Tools in my Ruck: Part 1 – The Ruck

Back from the Oregon Trail

As we transition to fall, I’m settling into a new routine in Oregon. We made it through the trek out West (more on that in another post), and our family members are getting into our own rhythms of exploring this new place through adventures. As for me, that means getting out and rucking (using the Liturgy for Rucking to prepare, of course! I’ve been getting into rucking during Zoom meetings, and getting in a few miles a week that way. The town of Eugene has so many trails it makes my head spin. The pictures at the top of this post are from one of my favorites. It’s a great path along the Willamette River through Alton Baker Park, called Pre’s Trail. In just a 20 minute walk from my house, I’m among towering pine trees, wildlife, and a fast flowing river. What a river it is! Not like the Wabash from back in Indiana, where I was less than inclined to take a dip due to the amount of muck and mud swirling around in it. The Willamette is clear, clean, and inviting. One of these days before it gets too cold I’m going to take a dip in it, so stay tuned for the high pitched scream from plunging into the frigid mountain water!

Over the next few months, I want to give you a tour through the gear I take with me on most of my rucks in daily life. Many of you may have a romanticized view of my life and what it entails from following me on Instagram. I want to dispel the notion that I’m somehow living an unattainable life. I’m a normal guy, following God’s prompting for my life, and putting my feet in the very next track He has prepared for my feet to follow. That’s it!

We are what we’re prepared to do

One of my mentors, Eric Davis, once told me that “we are what we’re prepared to do.” I’ve taken this to heart and keep tools around me and skills sharpened that help me to live an adventurous life with God. When I’m out of my vehicle, that means a ruck to hold them all. I use the term ‘ruck’ instead of ‘backpack’ here, because I’m not just talking about some old Jansport from college, or a hiking backpack with a crazy amount of straps and carabiners hanging off of it like some modern day Samwise Gamgee and his cooking pack. What I carry is a more sleek, functional, and bulletproof bag to go on my adventures. For the past few years I’ve carried a GORUCK GR1. It has served my adventures big and small quite well. It’s built like a tank, and my current one is even an olive green Heritage Edition that looks like an old Sherman from WWII. I love how it has been crafted with care by people who know what they’re doing and back up their work 100%. Knowing I can depend on this bag to not break no matter what I throw at it gives me the confidence to pack it with tools that bring me life. From diaper changes to D-Day memorial rucks, this fabric friend has seen a lot of action. In the next few months, I’ll show you a bit of what I carry in it and why.

Ponder this

I’ll leave you with these questions to ponder for now: What are you prepared to do with the tools and skills you have on hand? Are you equipped for the life you want to live?

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