#2 - GORUCK GR2 VARIANT - YOMP-ENGINE No1


THE EXTERIOR MODS

I bought my first GORUCK as an EDC MULE, I use it most days and I’ve become quite attached. At about the same time I was looking at other bags for hiking one thing lead to another and I wondered how the GORUCK GR1 would workout as a rucksack for this purpose. So, I made some simple modes to test the theory ! : )

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TESTING THE GR1 FOR HIKING DUTIES

1. I added a sternum strap stolen from another rucksack
2. I added a waist belt also stolen from the above rucksack
3. I added a Tactical Taylor admin pouch

PICNIC AT MINGING ROCK

I packed the GR1 with my usual day hiking gear and off I went.
A full day hike, 10 miles with approx 20lbs of gear inc food and water, the GORUCK performed better than perfect. Any issues? One! not big enough, especially for use in winter where extra bulky clothes would be needed.

Enter the GORUCK GR2!!!
This choice would be perfect, basically the same bag (familiarity of platform) but bigger then the GR1 21L and with the extra front compartment (DIV2) that I earmarked for carrying extra clothes. The GR2 would be the chassis for the YOMP-ENGINE No1

ONE OF THE FIRST HIKES WITH THE GR2. NO COMPRESSION STRAPS YET BUT THE STERNUM STRAP AND WAIST BELT ARE FITTED AND WORKING WELL

ALL EXTERIOR MODS DONE! THE COMPRESSION STRAPS PARALLEL WITH THE 3RD ROW OF PALS, VERY SHARP

GORUCK GR2, PERFECT BUT NEEDS MODS
I decided on the 34L version in Ranger Green.
Over engineered is good, I like over engineered, I like my gear to be as tough and as bad-ass as I will ever need. The GORUCK GR2 fits my criteria. Construction and design is better than perfect but the GR2 is built with another purpose so to coax it into being the rucksack I wanted, mods would be needed.


THE GR2 A MULTI TASKER
This rucksack was going to have to do more, than just look cool while out in the back country. It would need to multi task and if I’m honest, I really like the clean, simple, boxy, utility chic of the GORUCK model, so although straps and buckles were needed, I didn’t want to see anything permanent, giving me the option to remove everything, field strip it back to a rucksack I could use for one bag travel and all that entails.

THIS WAS THE FIRST BIG TEST, 16MILES, 35000 PEDS, 7+HRS -  NO PROBLEMS AT ALL WITH YOMP-ENGINE COMFORT

STERNUM STRAP - ENTER THE MOLLE MONKEY
While testing the theory of using a GOUCK for an extended, cross country length of time, I used an old sternum strap. This worked great and defiantly proved its worth but didn’t match. At the beginning of the project, one of my goals was to custom's the rucksack sympathetically so when finished, it would look like it had just come from the factory with these features included. I would need a new sternum strap in Ranger Green to match the rest of the webbing. This was also the case for the detachable compression straps and waist belt. These I designed and Molle Monkey Tactical kindly made for me.

THE ORIGINAL DESIGN ILLUSTRATIONS PROVIDED FOR MMT TO WORK FROM


MMT CUSTOM MADE STERNUM STRAP AND WAIST BELT INTEGRATING VERY NICELY WITH THE GORUCK

HOW IT LOOKS IN SITUATION AND IN USE

BUCKLES
Rightly or wrongly and I’m no buckle expert, I’ve never been impressed with the standard issue on the GORUCK. I’m talking about the shoulder strap buckles. Black and try as I might, I can’t find any makers brands on them so leaves me to believe, they are strong and great quality but no name options. But my primary issue was colour and I wanted something easier to use with more charisma. I chose ITW Ghillietex Ladderlocs in Coyote brown. A beautiful slick design with a hole for paracord, just to aid those shoulder strap adjustments.

COMPONENT BUCKLE DETAIL

UTILITY POUCH
The GORUCK GR2 gives us plenty of pockets to organise and stash but I found, especially when wearing gloves that the front slash pocket was difficult to use, I’ve added a small but perfectly formed utility pocket for wallet keys and phone etc. This was a lucky coincidence as it was a pouch that I’ve owned for years but worked just great in style; construction of materials and colour with the Ranger Green GORUCK. This is a small Utility Pouch by Flyye Industries in OD green.

