Backpacking cart?

9:38 a.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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My wife would like to join me hiking or backpacking but due to certain medical issues cannot put on a backpack. I have been researching walking carts and have found only one in world, Carrix. I cannot seem to find any pricing for these carts which leads me to think they are expensive. Plus the closest dealer is in Canada. So, naturally, I am contemplating building my own.

Does anyone have any suggestions on any of this?

Thanks!

Joe

12:08 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I did some checking on this too, and much to my dismay found that I could not use anything with wheels in many of the parks.  It did not seem to make a difference that they were not powered.  If by chance that is not a problem for you then you may check out the monowalker.  I really liked this unit.

http://www.monowalker.com/ENG-close-up.html

 

12:33 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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That looks really cool, but for $900 I think I would take a shot at building my own.

2:43 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Seems like one would have to be in excellent shape to haul a wheeled cart along. Some uphill trail areas could be difficult. I used a sledonce that I pulled behind me while snowshoeing in Wyoming. It had a special belt and harness that pulled it along as I hiked. But often going up steep slopes was very tiresome and it would pull me backwards.

If you build something how about like a single wheeled stretcher type thing that both you and your wife could handle front and back then have more strength to haul it?


Dual-haul-pack-cart.jpg

Yeah, I just drew this in Paint.

3:15 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Another suggestion. Maxpedition has pouches you can place around the belt area. Maybe front area is best for her. I have the largest one and you can fit a number of items in it. Although they are not for large items. Add more around belt area for all her personal items. I am sure there are larger ones out there onlline. Can you carry the extra load for her. You can upgrade your sleeping bag for two persons (wink, wink). Buy a weekender first aid kit by adventure kits. I would be worry if pulling/pushing the carrix up or down hill would put a lot of strain on back-even if powered.  Just a thought. Gary, nice concept.

4:07 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, maybe I should apply for a patent!

6:10 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, maybe I should apply for a patent!

The trail maintence crews in California often use a powered version of Gary's design known as a mule.

Ed

6:47 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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There ya go, just get a real Mule! I have been considering getting a Llama or Donkey like the miners used to use, so I can stay out longer and not have to carry the weightmyself, of which I am tired of now at 55. I like the long trips just not the weight!

5:49 a.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Gary, that actually makes a lot of sense for your assorted canyon jaunts and other areas where the officials are more lax about these things.

Ed

7:35 a.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm a big believer in the more information you have, the more you can help.

And here are a couple of questions. Is there anything about your own health, age, physical shape that prevents you from carrying her equipment in your own backpack? How long trips are you looking at as far as when you backpack? Overnight? Two or three days? Is she unable to carry any kind of pack at all?

I ask these questions because my first reaction is to ask why not just carry her stuff? You'd be carrying her clothing and her food. Other than that, I really don't see why you would need a cart to pull behind you. Well, there would be feminine needs as well. But if you carried a fairly larger daypack or a larger backpack, all of that would fit in the pack.

I ask if she is unable to carry any kind of pack because if she's able to carry at least a few pounds then perhaps she could carry a very small pack with any kind of immediate needs in it. Maybe some TP, a rain jacket and some small food items.

For me, I have children, so I'm the "mule" in the family, so to speak. I end up carrying all their gear, as well as my own.

But I would look more into that option before thinking of pulling a wheeled cart through the woods. First, it's a lot more work pulling that thing up and down hills than you think it would be. Second, lets take a look at some of the things you'll encounter that aren't going to be shown on a map or if you don't have prior knowledge.

Lets look at some scenarios. I don't know the type of terrain you'll be hiking, but trails can go from wide to narrow in a blink of an eye. You can be rolling along fine, and then you hit a rooty section. You'll have to constantly pull it up and over that and rocks. Rocks are always on trails and if you hit a very bouldery section, you could spend hours just trying to get it up and over all of that. You are looking at a map and see a watercrossing. What looked to be a stream on the map is now deeper and wider because of recent rain or snowmelt. How do you get it across?

There are just things that are sometime unknown on trails and I'd be a little concerned about safety. Just a month ago, me and some other hikers on here went on a hike. About 8 miles in, all of a sudden we encountered a very steep drop into gorge and at one point we had to shimmy across a five foot section that was on top of about a 40-foot cliff. Then we scrambled up the other side on our hands and knees almost. I had no clue that section was there, and if someone was pulling a cart there would be no way you'd make it. You'd almost have to carry a rope with you just for the cart. And if your wife has physical problems, that's all on you trying to get that cart through the obstacles.

 

4:44 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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This looks interesting. I wish I knew someone who has used it.

 

http://dixonrollerpack.com/3327.html

 

I may try a lumbar pack for her. I don't have a problem with carrying a majority of the load. For this choice I was looking at this:

http://www.rei.com/product/812552

8:22 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Well I can eat crow.

That thing looks pretty doggone nimble and lightweight. Should have thought with new technology they probably have something that convenient.

In my head, I was thinking of something the size of a wheelbarrow.

