2023-10-06 - Gear Update
My buddy John called it early: I’m a “gearhead”. I love my gear. I enjoy researching and finding my special “fit” for hobbies and interests. In tech, I love my keyboards. In our RV travels, I’ve definitely found all kinds of backpacks and camping gear to geek out on. Now that I’ve been rucking daily for a little while, I’ve started experimenting to find my special setup. And I think I’ve found the winning combination.
Body Composition Smart Scale
I’ve been tracking my weight regularly for the past 3 months with a simple bathroom scale. It’s done a great job for that. Now that I’m closing in on 60lbs lost, I want to start tracking the type of weight that I’m losing. (targeting fat loss while adding muscle) I don’t expect any of these consumer-grade body composition scales to be very accurate, but I do expect to see some trends over time.
The Withings Body+ scale has been really great so far. The iPhone app is intuitive and makes it easy to track total fat, visceral fat, muscle, BMI, and probably a whole bunch more.
When I first started walking, I just used the New Balance 993’s that I kick around in daily. As I added more miles, my feet started to ache, and I eventually found myself visiting the podiatrist with a stress-related injury. My doctor recommended more cushion for the miles that I was covering. I tried out a LOT of options, but felt right at home in these Brooks Glycerin 20s. My feet love these shoes.
I’ve spent a lot of time walking lately. This means I’ve had a lot of time to think and to listen to podcasts. I have some Apple Airpods, but they don’t stay in my ears very well and I always forget to charge them. I have some wired sony earbuds that sound great and don’t need to be charged so they end up being used more often. I had a close call with a car though while I was running and listening to music. I decided to look into open ear audio to be more aware of my surroundings.
I researched a bunch of different options but found these off-brand bone-conducting headphones that have been really great. What’s even nicer about these is that they’re waterproof (not all models are) so I can use these while I’m in the pool also! They’re bluetooth (so still something to charge) but I’m a big fan of not being ran over, so it’s an alright trade.
In order to ruck you can use any backpack you like, but I quickly learned that wide and thickly padded shoulder straps are essential. I was fortunate to have a great bag for carrying heavy loads long distances, comfortably.
It’s a really simple bag with solid build quality. I really like the story behind Recycled Firefighter. Jake, the owner, is a great guy building cool stuff. These backpacks tend to be out of stock often, so snag one if you see them available!
I’ve busted my fair share of hydration bladders. They’ve always been relatively inexpensive, but super disappointing for use. I decided I wanted to invest in something more robust.
A lot of folks are happy with this hydration bladder from Source, so I snagged one.
I started out by just loading as much random stuff as I could into my pack. This turned out great for getting started! I decided since I’ve really enjoyed rucking almost daily, that it was time to up my game a little. Instead of carrying 4 laptops in the heat, I’m switching to a single cast iron ruck plate.
I'm hoping to build up to a 30lb plate over the upcoming months, but I'm off to a great start for now!