View Full Version : Pack Cart?

04-05-2010, 10:57
I'm in the planning stages of a multi-section hike of about 530 miles. I've backpacked before but not the AT.

I'm wondering how practical, if at all, a luggage cart for my pack would be.

I know its much easier & more enjoyable to use a pull cart when lugging luggage through the airport or my golf clubs across the fairways.

The carts are collapsible & way only 3 pounds so it would be easy to pack it over the non navigable stretchers.

Anybody ever done this or seen it done?

04-05-2010, 10:58
haha idk if it would be worth it at all i doubt ud keep it..

Del Q
04-05-2010, 11:02
Fugeddaboutit as a wise Mobster once said, leave it at home. Bring more food or goodies instead

04-05-2010, 11:12
Much of the trail would be a "non-navigable stretch" for a luggage cart. That's three extra pounds of Snickers Bars you could carry instead.

04-05-2010, 11:13
I've heard of a handful of other attempts at such a solution, but frankly, the AT is generally too rugged to permit use of a wheeled cart. Of course, there are short sections where something with large enough wheels (and perhaps even a suspension) would work great, but then you're going to have to haul it up an ungraded trail for a few miles.

04-05-2010, 11:33
If that was practical you'd see people doing it - and you'd be able to pick from any number of ultra-light pack carts that would be for sale. :)

04-05-2010, 12:15
Doesn't seem worth the trouble. I know of a maintainer who rocks a cart for a small section to carry lots of gear. It just doesn't sit well with me, seeing tire tracks on the AT.

04-05-2010, 12:38
Try this one. Still won't be practical up and down rocky area's.

04-05-2010, 14:09
I'd guess that it could be used on maybe 1% of the trail. 2% at the most. I'd hate to lug that thing over the other 99 or 98% of the trail!

04-05-2010, 14:38
Try this one. Still won't be practical up and down rocky area's.
http://www.dixonrollerpack.com/I think tipi should get one of those, complete with the illustrated pack-girl.

04-05-2010, 14:43
Yea that pack girl make's that roller pack look like a Ferrari. On me it would look like a VW with a flat tire. (pack that is)

04-05-2010, 15:28
Unless you have a documented physical disability, it wouldn't be permitted within wilderness areas.

04-05-2010, 17:48
Bicycles aren't allowed on the AT. Bicycles AND pull carts are not allowed in wilderness areas regardless of which trail. (Not sure how ADA rules effect this..wheel chairs are of course allowed)

My gut feeling is that pull carts are NOT allowed on the AT regardless of it being a wilderness area or not.

You may want to contact the ATC to be sure, however. LaurieP of the ATC posts here on WB fairly frequently. Perhaps she can chime in and gives us the definite info. :sun

04-05-2010, 19:56
Excuse my blunt-ness, but backpacking is for backpacking... a pack on your back. It'd be terrible in all reality to try to lug a 30 lb pack with a 3 lb cart. The trail is narrow and rocky and pretty rugged. and pretty much what everyone else said, if it were practical, others would do it.

04-06-2010, 09:16
I saw a guy attempting to pull a cart on the CDT, starting in NOBO in NM where it actually makes some sense with all the road walking. The cart lasted about 500 miles. He also left, illegally, a wheel track through the Gila Wilderness. All in all, he wasn't very happy with it and was kind of relieved when it finally broke irreparably.

Bart Smith (the only person so far to have hiked all 11 NSTs) used a baby carriage on part of the NCT (across MN and ND, I believe) and he loved it.

04-06-2010, 14:30
I would not want to haul that thing with what it could do to your back, twisting like that for miles on end. Better to make your gear as light as possible and carry it on your back. Or slackpack.

04-06-2010, 15:07
Yeah, I think that I've seen a thread or two like this one....

I'll add my answer in terms of practical physics: IT WON'T WORK! The trail is extremely rocky, and in most places, not at all level (read: STEEP). In the places where it's not level, it'll be useless - you'd kill yourself either hauling it up, or holding it back from a crashing descent. As for the rocks, in order for a wheel to roll over an obstacle without too much resistance, the wheel's diameter has to be considerably larger than the obstacle - and some of those rocky obstacles are quite large.

Get yourslef a good, comfortable pack, some good equipment that you feel at ease with, pack the pack, put it on, and just walk. With any other solution, you'll just outsmart yourself!:o

04-06-2010, 15:12
There are people that pull sleds, tobaggans or pulks in winter in pretty flat areas. The efficiency is pretty good. But, it really doesn't work in hilly areas. http://www.wintertrekking.com/index.php?action=article_view&a_id=47
I don't think wheels would work well even on some of the flatter parts of the AT.