Hiking with wheels project

Wheel hiking innovation project

Research and idea project by Frits Ahlefeldt, Hiking.org

Project about how hikers can put wheels under the gear and luggage they carry with them on the trails. Research about when it is a good idea to do this and how designs could look.  But also about what designs are already available and about the long global history of wheel hiking and how people from all over the world have developed ways to role, instead of carry their belongings

Examples of backpacks with wheels

One of the first wagons, used for a documented walk around the world (Kunst brothers from USA)

For a long time I have wondered if it is possible to figure out a way to avoid putting your luggage on your back when hiking in back country, on good trails, through forests and on the beach…

My Travoy wheel-hiking project

Burley travoy with backpack sketch - used as rolling and as backpack. Drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt
The change between rolling and carrying is simple and can both parts can also be detached and used alone

One of the designs I am testing is a prototype using a Burley design Bike trailer and a backpack to create a system that can both be carried and rolled: read more about it here:


Research into wheel-hiking

Ror the last around 5 years I have been researching and experimenting with ideas for hiking with wheels… I know, as I’ve been told many times, that any serious hiker wouldn’t even dream of dragging her/his backpack along on small wheels, like an old English lady…

But then I started to do research – and realized a lot of extreme long distance hikers actually do “roll” their backpacks along, instead of putting extra weight on their backs and knees.

I am talking about the type of hikers who walk for years, on challenges longer than most continents… when I watch images of them, I have found that many of these hikers have constructed all kind of more or less amazing wagons, to get their gear with them on their endeavors.

Here are three examples of people walking around the world with wagons for a start:

Kunst brothers and wagon world walk
Kunst brothers walk around the world

The Kunst brothers (USA) walk around the world 1970-1974

Jean Béliveau with wagon
Jean Béliveau 11 years walking around the world with chariot wagon

Jean Béliveau (Canada) World wide walk for peace and children (2000-2011)

Christoph Rehage with wagon
Christoph Rehage with Wagon through China

Christoph Rehage (Germany) Walk through China (2007-2008)

This project is about how far the ideas for a backpack with wheels have made it up till now (2018)

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