Actual Cost of a GORUCK Challenge


First off, this is not to be mistaken with the true value of these events.  That’s an entirely different subject and one I will try to touch on in another post.

Nope, this is what it will actually cost you to participate in one of these events.  The overhead, the time, the travel.  Everything you probably didn’t think of when registering in the first place.

This post is not intended to scare you away, but rather, to educate you so you know ahead of time what you’re signing up for, financially, and hopefully make it a little easier to prepare. I have also linked to the cheapest places I have found for each item, to hopefully take the sting away.

For ease of use, I have broken this list down into 3 categories.

Required Items – items that GORUCK requires you to have for a Challenge.  They are unavoidable.

Highly Recommended Items – Although not required, these are nearly unavoidable.  At one point or another (usually during the challenge), you will wish you picked them up.

and Other Costs -This category differs from person to person.  You may already have these laying around, or you may be travelling down the street.  Either way, they should be noted.

(Click on item to expand details)

Required Items (+/)

The Challenge           $80-$150
This is the obvious one. The event cost is inevitable. However, there are ways to save on it. For one, you can book your event as early as possible. Most events are cheapest about 4 months out. Make note of the event and make sure to register as early as possible.
Cost: $80-$150, (

The Ruck          $50-$236
Another unavoidable cost. Unlike other endurance events, the GORUCK Challenge requires a ruck. Of course, if you’ve registered for a GRC without knowing this, you’ve got more to worry about than the additional gear.

The ruck is such a crucial part in this event that I can’t, in good conscience, recommend getting anything other than the ruck the challenge was designed to showcase. The GORUCK ruck. I have seen far too many different bags fail during challenges that now, whenever I see one other than a GORUCK bag, I dread what will happen to it at hour 9 or 10.

GORUCK sells a few different rucks. Their primary styles are the GR0, the GR1, and the GR2. In my experience, the GR2 is simply too big for a challenge. If you are under 5’10”, a GR1 is recommended. Otherwise, go with the GR0. In fact, if you can, smaller is always better during a challenge, and go with the GR0 regardless.

Also note, that upon registration of a GRC, you recieve 20% off all rucks.

Another option to save some money would be to ask someone on your event page for a loaner ruck. There’s a chance they have more than one because they are that reliable and these events are that addicting.

Reddit user u/justinevoe has alerted me to the

GORUCK requires that you use bricks, sand, or a minimum weight for your ruck.

Option 1, bricks. If you go old school, this means you are carrying bricks. $0.50 each, plus duct tape.
Cost: $5-$10 (Home Depot)

Option 2, sand. You will need a way to carry this sand. GORUCK sells cheap filler bags that you can use, which are about $10 each. Plus sand, either from HD, or the beach, will set you back another ~$5.
Cost: $11-$14 (

Option 3, lead or steel. Some Cadre, rather than sand or bricks, will allow the use of lead or steel plates. These are ideal because they take up the least amount of space possible in your ruck. However, this luxury comes at a premium. Compared to the other options, you’re looking at over $50 for the total weight necessary, depending on how you meet the requirement. My advice? Go to a local machine shop and ask them to quote you a piece of steel. You can easily add some foam around it and it’ll fit perfectly in your laptop pocket.
Cost: $50+

Reflective Belt          $10
Reflective belts are required for all events. Amazon sells them for $10
Cost: $10 (Amazon, GORUCK)

Headlamp          $25
Common sense on this one. If your event is at night, you will need to see. Bring a headlamp. Any headlamp will do. Most are not waterproof, so don’t bother spending the money for one that is. I recommend getting a decent one, but don’t go too high or too low. A $20 headlamp that survives the night and gets lost on the way home is easier to swallow than a $50 one.

