3 Days, 2 Nights: GORUCK GR1 #NothingElse

I received GORUCK GR1 with curved straps for review few weeks ago, and I am yet to give it thorough run in training – weights and all.

However, the first opportunity to test it in travel presented itself this weekend – a surprise trip for Italian to Quebec City (where else?).

Now… first impressions?

This bag is build like a tank. It is a pleasure to hold (and to know that you can smash it against the wall repeatedly, and nothing will happen to it).

The capacity of the ruck is 21L – so it is quite small (although there is an even smaller GR0).

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 8.28.57 AM

Logistics? Fly from Toronto to Quebec City, do not check a bag, stay for three days and two nights, see stuff, wander around, fly back.

Now, this obviously was not an event (read: race) weekend, so the challenge was to be equipped to walk around the city in the winter, AND to have a nice outfit to go out to a restaurant.

Here’s what I wore:


  • wallet
  • laptop
  • cell phone
  • chargers for both
  • 1 book
  • journal with pen
  • 1 resistance band + lacrosse ball + workout log
  • sports capris + sports bra + workout tank top
  • extra tank top
  • 1 dress
  • 1 tights (can double as workout pants)
  • 1 pair of winter boots
  • 3 pairs underwear
  • 3 pairs socks
  • toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair gel, chapstick, face wash, deodorant)
  • make-up (foundation, foundation brush, eyeliner, mascara, lipgloss) – inside toiletries bag
  • 1 Clif bar + apple + glass container with lunch + 1 fork

To be honest, I could get away with even less.

Shoes usually create the most bulk – so the fewer pairs, the better, if you are trying to travel light. For a trip like this one, having a pair of flat heeled winter boots would work best, I think.

Maybe something like this? [If I could find a pair that would fit over my calves. Ha.]


Comfortable to walk around, and then, I could just bring a fancy top to dress up for the evening.

I could lose the book, and do the leisure reading on the laptop, and it’s not like there is tons of time for leisure reading on a weekend trip anyway.

Although, I am probably sooner going to lose the dress and make-up before books. 🙂 While travelling in India, books were always the heaviest things in my pack. What works well is to leave books behind, as you finish reading them.

Both lacrosse ball and resistance band could be left behind – I ended up doing mostly bodyweight stuff in the room.

Make-up in the winter? Meh. There is usually shampoo and soap wherever you stay (this changes once you travel a little bit more backpacker style).


I loved GR1 as the only bag on my trip. It is small and sturdy with a “separate, bombproof compartment” for the laptop. I hope to never have to check whether it is truly bombproof, but hey, nice to know.


It is a perfect size for a weekend getaway. I did not bring anything else with me, and carried my wallet and cell phone in the pockets of my winter jacket as we walked around. A small purse would work as well as a “personal item” that you are allowed on the plane in addition to your carry-on.

This was great practice trip, and I am now thinking that it would be awesome to take nothing but GR1 on my trip to Russia this summer.

Russia, two weeks, one bag.


YOUR TURN: Do you travel light? What are your must haves to bring with you that you are not willing to give up? 


*Disclaimer: Please note that while this gear item was provided to me free of charge, I only agree to review products that I would personally use. Under no circumstances have I been paid to write any positive reviews. Anything you read here is my independent opinion based on personally testing the gear. 

posted: January 24, 2016