The ingenuity of man never fails to amaze me. The older I get the more I realize that my body is beginning to limit my activities. Gone are the days when I can strap on a 70-pound pack and happily walk of with it. My pack would now be limited to more like 25 pounds. So I have been doing some research on man powered vehicles. In this, I have included bikes and all types of carts.
With a little effort, I was amazed at what I found. Many of the small carts that tow behind bicycles are capable of carry up to 130 pounds. They can provide plenty of room for clothes, gear and much more. Here are a couple of links to some previous articles I have posted on the use of bikes Survival Bicycles Can be a Good Idea , A case for the bicycle as a survival vehicle
With bikes or any man powered vehicles that use bike tires, you need to get the best Kevlar puncture proof tires that you can afford. Another option is to use tire liners. These are fairly inexpensive. There are other options that include thorn resistant tubes and various sealants.
The following are some of the man powered vehicles that I found.
Jon Muir not to be confused with John Muir, did the first unassisted crossing of Australia, from Port Augusta to Burketown, 2500km in 128 Days. The cart was made with ATV wheels.
Ripley Davenport in his Walking Across Mongolia used a rickshaw style cart with 4 mountain bike wheels.
Lucas Trihey crossed the Simpson Desert with a rickshaw style cart with super fat mountain bike tires. He also organizes trips in the Australian desert with the carts.
Karl Bushby is walking from coast to coast of the United States with the above cart.
These are just a few of the ideas that I found. Others include game carts, wagons and Mormon style handcarts. With the wide variety of man powered vehicles that are available to us, except in unusual circumstances we should do all we can to avoid carrying a lot of weight on our backs.
Wheels permit us to carry more weight, use less energy and protect our backs and knee joints. You will notice as you study the history of the American West that very few of the early explorers carried much on their backs. They used wagons, hand carts, horses or mules. Send in your suggestions or pictures of ones, you have made.