 

9:31 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I was thinking the same thing. Get yourself a good 70L pack and carry her stuff... My wife isn't known for her physical prowess and my son is only seven so I'm the family sherpa, they just carry the lighter stuff.

Also, looks like your dog could handle a pretty good load, put em to work. I just got a Mountainsmith pack for my Rott., he loves it & it takes some of the load off me. Just be careful of the heat.

9:35 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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This looks interesting. I wish I knew someone who has used it.

 

http://dixonrollerpack.com/3327.html

 

I may try a lumbar pack for her. I don't have a problem with carrying a majority of the load. For this choice I was looking at this:

http://www.rei.com/product/812552

There is a link to a couple videos on that page and several more you-tube reviews come up after those...

 

Sorry if it's too personal but, what is her ailment? Maybe the right pack, set up the right way & you taking the bulk of the weight, will work better than you think. That cart your looking at does still have a waist and shoulder harness... You might be surprised how a good pack can transfer it's weight exactly where you want it.

10:38 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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A game cart might be an option on some trails.

11:19 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I was looking in an issue of backpacker that I received in the mail and I saw the Ribz front pack. Might be of interest to ya, here is the link to the site.

http://www.ribzwear.com/

Granted it doesn't carry a large amount of gear but I just thought it might be an option for ya.

10:32 a.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Once, long ago, I biked the 200 mile C+O Canal near DC.  Near the end, I saw an older couple, pushing wheelbarrows full of stuff: lawn chairs, lanterns, a dutch over - and amazing load.  They had taken about a month to walk the whole canal!  I stopped to talk to the guy, a farmer from Ohio.  He said they had never considered backpacks!  It's not the kind of hiking I'd like, but they had a blast.  It was certainly an eye-opener for me.

 

Jcollins - stories aside, you might really look into ultra-light equipment.  I used to hike with a young lady with fairly bad shoulder problems.  We invested in some lighter gear (swapped our tent for a tarp tent, got lighter pads) and got down to where I carried about 25 lbs and she carried about 15, with 4 days food.  I'm sure we could have gone lighter, but at that weight we could both travel in good style, and she had no shoulder issues.  We also made the shoulder straps of her pack as loose as possible, and tightened the hip strap so most of the weight rode there. 

5:44 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Get a pack goat. They will carry quite the load and they are a herd animal so they will stay close. You can milk them if you find a goat with milk you like.

Here is a video...

 

10:26 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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To add to what Snakey said, for the wilderness area near me "use of wheeled vehicles including carts, wagons, and bicycles is prohibited".  You can add this to parks on the no-go list.

A cheap cart alternative might beto modify a hand trolley.  They would be relatively cheap, fold up for easy storage, and have large wheels for rough terrain.  You could modify a cheap golf bag to put the gear into and strap onto the cart.

4:04 a.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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First of all, if we got a mule my wife would want it to stay in the house with the dog and sleep on our bedroom floor with the dog and cat :-)

Anyway, last year she had breast cancer and reconstruction surgery. So the idea of straps from a backpack would be very uncomfortable. I'm sure eventually this will change, however she had a year from hell last year and needs to get back out doing stuff. She wants to go hiking/backpacking with me but is very skiddish about straps near her chest and under her arm pits because the whole area is still very sensative to the touch.

Most likely I will carry the whole load but knowing her she will want to share some of the load. The search continues.

Thanks for the helpful suggestions though. It is exactly what I joined this forum for.

Also, looks like your dog could handle a pretty good load, put em to work. I just got a Mountainsmith pack for my Rott., he loves it & it takes some of the load off me. Just be careful of the heat.

JerseyWreckDiver, how do you like that Mountainsmith pack? The pack I have for Orion now gets unbalanced easily.

11:34 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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This looks interesting. I wish I knew someone who has used it.

 

http://dixonrollerpack.com/3327.html

 

I may try a lumbar pack for her. I don't have a problem with carrying a majority of the load. For this choice I was looking at this:

http://www.rei.com/product/812552

I just looked at this and must say that it looks kinda cool.  Has anyone tried one out?  Also...I say again...what I found was that many hikes (parks ect) do not allow the use of anything with wheels so that could severely limit the use of a product like this.

Snakey

5:34 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Here is another cart that is not only affordable but seems to be good quality.  It does not have handles, but a person could make a strap system that would allow you to use it hiking.


travoy_angle.jpg
It does switch to a handle mode....


travoy_4.jpg

And as you can see you can get a couple of bags that fit it...

10:38 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Sorry...here is the link.

http://www.burley.com/home/bur/page_416/travoy.html

It's made by Burley.

S

1:45 p.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
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I make a single wheel pack that could let your wife carry here own gear.  It can be used by her in wilderness area because of her physical condition.  Thats to the ADA.  You may have to go to USFS to get a special use permit.  Also National Park only exculed mt. bike.  I have done the Wonderland Trial around Mt Rainier in WA several times.   Happy hiking Don

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