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Trailer for walking/hiking? anyone used one??

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
That trailer is my escapist dream on days when things get tough!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I walked a couple of days last year with a guy that had walked the Frances with his homemade trailer. He didn't us a hip belt, but instead pulled it with handles.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I would say it's easier what @David did with hip belt straps. On flat you don't have to use handles but they come handy on the up/downhills. At least that's what I saw and was told in two cases.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Walking with a hiking trailer is completely wonderful. I have a hiking trailer invented by a dear friend which was a fraction of the price of the hiking trailers on the market. You’re able to walk freely, upright at all times and there are are a myriad of other benefits - for example energy levels are so much better at the end of a day’s walking as you’re walking without weight on your body. During the three caminos I have walked with my trailer, Spot, I found a way of dealing with steep ascents and descents which works for me and of course on the flatter sections and undulations it’s all an absolute dream.
Here’s a pic of Spot with his pilgrim friends at the Alto de Perdon in June -

9A27AAA9-AC72-490D-878C-80A39B574251.jpeg

Best of luck with your choice -

Jenny
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
I am using a one wheel trailer:
http://carrix.ch/harcarre.html
I have already walked twice the way from Vézelay to Santiago, and several smaller trips in Spain and Switzerland.
On a good surface, a two wheel system is easyer to use, on a more rougher one, one wheel is better...
I must say that I would not start for a long walk without it: it is much lighter on the back (and on the knees) than a backpack: for a load of approximately 10 kg, I have less than 2 kg to lift and my back is fully free...
Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
 

MagnusPompey

Bwana.
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte 2016, VdlP, el Norte, 2018,
I have twice used a (Spanish) Rolser shopping trolley, which can be obtained from Cortes Ingles or most ferriterias (hardware shops) for no more than €60. They are not perfect but have 4 wheels and my last had a thermal pouch for keeping food cold (wine) and are easily capable of taking 30kgs or two back packs. When the trail becomes tough going up rocky hills it is tough with the trolley. Otherwise on a reasonable surface it is like a baby stroller. When I have two packs on the trolley going up hill also then can have two people either taking turns or pulling together.
I have seen other trolleys which are pulled from the hips and the weight is distributed badly and the owners appear frustrated. I have completed over 1,000kms on Via de Plata and el Norte with no breakdowns. I could offer some re design ideas like cup holders, a new wheel base architecture, extra pockets etc but at the price and weight (less than 1kg) they are very cheap and versatile.
You can see old ladies in any shopping area in Spain with these bags on wheels.
Love from Tasmania.
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
I have twice used a (Spanish) Rolser shopping trolley, which can be obtained from Cortes Ingles or most ferriterias (hardware shops) for no more than €60. They are not perfect but have 4 wheels and my last had a thermal pouch for keeping food cold (wine) and are easily capable of taking 30kgs or two back packs. When the trail becomes tough going up rocky hills it is tough with the trolley. Otherwise on a reasonable surface it is like a baby stroller. When I have two packs on the trolley going up hill also then can have two people either taking turns or pulling together.
I have seen other trolleys which are pulled from the hips and the weight is distributed badly and the owners appear frustrated. I have completed over 1,000kms on Via de Plata and el Norte with no breakdowns. I could offer some re design ideas like cup holders, a new wheel base architecture, extra pockets etc but at the price and weight (less than 1kg) they are very cheap and versatile.
You can see old ladies in any shopping area in Spain with these bags on wheels.
Love from Tasmania.

Agree
On the VDLP this year a woman from Quebec who has walked many Caminos is no longer able to carry a backpack so she buys a shopping cart at a store when she arrives. The 4 wheel ones.
She has her own items in two bags she puts inside and for tough crossings puts one bag on each shoulder and cradles the trailer in her arms.
Looks strange but she is able to keep walking.
Photo attached hopefully
Happymark
 

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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Trailers are utterly brilliant, a properly designed one reduces energy expenditure by 80% - 80%!!

~But, the key here is to have the load over the axle. Both the Benpacker and the Carrix fail really as although they are good trailers to a point the weight is distributed between the wheels and the hips so one still carries half the weight on the hips, whereas a design such as the Radical Design Wheelie has the weight over the axle so there is almost no weight at all on the hips.
The one I made for Jenny (Spot, above) also has the weight over the axle and works perfectly, almost no weight on the body at all. Both can be loaded so that there is zero weight on the hips but this leads to a see-sawing effect so there has to be some weight, but minimal, a couple of ounces, and almost unnoticeable.

