One of my initial major decisions involved the method I was going to use to transport my gear across the country. At my age, and after what I had read from other cross country hikers, backpacking was out of the question. Most of them, at some point or the other, had opted to use modified baby strollers, and a few pull carts behind them. Most strollers I looked at just seemed to be too lightweight, and most of the long distance hikers seemed to have constant issues with flat tires. In the end I decided to build my own cart, with 20” no flat tires that I can pull behind me.
I used lightweight poplar to build the frame, along with a limited amount of oak in the areas I knew would take a real beating. Wood screws and bolts hold everything together, and I used metal brackets on each end to strengthen the frame. The handles I use to pull the cart are made of lightweight poplar and flat aluminum. The wood I have treated with deck sealer, and hopefully it will help protect the wood against the elements.
For the walls of my cart I chose to use Dupont Tyvek Housewrap, a waterproof and incredibly lightweight and durable covering. When purchased it feels and sounds just like paper, but once you crinkle it up and put it in the washing machine, it becomes almost material like, and the annoying sound it makes disappears. So far not a drop of water has gotten through. I finished off the inside of my cart with aluminum bubble wrap insulation, and my cover tarp is a All Weather Blanket lined with aluminum foil. In extremely hot weather it will double as a reflective shield against the sun.
I used Marathon 20 x 2” no flat tires for my wheels, and so far they have held up well, They have a slight bounce to them which is nice. My axle is now a ⅝ inch steel rod, and the wheels are held in place by locking nuts on both ends. The bearings are taking a beating, but so far are holding up.
Fully loaded the cart weighs around 85 to 90 lbs, but I will be lightening the load as I get farther into the Arkansas hills. I will keep you updated as to how well my cart holds up against the beating of the road and weather as well. If you would like me to furnished you with basic plans for my cart please go to my Go Fund Me site for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, donate twenty-five dollars and let me know you would like the plans, and as soon as I can I will send them to you. You will be donating to a wonderful cause, and your donations will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at the end of my trip. Thank you so much for your interest and support, and know that the Children of St. Jude’s will benefit in so many ways….
Always Onward I Walk…