Human Powered Vehicle - Trekking Cart Build

Discussion in 'DIY (Do It Yourself)' started by Bushman5, May 24, 2018.

  1. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    I plan to go walkabout sometime this year or next, maybe a week or two or three and take the House Panthers with me in a very custom designed pull trekking cart. My ideal trip destination is BC of course, simply because it is so vast and varied in terrain and so much history. I'm thinking the Fraser Canyon from Hells Gate (my trekking cart will be hard to pull thru all the tunnels SAFELY....NO space) ......... to Lilloet, then back UP the Duffey Lake route thru to Pemberton , then back down to Whistler , etc. OR, the other idea is to head east towards Manning Park, Princeton Keromeos etc. I just want to walk and take in all the scenery , do some fishing, camping, cooking, let the House Panthers see and smell the world (on leash/harness of course). I've done that drive 1000's of times.....but you never really experience everything while driving at 100km/h.....compared to walking........i might cover 500 - 900 KM a day in the truck, walking I may only cover 20 km's a day . But i will take so much more in.

    PRELIMINARY PLANNING AND DESIGN STAGE

    Originally, I had wanted to build a mono wheel hiking cart (like the HoneyBadgerWheel) , powered with a li-ion battery pack and hub for power assist up hills. Then I saw the price of li-ion batteries, and power hubs, and solar panels and power converters and talked with a lot of engineers about the drawbacks and positives. I also had to consider WEIGHT and field serviceability. As well the cheap arse chinese crap that is flooding the E-bike market is damn scary in the way they fail.....with flame and explosion.

    In the end i decided to build the most basic of pull behind 2 wheeled fat bike trekking cart, with the only moving parts being the wheels. Frame is going to be built out of aluminum square stock tubing, welded, with 26" fat bike rims, high end sealed bearing hubs and tires. Now i could shave weight by going to a skinny tire, but some of the trails and areas I want to walk and and explore are soft sandy or gravelly. Chatting with a few trekkers who have done this in deserts and the artic, the fat tires WON every time, and did not dig in. They FLOATED over the top with a low psi footprint, and were easy to pull. The design i came up with, should weigh about 20lbs MAX empty, and its pretty spacious, yet narrow enough to pull along the edge of the road.

    this is one of over 100 designs i played around with. It is NOT the final design.

    cart5.png cart9.png

    This will be the boom arm and grab handles/harness design. (Thanks to Armadilling for the pic)

    T_Bar_02.jpg

    One of the reasons I wanted a trekking cart, rickshaw ,etc , was to carry water. Lots of areas i have been in here in BC, in the summer the water dries up to nothing. It could very well be 100 klicks to the next store or river. And carrying two animals plus my own exertions in the heat, plus washing up and cooking needs, requires a minimum or 40 liters a day. So 2 Nato jerry water cans (preferably chilled with ice from the gas stations along the way ;) ). So thats already 88 lbs. The design of the cart will position the two Nato cans UNDER the platform of the cart, to lower the center of gravity. As well, I have made an adapter for the Nato cap, to allow me to screw on a drinking tube, which will be routed thru the frame, thru the long extension handles to the hand grip area. I want to carry nothing on my personally, rolling weight is easier to pull/push than carry. I "could" get away with just 20 liters....but i would rather play it safe. I know i can walk 20 km a day thru varied terrain and hills, that is pretty much the limit i want to attempt pulling a rolling cart with 200lbs .

    however, if you look at these guys (Sebastien Copeland and unknown person in the Simpson Desert) .....they are carrying 6 x 20 liter jugs of water (120 liters = 265 LBS!!!) on the edges of the cart, plus their food in 3 other 20 liter containers. They had zero issues pulling their carts.....their cart weight with full water loads, food for weeks and shelter/cooking/clothing/electronics etc was over 400LB's.

    img-0152_orig.jpg



    Re the two House Panthers: I plan to build a bolt on a removable (in case of emergency , they can be transported easily in a vehicle) spacious mesh metal box with a roof cover (sun / rain protection) for the two cats. My own gear needs are very minimal, so about 60% of the cart platform will be an ultralight living quarters for them . Frequent stops for litter use (lots of sand on the side of the road will be in order, as well as water breaks and nibbles. The box will be 4 sides of aluminum diamond mesh (heavy duty) with angle corners and a solid rooftop for sun/rain protection. They will be able to lounge and watch the world roll by.

