Winter Gear Recommendations for Rucking Events: 2021-2022 Edition

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Ice Puddle PT at Dawn - Baltimore Tough - March 2015

There's no reason that a change in seasons should stop you from doing outdoor events, even GORUCK or other events where you are outdoors for a long time and probably soaking wet for some of that time.  With the right gear, you can stay comfortable in the cold, wind, snow and sleet and even after you've been dunked in the nearest body of water.


Through experimentation and suffering through a cold/wet wardrobe fail at a GORUCK Light in January 2015, I was able to come up with a gear combination that kept me warm during the rest of my winter events.  The items that are listed below were purchased in 2015 and are those that I still wear to this day. They have held up through a lot of hardcore wear!


St. Baldrick's Light - March 2015

So far, I have worn the same gear for at least the following events (maybe more but I can't remember which):


  • A back-to-back Tough/Light in DC in February 2015 that got down to about 25 degrees

  • A Light in Annapolis, Maryland in March 2015 during a sleet storm

  • A Tough in Baltimore in March 2016 in which we slid down hills in the snow and were repeatedly dunked in half-frozen puddles, staying wet throughout the whole event

  • Joe Warner Bragg Heavy in February of 2016

  • While camping at 10,500 feet in Colorado during GORUCK Ascent 2016

  • Veteran's Day GORUCK HTL in Philadelphia in November of 2016

  • Expedition Heavy in Delaware in March of 2017

  • Veteran's Day GORUCK Tough Challenge in Washington, DC, where the wind brought with it a "feels like" temperature of 15 degrees in November of 2017

  • The Bataan Tough in DC in January of 2019

  • The Tun Tavern Tough in Philly in November 2019


Tough/Light in 28 Degrees - First real test of my gear - Washington DC, February 2015

I'm sure there are lots of other great gear options that people have found but I am going to share what works for me.  Many of the items on this list have been purchased and tried by other GRTs and I get comments at almost every event I do that someone bought something from the list below and it worked great for them too.


There are two main themes to my winter g