Customer spotlight: Gearing up for GORUCK

Customer Spotlight
Customer spotlight: Gearing up for GORUCK

One of the things I love most about my job here at Eastern Mountain Sports is connecting with our customers on Facebook and Twitter. A few weeks ago I loaded up our Twitter dashboard and found this interesting mention:

I’d never heard of a GORUCK Challenge, so I tweeted back to CCKIV asking for some details which Kit Klein from the Philly area enthusiastically provided. “GORUCK is all about the team and it’s never a race,” Kit explained. “It basically encompasses a group of 30 people being led by a “cadre” through a city in the US (and now some spots abroad). The Cadre is a former/active duty special forces soldier and they recon a route though a city, that only they know and the group follows along in formation.”

Kit and his team getting some last minute instruction before heading out for a very long day.

Roughly translated, GORUCK is an extreme game of “Follow The Leader” where participants will find themselves hauling rucksacks filled with bricks through mud, over walls, and anywhere else the cadre chooses to take them over the course of 12+ hours and 20+ miles.

Kit drops and gives as many as the Cadre requires.

Amy Parulis from our Waterford store has blogged about her experiences in the Tough Mudder and a Warrior Dash but the thing that sets the GORUCK Challenge apart is the fact that every participant becomes part of the same team. As Kit says: ”We all have to work together and support each other; each person is only as strong as their team. Because of the focus on team, there is over a 90% pass rate because if someone gets hurt, we buddy carry them. It forms such an awesome bond that everyone one (men and women) become great friends after.”

One of the "coupons" team members take turns carrying throughout the challenge. Rocks, furniture and logs are all fair game.

These are the kind of stories I love hearing about and it’s even better to learn that our gear helps Kit pass such an intense physical test: “I go to my local EMS before each challenge to stock up on supplies. I am constantly buying wool socks and energy gels/bars. I also recently bought your ENDO pants and they held up tremendously as I faced freezing rain and snow in Baltimore. I used your work gloves an EMS windbreaker and a merino wool base layer. The GORUCK Challenge pushes you to your absolute mental and physical limits, but your gear was up for it.”

Kit decked out neck to toe in Eastern Mountain Sports gear.

In addition to the profound satisfaction of overcoming an intense physical challenge,  $10 of every GORUCK registration supports The Green Beret Foundation. To find an event near you, visit GORUCK’s web site then check out Kit’s blog for some tips on what to bring and what to expect. What’s next for Kit? He’s currently training for the GORUCK Ascent in Colorado from August 30 – September 3. With multiple 14,000 foot ascents over rugged terrain, the Ascent will be an incredible test for Kit as well as our gear and you can bet we’ll be posting an update after Labor Day.

Got an adventure story or gear testimonial you’d like Eastern Mountain Sports to know about? Tell us about it at welisten@ems.com.

Jim Darroch


Jim's love for the outdoors began with family camping trips in "Brady Bunch" style canvas tents and progressed to backpacking adventures with the Boy Scouts. In 2007, he fulfilled his teenage dream by joining Eastern Mountain Sports as Brand Communications Manager. When he's not in the office, you'll find Jim kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking around the Monadnock Region and throughout New England with his wife Brenda and his dog Brewski.