    The rear of the cart will be highly visible, with both a slow moving vehicle reflective triangle , DOT truckers reflective tape, a steady red , amber and blinking bike lights, as well as a 12' fiberglass dune buggy whip with neon flags and potential sponsor flags. Sides will also be treated with DOT truckers reflective tape. You can see that stuff from 10 miles out with a modern flashlight.

    Gear wise, the gear will be loaded into my two large Wolf Pack tote boxes, they nest together. A minimal cooking kit (billy can, small ti pot/cup, fork knife spoon, spices, dry goods, dehydrated meals, flour/rice/oats, coffee etc, plus canned goods (beans, fruit mix, pasta & pesto sauce etc), MSR XKG multi fuel stove (i anticipate camp fire bans), fuel canister bottle x 2 (can buy gas on the way). I plan to use my 20L Pelican cooler for fresh fruit, frozen drinks, cold beers, veggies, and frozen meats. I'm still in design stage for the cart, but there WILL be a flip down prep table / cooking shelf on it.

    clothing / shelter wise: i plan to do the Randall / Perrin style of jungle clothing.....one set for day , one set for night after stopping, and a backup set of nice light cotton clothes. Wash the day set when in camp, hang to dry overnight. Poncho for the rainy days , Boonie hat for the sun, sunglasses, sun block, chafe cream, TP, toothpaste/brush, wash cloth and towel, sandals for after stopping. The cart is going to be designed to have a flip up tarp pole, to attach one end of my tarp. Sleeping pad, light sleeping bag. Bug Spray, Bear Spray (mounted on the handle bars, and a spare by the sleeping area).

    tools and gear, spare parts: spare tire x2, fits underneath the cart platform. Spare tire tubes x 4, plus 2 patch kits and wrench and tire tools and bike pump. These will fit under the platform in the long boom tube that runs from the center rear of the cart to the front grab bars. They will fit inside the boom tube, in a custom pull out bag. I will also carry a Li-ion headlamp and Surefire batteries. Comms wise, cellphone, and i'm toying with the idea of a Sat Phone and a 24/7 location tracking/mapping beacon. An extensive FAK in a Pelican case will be bolted to the cart as well.

    lets not forget fishing gear. I will be adding a large PVC tube with end-caps onto the cart, to hold the fishing rod, reel, lines, tackle etc.

    this will be an ongoing thread. Lots of planning, design changes, revisions, to do. I have one buddy on board already who is willing to mail ahead pre-packaged supplies at intervals to pre-arranged General Delivery Post Offices and Govt Agent Stores along the way. He also has a old Suburban 4x4 that will fit the cart if things goes south and I need to scrub the mission and get picked up

    one of my goals is to meet people along the way and document some BC history. As well as get some amazing BC photography done.




     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  2. Stagehand

    Stagehand Member

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    Sounds like quite a trip. I'm envious.
     
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  3. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Looks cool, definitely need more detail and pictures of the cart build
     
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  4. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    All in good time. First priority is finding work so i can get some money.
     
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  5. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Given that this is human powered I like the idea of 29" wheels at they roll over things MUCH better....Rather than the Fat Tire (5) I might take a look at a 29+ wheel (29x3")...

    Seems to me that it would be less rolling resistance than the larger 5" tires and still give good flotation....They also make a 27.5x3"....I get the flotation needs and the 5" maybe the way to go but over harder packed terrain I like the break over geometry of the 29" wheel and less rolling resistance...

