Having decided to take this journey, I began researching not only hiking and camping gear, but a way of transporting all of my gear as well. Backpacking across thousands of miles with 50+ pounds on my back was simply not an option. Most long distance walkers seemed to favor modified baby strollers, but flat tires and the limited space this option offered didn’t exactly appeal to me either. I finally settled on building my own two wheeled cart designed in such a way to be pull like a travois native American Indians used to use to haul their belongings. Leverage would allow me to haul a larger load than I could normally pull, and 20 inch solid rubber no flat tires would eliminate the problem of flat tires.
“I decided early on that this was not going to be a minimalist gear carrying expedition in any way. I have no earthly desire to be any more uncomfortable than I have to be, and in fact have every intention of carrying all of the creature comforts that I can possible carry.”
With the help of my sons I built the cart using lightweight treated poplar for the frame, and wrapped it using Dupont Tyvek housewrap. Tyvek is an incredibly light, waterproof material that is amazingly durable. The inside of my cart is lined with reflective bubble wrap. The cart cover is an all weather space blanket that doubles as the ground tarp for my tent. The blanket is completely waterproof, and the reflective lining will help keep me warm during cold winter months.
Additional Gear I’ll be taking…
I’m probably taking way to much stuff, and no doubt I will lighten my load as figure out what I really need and what I can do without. This is a list of the major items I will be beginning my journey with. As I use this gear I will update you as to each items durability, as well as how useful each item is on a trip of this nature. So here’s my beginning list:
REI Passage 2 Freestanding 2 Person Tent: So far this tent has been great! It is incredibly easy to set up and break down, has plenty of room for both my 6’3 frame and my gear, and so far has not allowed a drop of rain in. Ventilation is great due to mesh walls and easy entrance from either side.
Chill Gorilla Privacy Tent for Showering: Have only used this once so far, and while it seems to be very sturdy and well made, this is a luxury I may need to discard moving forward due to its weight.
Ryno Tuff Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad: So far it’s proven to be really good at keeping me off of the hard ground, and at 225 lbs I can even side sleep with no problems. Its a little heavy to carry on a trip like this, but well worth it after a long day on the road.
Outstar Lightweight Waterproof Envelope Sleeping Bag: So far this bag has been both comfortable and warm. On cool nights I just open it up and use it as a blanket, and on warmer nights I just use it as extra padding on top of my sleeping pad. At this time I cannot speak as to whether or not it is waterproof.
Teton Camp Sports Pillow: Small but serves its purpose.
Space All Weather Blanket: Has proven to be rugged and has served me well as a cover for my cart and gear.
Shining Buddy Led Headlamp: Really like this little headlamp, plenty bright and easy to use.
Vibrelli Hydration Pack 2 Liter: Life saver! Keeps water cold for longer and is really easy to use, as well as being comfortable on my back.
Hukoer Camping Cookware Mess Kit: Solid so far, easy to use and clean up. Really like the folding stainless steel spoon and fork that comes with it.
Canway Camping Wood Burning Stove: Great little stove! Burns hot, uses easily found small twigs, and weighs very little.
Asus Ruggedized and Water Resistant Chromebook: So far so good. Easy to use, has held up well, and has excellent battery life.
Wildhorn Outfitters Terralite Portable Chair: Amazing little chair! The favorite of all of my gear. Easily holds my big frame, is super lightweight, and is really, really comfortable. Love sitting in it in the evenings while cooking on my little stove. Very relaxing!