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Why GORUCK Made The Difference

When I invest in traveling equipment, there are two very important questions that I take into consideration:

1. Does this make my butt look big? (Squat city!!)
2. Can I run away from a kidnapper with this, drunk?

These two clauses have revolutionized my traveling wardrobe and a few staples that can be found on me at all times while traveling include the following: yoga pants, my Michael Kors Berkely T Strap sandals, 3 pairs of Reebok CrossFit booty shorts, and my GORUCK rucksack. 

This makes it somewhat difficult to travel with other humans because I immediately have an advantage over most people during a time of crisis.

 I hope you’re fast, because I am.

I decided to invest in a GORUCK rucksack after more and more of my friends at Team CrossFit Academy Monrovia started signing up for the various GORUCK Challenges offered. In these challenges, you load up your rucksack with a few bricks (casual), 15-ish pounds of food and water, and then you enduring a beat down by an ex-special forces cadre for several hours.

It’s a killer first date option. You had me at “ex-military. ”


Unfortunately, I was backpacking all of America after graduation and my location in the world never matched up with the GORUCK schedule.  I’m currently trying to persuade GORUCK to do a challenge in China.  Maybe we can fireman’s carry some pandas?

Despite not participating in a challenge, I knew that this product was perfect for what I wanted to accomplish in the next 5 years: anything and everything that my insurance could possibly cover.

GORUCK.com described my GR1 as, “comfortable in cities, warzones, and at our events, GR1 is our original and most popular piece of gear.“  Fan-FREAKING-tastic.  I do love putting myself in danger when ever possible.  This is (unintentionally) not a joke.


Other features include:

– Built in the USA of military-grade, highly water resistant materials (‘MURICA)

– Two compartments: one main, one laptop/hydration next to wearer’s back

– Main compartment opens flat, internal pocket layout allows for optimal organization

– 17″ tall compartment next to the wearer’s back extra reinforced to securely take a laptop or hydration bladder into combat

– High stress points are strength tested at over 400 lbs

– External slant pocket provides quick access to keys, snacks, and other small items


Whether you’re wandering major metropolitan mazes or trekking in the middle of the jungle, you need your equipment to preform.  While I was backpacking this summer, my NorthFace backpack gave-up on me (moment of silence) and I can’t imagine what I would have done if I was in the middle of the Himalayan mountains instead.  There would be no other option. The equipment I use directly impacts the success of my adventure and how far I can push my body, mind, and patience.

When I was hiking in Chengde, China, it was pouring like crazy with no signs of relief, and I still packed all of my belongings for the trip in my GR1 without hesitation because I knew that my rucksack wouldn’t fail me.  You CAN buy confidence and my GR1 will continue to be my weapon of choice against the big, scary world. If it’s good enough for the American military, it’s good enough for me. Check out GORUCK here.


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About Vanessa Elizabeth

Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.

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  • Samantha Taylor

    Hey – just discovered your blog and, as a fellow gypsy-wanderer with a strong desire to just never stop bouncing around, am loving catching up. How big is this bag (capacity in liters type of thing) and how are the straps? Are there waist/hip straps?
    Peace out!

  • Is this the only bag you brought with you to China? Or did you also bring some larger luggage?

  • Angela

    You backpacked through America too? How was that?

  • Lindsay

    I love your writing, but this sounds more like an advertisement than a blog of your thoughts, opinions, etc. Not a fan of this!

    • Angela

      Sometimes you can get paid to advertise something you’re passionate about. Who knows why she’s posted this?