    Also, while on the topic I would look at going Tubeless (Stan's NoTubes)....This setup uses a Latex sealant that would prevent flats MUCH better than a traditional Tubed set up....Irregardless of the tire setup you choose I would ABSOLUTELY go tubeless on either set up.!!
     
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  6. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    I have considered 29"er's .....my concern is once i get into the interior of BC , is bike shops in rural areas not really carrying much selection other than 26" ..... tubes or tires......26" x 3" thru 5.5" is now pretty common up here.......

    as well, a fat tire at full pressure is damn fast when riding a bike......walking speeds i think are a non issue......

    my plan was tubed tires.....but the tires would be slicks or semi slicks. Tubes because although I am very skilled at sidewall or tread patching, sometimes its just easier and quicker to throw a new tube in and a piece of folded duct tape in the gash, and do all the repairs later in camp by the fire and with beers!

    75% of the terrain would be paved , graveled , hard packed roads.......the other 25% would be sand, sand and small round stones, etc, a slight chance of slick mud.
     
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  7. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    29" fat bike wheels / tire combo however would give me just a little more clearance.......but again , i have to balance it between how much am i actually venturing off trail.............75% to 25% ratio great surfaces to poor surfaces......

    in any case....the design i have settled on for the trekking cart.....will allow for 20", 26" 29" wheels. Modular
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  8. Stone

    Stone Member

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    subbed ... i'll be back .
     
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  9. Michael W.

    Michael W. Member

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    That sounds awesome!
     
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  10. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    @Bushman5 Love the rolling cart idea! Check out these "no flat" tires. They get up into sizes you might see on a farm/atv utility trailer. Might be something to do research on. I have one on my wheelbarrow and it works great.
     
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  11. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    I like this post more and more
     
  12. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Eeek the weight of those in 26 or 29" size :confused:

    Flats honestly dont bother me. I can patch a tube or rubber weld a sidewall gash in about 10 minutes.

    Bike tires and modern fat rims and hubs are beyond over engineered and light .


    I do plan to add a few hooks on the cart though for hanging my Dietz hurricane lamps.

    long_lantern_hanger.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  13. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Let me know if I can forge you some ;)
     
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  14. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    will do :)
     
  15. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Just give me measurements. Probably best to do some stainless so you don’t have to worry about rust. I have some 3/4” round I think it’s 304. I’ll trade you for your energy bars or salt pork...
     
  16. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    I owned a bike shop for almost 10 years and rode a LOT in the course of the last 33 years...

    .....a Tubeless set up will seal punctures that you NEVER knew you had that would have sidelined you with Tubed tires.....It is a latex based sealant that works great against thorns and small cuts in the tire....and if you do get a cut in the tire you just boot it and tube it like you would with Tubed system...


    I run MTB exclusively Tubeless....not only does it give you a greater margin of error again flats it also allows you to use less air pressure and have a higher quality ride/traction...in your case a 29x3 would carry the weight I would think....

    A 36hole rim with Straight gauge spokes would be advisable too.....
     
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  17. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Not to be off topic but why are bikes so expensive... lol I was at the REI in Detroit this week and they are pricey...
     
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  18. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    inflation, technology, tariffs, exotic material, inflation, fixed costs.....same as golf clubs, Bows, Baseball bats, cars, fishing rods, Axes, knives, guns, etc...........

    Whole nether topic....probably best not covered here in this thread so as not to derail @Bushman5 's killer trekking cart build...
     
  19. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Agreed. It is a great cart... I think it would be cool to also hook it to a bike... I definitely want to build similar. When I was a reenactor I had the wwii airborne handcart and I loved it.
     
  20. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    They had 19” agricultural style tires. The loops at all corners had pull ropes to have extra help. The t bar at the front came off to hook up to jeeps. (I rode in one that way. Oh and they had machine gun mounts for them. I’ve been obsessed with handcarts ever since.
     
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