While they can help you walk with a backpack, there are also a number of problems with hiking trailers that can make your life more difficult. These issues are found even walking the Camino, which is eminently suitable for most hiking trailers. I designed the Trekker’s Friend to provide the benefits of other hiking trailers, while addressing their problems.
Hiking trailers do not help in all terrain, and are impossible in some
Many types of terrain are not suitable for wheels. There are many others where using a hiking trailer makes your journey harder than if you carried your backpack. For example, it would be easier to carry your pack up these stairs than to use a hiking trailer. There are many other similar examples – eg. where there is no trail at all, or where the trail is very narrow rough or crowded. Many walking routes have significant distances where a hiking trailer would not help you.
Yet, as described in the next section, it is difficult to take a hiking trailer at all through such terrain. They are usually large heavy objects that are difficult to carry. In order to take one with you on a walking trip you need to know in advance that you’ll be able to wheel it all the way. But even if you can wheel it all the way, will it make your journey easier?
The Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer addresses this issue because you can quickly convert it to being carried, attached to your backpack. It takes around a minute to change configuration to carry your backpack rather than wheeling it. This makes your trekking poles available to assist with walking as you would want on the rougher terrain. You can then change back to wheeling in around a minute when you want to. This gives you the best of both worlds – both backpacking and using a hiking trailer.
They are often not very portable
Hiking trailers are usually large, heavy, bulky items even packed up, so:
- Transportation in cars or on public transport, especially planes and buses, can be difficult and require special arrangements. As reported by some hiking trailer users walking the Camino, often these arrangements need to be made in advance. Similarly, the hiking trailer may require specialised packing
- It is hard to go into shops, accommodation, or crowded streets with them. This means that you need to leave them outside, often with all of your possessions.
The Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer addresses these issues as follows:
- It is small and highly portable when dismantled. You can pack it into the small day pack it comes in. It can then be put inside your main backpack or carried onto transport as hand luggage. There’s even room for other hand luggage!
- It is easy to take into shops, accommodation or crowded streets. It takes around a minute to change to carry your backpack, with the Trekker’s Friend attached, rather than wheeling it. You can then change back to wheeling in around a minute when you want to.
The Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer is also significantly lighter than any other hiking trailer I have come across.
They are often expensive
As for most things, the prices of hiking trailers change over time. However, all of those that I have been able to find cost substantially more than the Trekker’s Friend.