Why Humans Were Born to Ruck

Date: 19 May, 2021
Michael Easter Explains

View in Your Browser

Michael Easter on why carrying weight for distance—not running—is what made us human

Last fall I found myself standing on the Arctic Tundra. I was about 120 miles from civilization and taking the first steps of a rather epic ruck. One hundred pounds of caribou filled my pack, with four-foot antlers bursting from its top. I had to hoof the weight back to camp, which was five miles away. All uphill and across the tundra. And the tundra is a savage landscape comprised of dirt that exists in an ice-cream-like state; spongy layers of dense moss; mucky swamp; and basketball-sized tufts of grass, called tundra tussocks. A mile out there is like five on a regular trail.
I was in the Arctic for more than a month on a backcountry hunt while reporting my new book, THE COMFORT CRISIS, which investigates the shocking downsides of our overly comfortable world and reveals how we can leverage the power of a handful of evolutionary discomforts that will dramatically improve our fitness, health, and happiness (it’s the August selection for the GORUCK Tribe book club). The Arctic is one of many places around the world I embedded myself in while investigating the upsides of getting out of our comfort zones.

My work as a human health and performance journalist has sent me to train inside some of the world’s most hardcore gyms and undertake 24-hour endurance challenges. But packing out my caribou was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Yet it felt oddly primal—and emerging scientific evidence suggests there was probably a good reason for my notion.

Why We’re Born to Carry

After the Arctic, I visited researchers at Harvard, who told me that, compared to most other mammals, humans are “athletically pathetic.” We’re slow and weak. But we are damn good at endurance running and carrying. We can’t go fast. But we can go far—especially in hot weather. On a hot day, a relatively fit human will beat most other mammals in a distance race. Lions, tigers, bears, dogs, etc. And we’re also the only animal that can carry well.



Available in Black, Steel, Ranger Green & Coyote Brown
21L & 26L


“Go Far.”

Love Monster
President, GORUCK Nation


Button Text

Copyright © 2021 GORUCK, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?

You can 
Manage Preferences  or  Unsubscribe 


Latest Newsletters From Goruck

More From Goruck

‹ Latest EntriesDiscount Codes ›