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Q&A

Is a type of walking trailer a good alternative to a heavy backpack in off-road conditions?

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Heavy backpacks can spoil the pleasures of being in the outdoors. There are two ways to resolve this:

  1. Carry less
  2. Find an alternative to the backpack

While the first option is usually the best one, it's not always possible to carry less. If you head into a cold environment where you have few if any opportunities to resupply, you just have to take a lot of food, clothing, etc. and it will make your backpack heavier.

I've been looking into other options. I've stumbled upon the walking trailer. To give a specific example: the Radical Design Wheelie III (video demonstration).

A couple of questions:

  • Has anyone here tried one of these?
  • How do they behave on off-road terrain? I'm obviously not going to climb a mountain with one of these, but they should be able to handle mild off-road conditions.
  • Can they handle a bit of (ab)use? I don't want a wheel breaking off in the middle of nowhere.
  • Is there a cheaper alternative? The Wheelie III costs €550 (about $735): that's quite a lot of money for a bag on wheels.
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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/3563. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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7 answers

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I met a fellow from Holland using a Wheelie to hike across Canada. This was his third or fourth summer hiking across Canada and he recommended the Wheelie for anything close to what he was doing. He walked mostly without using his hands, but he loved the handles for when the road was rough. He was using roads exclusively. He had purchased the optional axle support to improve the stability of the center, and said it was well worth the cost. He didn't recommend the Wheelie for rough trails or off-road situations.

I am 59, and cannot carry enough weight for my wife and me to camp overnight in the woods. She can only carry a few pounds. I want a single axle trailer that will work on trails, but I want the forward-reaching handles like on the Wheelie to allow me to control it better when I need it.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/5225. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Compare the size of those wheels with the size of the wheels of outdoor vehicles, and you'll see that such small wheels can't work well in hard terrain!

Probably even on dry meadow the energy you'll have to use to drag that device, which will constantly catch on blades of grass and other plants, would be much more than that you'll use to carry a backpack.

I think that device is most appropriate for people traveling to agriculture hostels with the public transport, because the country road is the toughest terrain it can deal with.

If you look for carrying solution in really outdoor environment consider taking an animal, for example a horse.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/3578. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I haven't tried it, but it looks ridiculous. If you are going to be hiking on flat and mildly rough terrain, why not get a bike with a lot of panniers.

  • This provides for the same carrying capacity (maybe up to 40 kg).
  • Probably will be less expensive than the trailer.
  • There is an obvious advantage when going flat or downhill.
  • Bikes have larger wheels than this trailer, so I suspect this makes them better at ignoring irregularities on the road.
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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/3570. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I made a hiking "wheelbarrow" out of an old external frame backpack by bolting a pair of swoop handle bars to the top, and a Monty BMX wheel to the bottom. It was pretty awesome, I made it for an older gentleman who wanted to come backpacking with us but had a bad back, so couldn't carry a pack. He hardly had to push his bag either, because all the scouts we were taking on the trip wanted to take turns driving it.

I don't like the two-wheel design of that thing linked above, because it'll bounce around too much side to side. My one wheel bag could steer through the roughest terrain and even go over large rocks and logs with ease with that fat Monty tire. Unfortunately though, the AL frame of the backpack wasn't sturdy enough to take a serious beating with a full load, we had to reinforce it on the trail by lashing a couple of steel spikes to support the fort of the wheel where it attached to the frame of the bag, and we discovered that the push bag wasn't ideal for keeping your sleeping bag dry when it came to creek crossings.

It's a good alternative to carrying a bag if your back can't support a bag, but you'll have other challenges along the way, like crossing plank bridges through marshes, or scaling over obstacles like fallen logs, big rocks etc.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/19499. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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See the llamas looking at them weirdly at 2:10? That's because the llamas know how ridiculous it is!

I'm not just referring to how it looks, I'm referring to the fact that in anything other than nice terrain it just doesn't look like it'll work. Fancy pulling that through a marsh? Even assuming the ground is solid (big assumption in the wilderness) the video shows a pretty immense amount of struggle going through a simple gate, with a style or tight kissing gate it's going to be near impossible to manage. The webpage says you can put it on your back, yes, but then it looks awkward and unwieldy - and if you still have to put it on your back, what's the point? It also costs the earth, could well get a puncture on rough terrain, and perhaps most inconveniently takes up both your hands, meaning you couldn't use both it and a map or GPS on the go.

Seems like a gimmick to me. If you felt you needed the extra weight it provides, I'd first ask the question as to why you couldn't fit this into a rucksack, what your aim is, and then work from there. Sometimes, planning to cut down on weight is a fun part of the whole experience!

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/3571. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I've used the Wheelie for several years now. I've walked up in all kind of conditions, like over mountains, on dirt roads etc. It's my way to go.

My last project was called Restless-WalkMore in 2017. It was 9000 kilometers up and down the North Cape, in mostly winter and harsh conditions! This cart is a jewel.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/19496. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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I made my own hiking trailer - first version 2011. I pulled my hiking trailer in various environments. You can read more in my Wiki pages - the text is Finnish but you can use Google translator. In my Wikipages you can find answers to many guestions and problems. It really works very well in all terrain.

Picture of the hiking trailer

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/4986. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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