I’ve had a couple of people ask me for advice on GORUCK’s HCL (“HTL”) aka Heavy-Challenge/Tough-Light and I assume it’s because they’re desperate as there are better resources out there to ask than me. I guess the difference between those resources and me is that those people are in shape when they write their guides whereas I am…less in good shape? There’s hope for everyone to finish HCL if my ass can.
The short version is to:
1. finish Heavy
2. show up to the Challenge “TOUGH”
1) Finish Heavy
2) Eat/Shower (depending on time in between events)
3) Fix your feet (lance blisters, air dry them, tape and lube etc.)
4) Reload supplies (water, food, straws to suck it up)
5) Show up to the Challenge start point and nap there if possible.
6) After Heavy, you will hurt but so will everyone else… so the pace will necessarily be slower. And no, you won’t “slow down the team” so don’t be a bitch and come back (edit: pro-tip from G)
7) Wake up one hour before challenge, eat some more if you can and take care of feet again
BONUS: have a driver or someone in charge of transport and let them take the lead in herding you zombies around from endex to start point.
As for clothing, wear wool if it’s cold. I wore UnderArmor Heatgear and Coldgear as a baselayer and then a merino wool sweater (minus33 or Icebreaker brand here), then a rain jacket. For pants I just had some hiking pants that are awesome when you bear crawl on your knees like a little bitch (that’s the only way I bear crawl). I also had a sweet balaclava.
One thing I was talked out of and regret is not bringing a travel/camping towel to towel off after doing bottom samples in the freezing ass water. Just make sure it can stay dry. I imagine it would probably help in drying your feet later but that might be me dreaming.
Wear short shorts if it’s hot. Bring more lube. Sharing is caring.
Shoes, wear whatever you want. Tape your feet up for at least the 12 mile ruck march. Leukotape is the stuff of dreams. I don’t lube my feet because I haven’t noticed it helping me but your mileage may vary. People say to wear boots for the ankle support and other people swear by running shoes. Just do whatever you’re comfortable with. I’ve done it with both and I didn’t die. Trust me, you might have bigger problems to deal with than boots or running shoes. Like helping out someone else.
Remember if you do the Heavy and don’t come back for the Challenge, you’ll have to do Heavy again in order to complete the HCL. Not that it’s a bad thing because Heavy is the best event of all time ever.
In summary, show up and don’t be a bitch like me and you will win. Also, lube everything.