

Let’s talk about water proofing. GORUCK bags are water resistant. They are advertised as being “rain proof”, but if you get stuck in a down pour (or repeated down pours) things may get wet.

One solution for this is a Waterproof Backpack Rain Cover (Buy on Amazon).

Available in sizes from 15L to 90L, it’s lightweight and 100% waterproof.

As you can see, it fits completely over the pack tightly, thanks to elastic.

Paracord

While we’re on the topic of ruck accessories we should mention that paracord is a fantastically useful item – in all sort of situations.

What is paracord?

Titan 620 LB SurvivorCord Paracord | Patented U.S. Military Type III 550 Parachute Cord (MIL-C-5040H) with Integrated Fishing Line, Fire-Starter Tinder, and Snare Wire. 100% Nylon.

Paracord is parachute cord. It’s a lightweight nylon rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachute – so it’s tough. But it’s also versatile. It is for many other tasks and is used as a general purpose utility cord by both the military and civilians.

Titan SurvivorCord Paracord (Buy on Amazon) is an innovative new twist on paracord.

Their exclusive patent pending design adds 3 survival strands to their trusted military 550 paracord. It’s got a tensile strength of 550 lbs.

Fishing Line – Includes a single transparent, 25 lb test, high strength mono-filament fishing line.

Waxed Jute – Waterproof twisted fiber strands are designed to quickly start fires in an emergency.

Copper Wire – Our proprietary copper-alloy is multi-functional and perfect for Snares when doubled up.

And, it’s available in many colors and Made in the USA.

In Summary

We hope we’ve given you some ideas on some ruck equipment options. You may also want to check out our ruck plates guide or our ruck footwear guide.

Fit At Midlife Bottom Line

Rucking is a simple exercise that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

But if you get serious about rucking, there are some great equipment options that make rucking more enjoyable.

The MOLLE attachments available for backpacks such as the GORUCK GR1 make for a highly customizable and efficient packing solutions.

Why GORUCK Products? We’re a GORUCK and Amazon affiliate – so if you order equipment after clicking the links in this article we receive monetary compensation.

Photo Credits

  • Some product photos on this page are provided by, and property of GORUCK.
  • Other product photos are property of the manufacturer, and provided by the manufacturer.

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