I've been road walking for many years. I consider it as much fun as backpacking. However, I've never taken an overnight trip by road.
This September, a friend and I are planning a 47 mile (round trip) weekend to a nearby town. This is the next step in serious preparation for a much longer trek.
Since I got a pushcart, miles don't count the same as they do backpacking in the mountains. I'd say 3 miles on the road counts about the same as a mile in the mountains. Weight doesn't matter as much either.
I did some testing with a fish scale. It takes about 3 pounds of horizontal force to push a 30 pound load in the push cart.
Most people's initial reaction is they hate road walking. It's also their final reaction. Whenever I traveled in the Air Force, I always enjoyed walking around the cities we visited and that's how I got hooked. I gave up most driving in Oct 2011 and now I only drive about 3,000 miles a year. Most of it to go backpacking. Now that I'm walking, my city seems smaller.
Traffic isn't as bad as people think it is except in some places where it is worse. It's now possible to preview routes using Google Street view.
If I fastened the trailer to a bicycle, I'd still be in the same traffic with less ability to get off the road quickly.
Anyway, I live in Pueblo, CO. The Transamerica bicycle trail passes through here and the American Discovery Trail does also. Since it's on Route 50, it's on a natural route many people take across the country. I often meet them in my wanderings, and I guess I've caught the bug. Maybe I can't go across the country, but I can do what I can.
I put it in the off-topic section because roadwalking is significantly different than backpacking or hiking. The gear is almost entirely different. People are more individual in what they wear and many things work. The part of the equation most people miss on long road trips is having a cart. Of course, having a cart, you can't mix trails and roads like on the American Discovery Trail. But I've noticed most people stop following the ADT in the first couple of states.
If one looks at history, backpacking is a subset of road walking which didn't be come popular until about 1923 when the first national forest trails started to be developed. Even then, it was mostly car camping and short hikes. It wasn't until the development of lighterweight gear and hippies that longer hikes became popular. Sure, there were people who took long backpacking trips before, but they were the exception.
Backpacking is somewhat of an escape from society. Roadwalkers see society from a different point of view.
Those trailers really make it easy. The bearings do a lot of the work for you, plus the big wheels help a lot. When I made a cart for my dog with one, I could put two 30lb kids in it, and the dog didn't feel a thing. Well, maybe she felt it, but it definitely didn't slow her down.
I have considered taking one of those trailers on a trail. I know a few trails that are just wide enough, and it would help me out when taking all the kids. Haven't done it yet though.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I couldn't even pull a trailer over some of the spots on our local urban trail. That's not a complaint by the way. We're incredibly fortunate to have a nice recreational trail through town where I live, and I love the challenge of the steep and rough parts when I'm riding a bike; it just means I have to take a different route when I'm pushing or pulling something. In truth, I hope the city doesn't ever "develop" out these rough spots.
The journey is more important than the destination.
I tried the push cart on a section of trail in the desert this morning. It wasn't too difficult, but it wasn't fun either. For road walking with a push cart, I think it's better to stay on a paved surface.
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