On Camino there is no place where a trailer can not be used, the axle width is not wide and never gets 'caught', and rolls easily over rocks and holes.

The downside to the Radical Design one is that it is expensive, well over £600! It is an extraordinarily well made piece of kit, engineered, and this accounts for the cost.

This company in France produce a trailer. (Jenny saw one on Camino this year). It is almost right! Most of the weight is over the axle but not quite. The draw poles are in three sections, for folding away, and what it needs is a bend in two of the poles that lead to the hips - this would lift the trailer up more vertically and the weight would then stay over the axle - this adaptation can be done at home by yourself or in any machine shop. They are one third of the price of the Radical Design Wheelie (about £200) and are a very good trailer indeed (well, would be if those bends were put in to the draw arms). As designed they suggest packing to allow 2kgs weight on the hipbelt .. but those simple bends in the drawbars would reduce that to almost nothing!

http://chariotderandonnee.com/article.php?mid=2&msid=0&menu_id=2&rid=1&lg=fr

I am thinking of buying one and improving it so the balance is right and then letting their designers know what I have done so that they can alter the design - but I may be wrong here as they specifically designed it for 2kgs on the hipbelt - don't get me wrong, this is a great trailer and for £200 is an absolute steal!
 
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spursfan

Veteran Member
I'd advise some caution - when I was walking the Camino Norte on the climb out of Gernika I passed a fellow pilgrim who was dragging his trailer painfully slowly up the relatively steep and rocky path in the forest
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Spursfan - one cannot beat the laws of physics, going up a hill is going up a hill and one has to take the weight with you, but it is so much easier with a trailer than carrying that same weight on the back. As for the pilgrim you saw ... few Qs ... how much weight was he carrying? Was he packed for independence with a tent and so on? How fit or injured was he? Which trailer design was it?
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
All I'm saying is that when you consider the weight of the trailer (some 6kg) added to what he was carrying in the trailer (presumably at least 10kg) up a relatively steep and rocky path he was inadvertently putting himself at greater risk of injury than I was - not all paths are trailer-friendly and he would have been much better off following the suggested route for cyclists in this case
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Spursfan, it isn't an argument you know. All I was saying was that there was no knowing his fitness or injury level nor what he was carrying. A trailer can go anywhere a backpacked pilgrim can. The steep ascent and rocky descent outside Pamplona comes to mind, as does the steep gravelly ascent out of Castrojeriz, both of which I have done. I have had this resistance before but only from people who haven't actually tried one. If you are anywhere near South Wales I would be happy for you to try mine out - loaded and on a hill. You will have a revelation!
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
No problem, David - I was just adding a note of caution to this trailer love-in since I try to carry less than even the weight of the trailer itself - I'd certainly pay good money to see you taking your trailer up the Alpinista route above Irun on the Norte!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hahaha - it is true that you cannot beat the laws of physics - any weight, on back or trailer - has to be lifted to whatever height the hill is! And, yes, add the trailer kilos, but rolling a trailer rather than carrying the weight makes a big difference.
A trailer is pointless as an option for someone who is a true light packer, those pilgrims don't have a problem at all, but for those with larger loads, and those with age or physical problems, a trailer has great advantages.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Now, if I could find a cheap pony (or strong unemployed young person) I might move up to one of these :D:D:D

pony cart (720 x 420).jpg
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, July '14 & Sep-Oct '16
Via di Francesco, July '15,
CP Oct. '17, Salvador & Primitivo Sep '19
Saw two french pilgrims pulling one each on CF in 2016. They looked miserable. Carrying my full pack I easily passed them. They came into the same alburgue about an hour after I arrived. Storage of trailer was problematic. After seeing that example, I said a prayer of thanks for my backpack.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Saw two french pilgrims pulling one each on CF in 2016. They looked miserable. Carrying my full pack I easily passed them. They came into the same alburgue about an hour after I arrived. Storage of trailer was problematic. After seeing that example, I said a prayer of thanks for my backpack.

Sure, plenty of miserable pilgrims out there. Were they unfit? How much weight were they carrying? Were they carrying too much? Had they just walked 45 kms to your 25? Did you try their trailers out? Did you talk to them to ask about the trailers and their experience? Were they using single wheel 'travois' trailers? (those are useless as they are unstable and half the weight goes on the hips) or twin wheel trailers?

