Answers to common questions about the Trekker's Friend

This page provides answers to this and other common questions about the Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer.

What is the Trekker’s Friend?

A hiking trailer / travel cart / two wheel cart / trekking trailer / hiking cart / backpacking cart / backpack trailer. It consists of the following components:

  • An axle, with cords that allow it to be attached to your backpack. The axle has components that allow trekking poles to be attached to it and, of course, wheels fit onto the ends of the axle.
  • A top piece, that is attached to the top your shoulder straps. The top piece has components that attach to your trekking poles.
  • The Trekker’s Friend is supplied in a day pack. This is made to be easily attached to the axle and your backpack to allow you to balance your load so that very little weight (eg. 2-4 kg) is on your body.
  • A harness consisting of shoulder straps and a waist strap – you can distribute the weight that is on your body between your shoulders and waist as you walk.

There are no moving parts except for the wheels.

How much does the Trekker’s Friend weigh?

Just under 1.6 kg.

How much weight can the Trekker’s Friend carry?

The Trekker’s Friend can carry up to 30 kg over reasonably smooth ground. However, in practice the answer will vary. It will depend on the weight carried, the roughness of the terrain, and the strength of the user’s trekking poles.

How easy is it to switch between carrying and wheeling the Trekker’s Friend?

It is very easy and takes about a minute.

What sort of poles work with the Trekker’s Friend?

While most backpacks are suitable for use with the Trekker’s Friend, it is important that the trekking poles used are as strong and rigid as possible

Poles should preferably made of Aluminium 7075, have the right sort of design at the bottom, and preferably come in two pieces.

What sort of terrain can the Trekker’s Friend handle?

You can travel through any terrain with the Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer, either carrying it or wheeling it.

The Trekker’s Friend can most usefully wheel your pack when the ground is smoother, less steep, harder, with less obstacles like fallen trees, less slippery, and the track is wide enough for it to pass. As the ground becomes rougher, steeper, softer, more slippery, there are more obstacles like fallen trees, or the track becomes thinner, then you carry your backpack (with the device attached).

This works well, because the times when your trekking poles are most useful in helping you to walk are exactly the times where you will want to be carrying your backpack, and therefore will have your trekking poles available. Conversely, your trekking poles are not very useful for walking when the ground is suitable for wheeling your pack.

Is there any research to show that it is easier and faster to travel using the Trekker’s Friend?

Yes, my own research, as well as research by the US military (here, which is referred to here) shows that you use less energy when you use a hiking trailer to carry your backpack. However, this only holds on good surfaces and easy terrain. When the surface is very rough, soft or slippery, using a hiking trailer will be harder than carrying your pack. This is why the Trekker’s Friend is lightweight and designed to be easily carried. When you encounter difficult terrain you carry your backpack as usual, with the Trekker’s Friend attached.

Where can I buy a Trekker’s Friend?

The Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer is commercially available on eBay. Poles that are suitable for use with the Trekker’s Friend are also available on eBay. Both of them can also be purchased here.

What IP protection does the Trekker’s Friend have?

The Trekker’s Friend has a provisional patent in place. The patent is known as “Patent pending AU2019902742”. In addition, the name “Trekker’s Friend” is undergoing the process of becoming a registered trademark.

Conclusion

Please let me know if you have any more questions about the Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer. I will update this page to continue to provide the answers to common questions.