Hikes At PLC Juniors

We’ve been getting great questions about OCS through our email campaign. We will share some of the best ones, updated with information for 2018 on the blog. Marine hikes are often one of the most challenging PT events for candidates.


Hello, Skipper. I was OCC-99 (1976). My son has been selected for his 1st summer PLC this coming May 2018. I was going to do some forced marches with him in prep. Any idea how many in first 6 weeks, what load, distance, and most importantly approximate pace. I remember they were challenging, to say the least, but can’t recall the specifics. Appreciate any tips for minimizing the blisters.

Thanks. Semper Fi!


Congratulations, to your son! For the Juniors there will be a 3 mile individual effort “confidence” hike and a graded 4 mile and 6 mile hike. Plus several more admin moves of unknown distance. I’m pretty sure the 6 mile hike is more like 7.5 miles. There is a admin move to the start of the hike and then another admin move directly following the hike to the bivouac site. I understand that OCS is hiking with 50 lbs at this time. The pace is 15 min/mile. However,

Platoon commanders often hike at a faster pace (up to 13 min/mi) for the first few hikes. Then, they take the last hike at the prescribed 15” pace.

Buy your son some Fox River Socks, they are beloved by candidates at OCS.

Marine Hikes

What about boots, on Marine hikes?

As you probably remember, boots are highly subjective. Personally, I wore Bates through all of OCS including hikes. They were issuing Danner RATS and Inclement weather boots as well, so I used the RATS (hot weather) when I needed to air out the Bates. Other guys had problems with the Bates and swore by the Danners. Realistically, I’m a tiny guy. Weighing 125 and 5’6” at OCS. Bates may have worked better for me because they were lighter and I wasn’t as heavy as some. Boot preference is highly personal. Just because your friend said boot “x” was their favorite doesn’t mean you’ll like them.  The general agreement is buy a pair of Bates lites before OCS. Break those in and use them for PT and day to day. Use the RATS or other boots like Belleville’s for hikes. Otherwise, it’s personal preference.

Learn more

Candidates, read our other hiking articles to prepare for Marine hikes.

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