I have to say this before I start. Any statements that I make with regard to a specific brand name of product are done solely to be of use to the AoM community. I won’t talk about it if I haven’t used it. Nobody pays me to use their stuff. If something works for me, I’ll tell you. Same goes for the negative. This concludes the disclaimer.
In an earlier post, I talked about the ruck I was going to use for the Bataan Memorial Death March (BMDM.) Today, I’m going to talk about the training weight I built for my training.
The BMDM rules state:
-Marchers in the heavy division must have a minimum of 35 pounds in their rucksacks/backpacks, which will be weighed and verified at the finish line.
- The 35 pounds cannot include rocks, sandbags (unless securely taped shut), logs, water or other items which could be picked up along the route.
The organizers suggest that instead of packing your ruck with gear, participants carry 35 pounds of non-perishable food to donate to the food bank at the end of the march. The Community Action Agency food bank collected 11,000 pounds of food last year. They service six New Mexico counties, so it’s an absolutely worthy cause. My friends at Vital Choice Seafood have graciously committed to donate 35 pounds of canned fish for me to carry. But that still leaves the question of designing a weight that was;
a) Compact, and
b) Could be inserted and removed from the pack easily when I wanted to use the pack for other duty.
My original idea was to use canned goods; a 14.75 oz can of SpaghettiOs® Meatballs weighs a smidge over a pound, so I thought I’d pick up thirty-five of those. I like them; I’ll eat ‘em, right?
Well, upon further thought, that plan did not fit any of my criteria; so I took a cue from the Goruck guys and decided to use…bricks!
I happened to have a stack of bricks in the yard, and lo and behold, each one was roughly 7 pounds; so five of them would get me the required weight.
So I laid the bricks in the ruck to get an idea of how to set up my weight. The next question was how to build a compact weight…what to do? I turned to the universal building material, Duct Tape!
I went to the cheap Chinese tool place and picked up two rolls for about $10. I fiddled with the design a little more until I created The Monolith of Pain (MoP™.)
I used a roll and some change, and behold, the MoP™; a compact, easily removable weight that will allow me to train to the BMDM standard!
And it fits into the ruck perfectly. I added a bit of closed cell foam on the bottom to afford more protection against abrasion to the pack bottom. Having a picture of the retention system in use is cool. I added the bright orange 550 cord to some loops in the ruck (I think they are for securing a radio) for some additional support of the load.
I put the loaded ruck on and walked around the yard for about 15 minutes to get a feel for it. Some minor tweaks later, and it seems to be in the ballpark. Needless to say, when the serious training commences, we will separate the wheat from the chaff on this project.
By the way, the “MoP™” thing is a joke. It’s not trademarked; but when somebody markets one, I’m coming for my cut.