Otherwise it is really the same as seeing two miserable pilgrims and saying they bought the wrong packs :)

As for storage - I have never had a problem, actually the reverse, hospitelaros have always been positively helpful and all of the trailers - except the single wheel travois style - can stand upright when not in use so take up no more room than a large pack.

On my way home from Camino a few weeks back, with my trailer, I met a French man who had just walked all the way from Le Puy with his. Three months walking. He said that he had not one problem at all and would never ever go back to a rucksack.

Buen Camino xx
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Thank you for all the discussion on these trailers, and for your valuable input, @David. I am going to need some type of trailer for my next camino and hopefully when that time comes, with the help of these threads I will be able to find just the right one.
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
You would be far better off investing in proper light weight gear rather than hauling one of those things about. I mean seriously? This is the Camino, not an expedition across Russia!
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
You would be far better off investing in proper light weight gear rather than hauling one of those things about. I mean seriously? This is the Camino, not an expedition across Russia!
Thank you. You may well have a point, and I can do a bit of experimenting there. However, I have recently developed trouble carrying weight on my back, even enough water for day hikes. Next Camino, I definitely want to walk the meseta, which I had to miss last time due to tendinitis, and I'd need sufficient water, plus my gear.

Now, someone was saying something a while back about freeze dried water ...... ;);):D
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
Thank you for all the discussion on these trailers, and for your valuable input, @David. I am going to need some type of trailer for my next camino and hopefully when that time comes, with the help of these threads I will be able to find just the right one.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just use mochilla transport? I saw this Brazilian girl pulling a cart on her camino. I think she had some difficulty on the uphills. I would think it would take more effort to pull it up the hills which may cause more injury.
 

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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Heya. I think there may be some confusion re trailers versus rucksacks. Although I am all for hiking trailers I have to say that for those who are truly lightweight packers, or are big strong pilgrims, a trailer is not worth having ... there is the extra 6 kilos of the trailer for a start.
A stunningly light pack is comfortable and not even noticed when walking, so why add a trailer?

But for those who cannot carry any weight on their back, or are walking with another whose gear they need to carry, or are tenting and carrying a lot of equipment ... for those a trailer is a marvellous thing. For me, carrying not only my personal things but a big first aid kit plus back up first aid supplies it is a boon.

As for comments re pilgrims having a hard time going up hills with a trailer - well, it isn't the trailer, it is the person .... how much gear are they carrying? How far that day have they just walked? Are they already exhausted? Are they unfit? Disabled? It is quite possible, probable, that without the help of a trailer they wouldn't be there at all.

US military tests show that putting the full combat rifleman's field load onto a trailer instead of on the body reduces energy expenditure by 80% - this is factual. (They chose not to use them as they were restrictive in battle conditions).

They work, and they work well .. but if a pilgrim is fit and strong and packs just a very few kilos they don't need a trailer .... but if old(er) or body damaged, or walking with a dog .. and therefore a tent and accessories ... if walking with someone frail and needing to carry two loads ...if the Camino is part of a world trek so lots of gear has to be carried.... for reasons such as these and more, a trailer is quite marvellous.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Thank you David for your usual understanding. In my musings overnight I think I might have hit on part of my problem regarding my recently developed back issues. I haven't used my 'camino pack' since I walked several years ago (which pack keeps the weight centered on my hips) preferring to use one which i find more convenient but which keeps the weight solely on my shoulders. That, plus increasing age (and arthritis?) might be the issue. I need to find a 'convenient' pack for day to day use that centers the weight on my hips, and see how things work from there. :)
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
At 600 to 800 Euros I would modify a golf cart before I paid that kind of money.
There was a French guy Olaf doing part of the Frances with golf trolley, on the tricky bits he could carry it, he did three weeks last year from le puy, and he said everyone's first question w
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just use mochilla transport? I saw this Brazilian girl pulling a cart on her camino. I think she had some difficulty on the uphills. I would think it would take more effort to pull it up the hills which may cause more injury.
Lots of people are happy to have their bags transferred for them, the only down side is the lack of flexibility, you have to go wherever the bag went, I would consider it for my next camino, or cycling.
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
There was a French guy Olaf doing part of the Frances with golf trolley, on the tricky bits he could carry it, he did three weeks last year from le puy, and he said everyone's first question w

Lots of people are happy to have their bags transferred for them, the only down side is the lack of flexibility, you have to go wherever the bag went, I would consider it for my next camino, or cycling.
The Brazilian girl was pretty fit but I think small paths ..mud and rain didnt make it easy. As to flexibility one can just transport around the larger hills...anything is possible.
 