FLYYE INDUSTRIES SML UTILITY POUCH COULD HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THIS PURPOSE

ZIPPER PULLS
To carry the coyote colour way through, set by the replacement buckles, I decided to remove all the exterior zipper pulls and replace with coyote brown, gutted 550 paracord. I’ve added a split ring to the left hand zipper pull, for the main GORUCK compartment, basically so I can tell quickly which is left and which is right hand. As yet I haven’t bothered with this on the secondary compartment as I don’t use it as much as the main, so not such a problem.

I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH MY LEFTS AND RIGHTS, THE SPLIT RING HELPS ME OUT A LOT : )

COMPRESSION SYSTEM
I consider one of the most important assets to a rucksack to be the compression straps. I remember when they were introduced to the civilian market and thought they were a god-send! This was a really important factor when I was considering the GR2 but thought that at least I could add my own, how hard could that be? : ) So, why compression straps? Three reasons:

COMPRESSION STRAPS AND WAIST BELT FITTED VIA PALS AND A GRIMLOC

1. They compress up space when space isn’t used
2. They compress up gear so it doesn’t swill around in the bag and therefor on your back, especially when running or moving through awkward terrain
3. Use them to strap gear to your pack. From jackets to tents, to camera tripods to a rifle


It was key that one way or another, a compression system was made possible. Having had a good look around on-line, I couldn’t find a system of component straps that worked for me. Mostly colour was the issue, I needed them to match the look and feel of the GORUCK model. So I designed my own and again had them made by Molle Monkey Tactical. It was a lot fun to design this system along with the other straps mentioned and working with MMT and a month or so later, I had the straps in my hands ready to fit.

THE STRAPS

My system is based on loops. Loops sewn into the seam of the bag that would accept the straps via a Mash hook at one end and a split bar, side release buckle the other. This allowing for quick release, adjustment and field strip for one bag travel. But these webbing loops, was I really going to unpick my beloved GR2 and sew these in myself, by hand?

BIG THANK YOU TO THE SCARS TEAM - WITHOUT WHICH IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE

GORUCK SCARS
Then one fine afternoon, out of the blue GORUCK SCARS emailed asking if I wanted help with my water drainage grommets, something I was discussing with friends on Instagram at the time. I said yes please and asked if they could help with the webbing loops for the compression straps to attache to, unbelievably they agreed. I think they wanted a friendly Guinea Pig to try the new service on : ) A few weeks later a parcel from GORUCK SCARS arrived and what a perfect job the SCARS team had done. It all turned out as I’d hoped it would, better in fact.

(Now I was going to write about the design process here, but I think that needs a post of its own, soon).

As I understand, this is all to be part of a new service of custom upgrades that we’ll be able to request. The drainage grommets will be a standard, along with extra carry handles, Ruck base MOLLE fields and compression straps. I think the last will be different to my request, as I already had my own straps. As I write this, I think the SCARS CUSTOM DIVISION (My name for it) is still in development, so I’m also looking forward to seeing what other custom features they will offer.

DRAINAGE GROMMETS
As mentioned above the SCARS CUSTOM DIVISION also very kindly fitted drainage grommets for me, X6 off in-fact. 3 in the rucksack base and 3 in the secondary compartment (DIV2). We all know we need drainage holes but do we know, we know? GROUCK don’t include them on the GR2 and as I write, I’m not sure why but I do know I need them. In my part of the world, there is water everywhere and it rains all the time, even in the summer. If I fall in a lake, cross a river or just get caught in the rain, all of which I’ve done, I know a rucksack can fill up pretty quickly and I want to get rid of that water just as fast. X6 military spec drainage grommets will do the trick fast, I know I tried it in the shower : )

WITH THIS MANY GROMMETS, DRAINAGE IS GOING TO BE QUICK, QUICK, QUICK

CONCLUSION
This part of the build; The GORUCK GR2 variant is now complete, until I change it or think of something better, in which case I’ll update.

I LOVE MY DECOMPILE PICTURES  - THE YOMP-ENGINE FIELD STRIP

IN THE NEXT POST;

LIFTING THE HOOD ON THE YOMP-ENGINE - INTERIOR ORGANISATION.
Showing how gear is organised for weight distribution and ease of access, also the internal mods that make it happen for summer and winter use.

GEAR LIST / LINKS:

GORUCK SCARS
GORUCK GR2
UTILITY POUCH SMALL - FLYYE INDUSTRIES
MOLLE MONKEY TACTICAL

RELATED POSTS:

#1 - GORUCK GR2 - Introduction
#2 - GORUCK GR2 VARIANT - YOMP-ENGINE No1

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