A cheap alternative that I have tried and used successfully is a hat mounted flashlight. For $8, if you have a GORUCK Tac Hat or any other ball cap, you also have a headlamp. Worked great and would recommend.
Cost: $8-$50 (REI,, Amazon

Highly Recommended Items (+/)

Water Bladder          $25
Although the bladder is not required, water is. You will be in a world of hurt if you choose not to bring water with you. A refillable bladder is far and beyond the easiest way to stay hydrated during an event. Take it from someone who forgot one and invest.
Cost: ~$30 (,

Gloves          $10-$20
These are the one item you don’t miss until you want them. Losing strap privileges, carrying logs, bear crawls, all of it sucks when you do them barehanded. Get yourself a pair of gloves. My personal preference for a challenge is MechanixWear Gloves. Even better is that I can use them outside of challenges, too. They never leave my truck unless I’m actually using them for a challenge.
Cost: $20 (Amazon, GORUCK)

Fuel (Food)          $10
12 hours is a long time to be without food, especially during a physical challenge event. There will come a time where you will want something to eat. Some people bring M&Ms, others bring Beef Jerky, or Shot Bloks, or Granola Bars, or whatever it is you feel like eating at hour eight. Whatever you decide, it’s going to cost you money, and you will want to bring it.
Cost: $10 (varies)

Other Costs (+/)

Travel          $TBD
Unless you are lucky and live in whatever city you decide your first challenge to be in, you have to travel. For me, my first event was in Philly (I live in NJ). This meant not only driving there, but parking. Parking is the oft overlooked expense in these events. If you’re doing a Challenge (and I assume you are if you’ve made it this far), you will need to leave your vehicle near the start point overnight. A lot of times, this means a parking garage, which isn’t cheap. Plan ahead.
Cost: TBD

Accessories          $Varies
Up until this point, everything serves a specific purpouse, and for all intents and purposes are basically required. This is a list of the accessories you can get to improve your situation. They come highly suggested, but not required, and plenty of people have survived without them. However, you will more than likely buy part, if not all of the items on this list. This list is in order of what I recommend, starting with highest to lowest.

Sternum Strap (GORUCK)
Quick Draw (Amazon)
Web Dominator (Amazon, GORUCK)
Caribiners (Amazon, GORUCK)
Pelican Case (Amazon, GORUCK)
Dry Bag

The ever popular “What should I wear” debate. This is not a post to answer that. This is a post to sum up what you will need. I will share what I use, but I highly recommend that you go out and test these things for yourself. Having used everything from sneakers to boots and back, I can tell you that it’s a matter of preference, and with the right attitude, you will finish regardless of what you are wearing on your feet.

That being said, you will need to consider:

Windbreaker (semi-optional)
Hat (optional)

In my experience, an extra pair of socks is not necessary and will only be one more thing to worry about keeping dry. Your feet should be able to survive 12 hours with the same pair of socks.

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Another option would be to buy one of GORUCK’s “Rucking Kits”, although I’m not convinced it works out to be cheaper. Easier, yes, but cheaper, I’m not sure. When I get a chance, I’ll work out the math for you and update this page accordingly.

Turns out the rucking kits are a cheaper alternative.

Rucking Gear Cost When Buying Everything New

Sternum Strap$11.00$8.80N/A$8.80
Reflective Belt$15.00$15.00$11.00$11.00
Yoga Block$10.00$10.00N/A$10.00
Sand Bag, 20lb$14.00$12.20N/A$12.00
Tac Hat$35.00$28.00N/A$28.00
Cinch Kit$15.00$12.00N/A$12.00
Web Dominator$2.00$2.00$10.00$2.00
GR0 Full Ruck KitDiscontinued
GR1 Full Ruck Kit$305.00

Rucking Gear Cost When Buying Everything but a Ruck

Sternum Strap$11.00$8.80N/A$8.80
Reflective Belt$15.00$15.00$11.00$11.00
Yoga Block$10.00$10.00N/A$10.00
Sand Bag, 20lb$14.00$12.20N/A$12.00
Tac Hat$35.00$28.00N/A$28.00
Cinch Kit$15.00$12.00N/A$12.00
Web Dominator$2.00$2.00$10.00$2.00
GORUCK Rucking Kit$125.00

This post is part of a multiple part series in which I will breakdown the cost of various endurance events including Tough Mudders, the GORUCK HCL, and GORUCK Beached

3 thoughts on “Actual Cost of a GORUCK Challenge”

  1. Also to note is that many of these items will be used for future events so are a one time purchase (until you wear them out). But if you are like me and Goruck events are sparse in your area, check out AirBnB. It has helped a lot.

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