Patrick2by4

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
This guy did 3 caminos as well as the 1056 mile Francigena camino from France to Rome. He used the hiking trailer for that one and he highly recommends these trailers. When I retire, I plan on doing the camino with a trailer (I am a photographer and plan to bring some photo equipment, a small laptop and a bum knee).
 
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scaepio

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan (2021)
Heya. I think there may be some confusion re trailers versus rucksacks. Although I am all for hiking trailers I have to say that for those who are truly lightweight packers, or are big strong pilgrims, a trailer is not worth having ... there is the extra 6 kilos of the trailer for a start.
A stunningly light pack is comfortable and not even noticed when walking, so why add a trailer?

But for those who cannot carry any weight on their back, or are walking with another whose gear they need to carry, or are tenting and carrying a lot of equipment ... for those a trailer is a marvellous thing. For me, carrying not only my personal things but a big first aid kit plus back up first aid supplies it is a boon.

As for comments re pilgrims having a hard time going up hills with a trailer - well, it isn't the trailer, it is the person .... how much gear are they carrying? How far that day have they just walked? Are they already exhausted? Are they unfit? Disabled? It is quite possible, probable, that without the help of a trailer they wouldn't be there at all.

US military tests show that putting the full combat rifleman's field load onto a trailer instead of on the body reduces energy expenditure by 80% - this is factual. (They chose not to use them as they were restrictive in battle conditions).

They work, and they work well .. but if a pilgrim is fit and strong and packs just a very few kilos they don't need a trailer .... but if old(er) or body damaged, or walking with a dog .. and therefore a tent and accessories ... if walking with someone frail and needing to carry two loads ...if the Camino is part of a world trek so lots of gear has to be carried.... for reasons such as these and more, a trailer is quite marvellous.
Hi, David, Thanks for all your positivity here. You have helped me considerably. I think what a lot of people commenting here don't get is that for some of us, because of physical limitations, it is either hike with a trailer, or don't go. I can't believe all this negativity. It's like they think they are being criticized for carrying a pack. And for those of you who said "don't go", I'm very glad you are so physically fit that you dare to tell physically-challenged people to stay home, even though these people have accomplished great physical feats! Thanks again, David. I'm getting a trailer and am not staying home.
 

Chris99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None yet, soon hopefully
Hi, David, Thanks for all your positivity here. You have helped me considerably. I think what a lot of people commenting here don't get is that for some of us, because of physical limitations, it is either hike with a trailer, or don't go. I can't believe all this negativity. It's like they think they are being criticized for carrying a pack. And for those of you who said "don't go", I'm very glad you are so physically fit that you dare to tell physically-challenged people to stay home, even though these people have accomplished great physical feats! Thanks again, David. I'm getting a trailer and am not staying home.
I know I am biased because I invented it but can I suggest having a look at the https://trekkersfriend.com hiking trailer. It weighs about 1.6 kg and costs AU$200-240. It comes in a small daypack. It allows you to convert between wheeling and carrying to suit the terrain in about a minute.
As well as being more comfortable and causing less injuries, a study I have done shows that using a hiking trailer to move your backpack uses less energy than carrying it, in the right terrain. This is published at https://trekkersfriend.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/TF-Test-Doc-v2.0.pdf. This study aligns with the studies quoted by David but gives more detail about the exact methodology used and the effect on energy usage and other related aspects of walking.
 

scaepio

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan (2021)
I know I am biased because I invented it but can I suggest having a look at the https://trekkersfriend.com hiking trailer. It weighs about 1.6 kg and costs AU$200-240. It comes in a small daypack. It allows you to convert between wheeling and carrying to suit the terrain in about a minute.
As well as being more comfortable and causing less injuries, a study I have done shows that using a hiking trailer to move your backpack uses less energy than carrying it, in the right terrain. This is published at https://trekkersfriend.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/TF-Test-Doc-v2.0.pdf. This study aligns with the studies quoted by David but gives more detail about the exact methodology used and the effect on energy usage and other related aspects of walking.

Hi, Chris, I sent you an email from your website. thanks for the reply!
 

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