Purely the human-powered sort is what I have in mind. Does anyone use some type of frame with a couple of wheels to take the load off? I am asking because I discovered recently that I will be punished by days of lower back pain if I carry more than a couple of pounds. I’m not into pack animals of any kind and I’m too stubborn to give up activating, so wheels it must be.
Since I’m already age-limited to fairly short hikes up a few summits with good access, a wagon or cart wouldn’t cramp my style at all. The question is, must I invent the wheel (so to speak) or has someone already explored the options and found a workable solution?
Pictured below is a hunter’s game hauler that comes close to what I have in mind, but it weighs more than I’d like because it’s made of steel tubing:
Christophe, thank you for those links. This one looks very promising. It is smaller and made of aluminum (I think), so it should be much lighter than the game hauler that I found.
The cost would be greater (double+?), but I would be more concerned about those pneumatic tires. Himalayan blackberry “weeds” are everywhere in this area, and have wicked thorns. It would be perfect with semi-pneumatic replacement tires made of hard rubber. 73
We have a gas cylinder trolley at work and it has similar tyres to those in the picture but they are a sort of foam filled inner so no punctures. They do look a did small for certain terrain I presume.
Update: The replies to my OP were much appreciated. I really needed to know about my options before making any decision.
The cart project is now finished and ready for activating. I settled on the cheapest option, a game hauler much like the one pictured in my OP. Once I had the cart assembled, I was pleased to discover that an old external frame pack will fit neatly onto it. The existing pack straps fasten it snuggly in place without any need to modifiy the pack or the cart.
Project costs: Hauler, $65; pack, $13 at a thrift shop.
But wait, there is more! This cart will also support an antenna mast because a couple of cross-pieces are well-positioned to brace a pole perfectly upright. Only two hook & loop straps will be needed to hold the pole securely in place.
I’ve seen hikers using sort of “wheeled pulkas”, very light carts that just consist of an axle with two smallish bicycle wheels, a light platform on top, and two bamboo or fiberglass poles that those people hooked onto their belts so that they could pull the whole thing. Might look funny, but surely does the job and leaves the hands free.
Yes, tipping forward was a problem. I think I can improve stability somewhat by lengthening the shoulder straps so the load shifts downward to a position behind the axle. Configured as you see it, though, setting a big rock on the bottom of the cart frame kept it from tipping. I thought about using tent pegs, but figured the lever-shaped cart could extract them too easily. Anyway, the rock was closer to hand.
Caveat: I only used a 19’ pole and vertical wire antenna in dead calm, so it was not really a rigorous test. Any added force or leverage (dipole ant or a longer pole) would probably demand a set of guy lines.
The rhody . . . given the heavy shade cast by numerous fir and big leaf maple trees in our 1-acre forest, we are happy to see any blossoms at all.