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Backpack with a wheel

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Backpack with a wheel

Postby longri » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:32 am

I saw someone recently with a wheeled backpack on a trail in a wilderness area. The pack was suspended between a harness and a single wheel on the ground. I would have thought the Wilderness Act would prohibit using a wheel, but maybe I'm wrong? A quick search turned up two products: the Dixon Rollerpack and the Trekkady Rolling Backpack.

It was weird seeing the tire track in the middle of the trail.

Has anyone else run across one of these?



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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:08 am

Well I suppose technically it is illegal. No wheels in the wilderness.

I once was heading out the High Sierra Trail. and a couple were dragging a luggage bag behind them with wheels.
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby austex » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:43 am

I can see where a 2 wheeled cart or a bicycle w/b way with the law. Correct me if I have it backwards or the like; but in the spirit of the law or a bending it. It would help some of us older get into the backcountry and enjoy it more often. Maybe it's one of those archaic laws to protect the trails from mtn bikers etc. But then how does it differ from pack animals? Just throwing it out there.
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby sparky » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:27 pm

I saw a guy in yosemite in april with one. I passed his group on the trail and it took a minute to register what the hell i was looking at. It had suspension system too. One guy right as I passed this contraption was barely off the trail taking a dump and i got the worst view you can imagine. Double wammy surprise :moon:
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby dave54 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:06 pm

Within the Wilderness Act if the device is required for the person's basic mobility. i.e. a disability where the device is the only way a person could access the wilderness. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities act) has a section on Wilderness access.

I recall reading one case in Montana (Idaho?) where a packer obtained permission to pack in a generator to power a CPAP machine for a customer.

Another case involved a historical reenactment, where a horse drawn wagon was allowed a Wilderness. It was an authentic wagon, with the wooden wheels and iron bands, etc.

Several court rulings on the same topic.

There is one other case, in the Ishi Wilderness. A private inholding has been in the same family since prior to the establishment of the Wilderness. They have the legal right of access using quads (used to be a 4wd vehicle, but the road has degenerated). So they can use quads on the trail inside the Wilderness where the general public cannot. This has created problems over the years when the quads encounter hikers, the hikers complain to the FS, and the FS says quads are OK for the landowners but not you. The FS has a standing offer the buy the property, the family is not interested in selling. The FS does not do Eminent Domain seizures to acquire wilderness inholdings.
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:15 pm

Reminds me of the time we backpacked into the Emigrant and our donkey came up lame. Dad offloaded the panniers and left us sitting at Chewing Gum Lake, walked the limping donkey back to the trailer, took her home, threw together something with a bike wheel, hand brake and chaise lounge, and came back to get us. We went out to Emigrant and back with that thing. I was 13, so sleeping on granite was comfortable (good thing, my pool floatie wouldn't hold air) and I had no idea we weren't supposed to wheel around that way.

The donkey lived to the ripe old age of 30 or so, and next time we went backpacking, Dad carried the griddle in his pack along with the eggs and the rest of the food.
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:16 am

I personally do not agree with the concept of no wheels in the wilderness. I don't see any reason I should not be allowed to use a wheelbarrow when doing trail work.
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Backpack with a wheel

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:41 am

Trail workers sometimes get exception permits else they would not be able to use.chainsaws in the parks. I have seen wheelbarrows.


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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby Hobbes » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:36 pm

AlmostThere wrote: bike wheel, hand brake and chaise lounge


We live right by where the Santa Ana river meets the ocean. There is a long river trail park that is owned by the county (hence sheriff), so it is outside the jurisdiction of HB, CM & NB police. So guess where there are some (small) homeless camps?

Anyway, there is a Trader Joe's & liquor store across the main thoroughfare where many like to shop. Just the other day, I saw a guy pulling a chaise lounge with an axle and two bike tires like it was a rickshaw, with all his possessions loaded on top.

A few days later, I was doing my usual run, and there he was, comfortably hanging out under a pine tree having a nap. Ingenious.
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:34 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Trail workers sometimes get exception permits else they would not be able to use.chainsaws in the parks. I have seen wheelbarrows.


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The parks set their own rules in a way and just get around the laws. Most likely because they have paid crews and they know you wont get any production following the wilderness act.

The rest of us trail workers only get exceptions to the law in extreme circumstances that normally involve an object obstructing the trail that is an extreme hazard and the only reasonable way to remove it is with power tools. Even then it often takes a year or many in order to get the permission
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby rlown » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:21 pm

wheels would be great, right up until you hit the water bars. Up and down would suck. Sand would suck as well. Mud more, but the bad kind of mud isn't really up there.

In waterfowl hunting, we do that sometimes with the duck carts. 16" hard wheels on a cart, and at Sutter bypass area, you have to move your cart down the levy, over 15 steps down, over a floating bridge, and then back up 15 steps.

Broke two carts on those crossings in the last 3 years.

Same or more would hold for High Sierra water bars.

Good luck with the wheel theory.
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Re: Backpack with a wheel

Postby longri » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:00 pm

rlown wrote:Good luck with the wheel theory.


Yeah, I hear you. But this guy -- and he didn't look even remotely disabled -- appeared to be doing quite well. There were some pretty rocky sections on the trail and I wonder how he did on those. I'm guessing with that big wheel he did okay.

Maybe he had some sort of spinal issue. When I asked him about the wheel he just said a ranger told him it was okay, not that it was okay for someone disabled.

Whatever. Horses, wheels, iPods, drones. 38 million people.
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