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View Full Version : Dixon Roller Packs for older gimps...



Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-14, 13:39
A bit of bio; I am now walking on Ti knees and wanting to walk trails again with my adult son. The Ortho doc and PT staff warn strongly about stuff like this and so I am considering how to improvise, adapt, and overcome (and generally ignore them). One of those ways was a set of trekking poles and now backpacks are the issue.

Been considering a Dixon Roller Pack (100 pounder because I am big & tall) and UL as a way to keep the knees intact and still get out there. The trails will need to be limited in difficulty just because stuff hurts if pushed too hard and I am too young yet to feed the Coyotes. The Dixon is the only way I see to extend beyond short day hikes...could be wrong though and other alternatives will be welcomed.

Local hikes begin above 3000' to 14505' (Mt Whitney, not likely BTW) and can be tough. Matt (my son) and I will mostly be hiking to fish and fishing will almost always be the motivation for any walk.

Any experience and suggestions will be appreciated.

SGT Rock
2011-11-14, 14:21
It's an interesting concept. I've never been around anyone using one though. I imagine even with that, one would want to get the weight down as much as possible. I'd get the 50lb model if I were to get one, then force myself to get the weight down as much as possible. It looks like you could rig the harness on the 50lb model to carry the pack for short hauls when needed like the 100. I assume there is a way to adjust the 50 for bigger guys.

dixicritter
2011-11-14, 14:26
I have major joint issues. I just go as light as possible in my pack. Lucky for me Rock is willing to carry most of our food. :wink:

Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-14, 15:33
It's an interesting concept. I've never been around anyone using one though. I imagine even with that, one would want to get the weight down as much as possible. I'd get the 50lb model if I were to get one, then force myself to get the weight down as much as possible. It looks like you could rig the harness on the 50lb model to carry the pack for short hauls when needed like the 100. I assume there is a way to adjust the 50 for bigger guys.

My take is the 100 lb one is for taller guys but like any system a 50 lb one could probably be modified (maybe returned if it did not work...Dixon is in San Diego). Part of why I have this post here and at HF...probably should PM Mule. You sure have the light weight part right and the 50lb rig is 7.5 lbs compared to 9.5 lbs and that before adding the not included pack (good place to start cutting weight). The idea is to get it to no more than 40 lbs and MUCH less for short hauls.


Lucky for me Rock is willing to carry most of our food. :wink:

Good idea...does he make you do knuckle pushups for it? ;)

SGT Rock
2011-11-14, 15:39
I looked at the pack and the site. Just my take on it, but you could probably make a version of this to try out for not very much. Get and old Army surplus LBE harness and pistol belt with a pistol belt pad, and an old frame pack. The tricky part would be the wheel attachment, but it doesn't look too hard - maybe a wheelbarrow wheel? I'd probably make something like that as a concept proof and do a light weight pack that I already had as the cargo compartment. If you got high speed you could get something like this for the harness: http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=22&categoryId=42&subCategoryId=0&subCategory2Id=0 & this http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=146&categoryId=42&subCategoryId=0&subCategory2Id=0

Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-14, 16:01
Hmmmmm...maybe start with something like this (http://www.alcosales.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=DABC9CA661E84733990DF544 CD8620D7) and clabber up a frame. Then work on attachment points for this (http://www.altrec.com/nrs/paragon-pack-system#close_popup).

dixicritter
2011-11-14, 16:17
Good idea...does he make you do knuckle pushups for it? ;)

LOL... not on his life. :bandit:

Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-14, 16:32
So now I am digging through all my accumulated gimp gear and figuring out how some old crutches might be modified and frame ridgidity enhanced with the cross bars from my knee replacement walker (a device straight from the pit of Hell BTW).

Roche
2011-11-14, 16:52
STOP!

Have your son Matt carry your gear while he pulls you along in a 200# Dixon.

Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-14, 18:20
STOP!

Have your son Matt carry your gear while he pulls you along in a 200# Dixon.

He is 6-0 and 160 soaking wet...I am 6-2 and 260. Somehow I don't think it would work. :rolleyes:

mudhead
2011-11-14, 20:31
STOP!

Have your son Matt carry your gear while he pulls you along in a 200# Dixon.

Or just claim seniority, hump your personal stuff, he humps the freight.

Remind him of diapers, teenage driving etc. if he balks.:)

Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-14, 20:40
Or just claim seniority, hump your personal stuff, he humps the freight.

Remind him of diapers, teenage driving etc. if he balks.:)

Oh he has already volunteered to carry freight (his mama raised him right ;))...I'm too proud to not at least try to hump most of my own trash.

Weary
2011-11-16, 11:46
If you get one, let us know how it works. I still have my natural knees, but the docs inserted a heart pacemaker under where my pack straps go and they say I shouldn't wear a backpack anymore. I cheat and still carry a day pack, but worry about carrying more than 10 pounds or so. That limits me to mostly overnights, unless a rugged grandson is joining the hike.

Has anyone tried carrying a 30 pound pack with one of the straps riding over a pacemaker?

Tin Man
2011-11-16, 11:54
If you get one, let us know how it works. I still have my natural knees, but the docs inserted a heart pacemaker under where my pack straps go and they say I shouldn't wear a backpack anymore. I cheat and still carry a day pack, but worry about carrying more than 10 pounds or so. That limits me to mostly overnights, unless a rugged grandson is joining the hike.

Has anyone tried carrying a 30 pound pack with one of the straps riding over a pacemaker?

That sucks Weary. I dread the day I cannot backpack for a few days at a time. Have you thought about using a combo day pack and front pack? I believe the front pack would help balance the weight and take some pressure off the straps crossing the pacemaker. Might be worth check it out. Here is one example of a frontpack...

http://www.thesyncpack.com/

SGT Rock
2011-11-16, 13:49
That does bite. I also hate to think of the days ahead when I can't walk trail anymore. Yesterday I was at the park HQ talking to the volunteer at the reservations desk and we had a great conversation about the back country. He is an older guy that has been backpacking the park since the 1950's and had lots to tell about the cool stuff off trail, and was a great source of info about the many trails that once were, but are now gone. He said he has hiked ever trail in the park multiple times, and has probably crossed every grid square of the back country. The whole time we are talking he is very animated talking about his stories from this hike or that, you could tell he loved it. But now he can't do it anymore an works as a volunteer at the park. This is the sort of person the Park Service wanted to replace with a website.

Law Dawg (ret)
2011-11-16, 14:05
If you get one, let us know how it works. I still have my natural knees, but the docs inserted a heart pacemaker under where my pack straps go and they say I shouldn't wear a backpack anymore. I cheat and still carry a day pack, but worry about carrying more than 10 pounds or so. That limits me to mostly overnights, unless a rugged grandson is joining the hike.

Has anyone tried carrying a 30 pound pack with one of the straps riding over a pacemaker?

Will do Weary. Been plotting how to fabricate a frame to go with a front wheelchair wheel and harness (both linked earlier). Looking at the Dixon, it is not straight but kind of shaped like a U with a long flat bottom to make it roll better and fit the hip. I am thinking that $300 is rich for what this is when a bit of Redneck Tech could build one for less than $125.

As to the pacemaker and straps...not yet. Probably the next malfunction though. I do wonder just what function the shoulder straps serve with the roller pack. Seems to me a good hip belt (only) would do for attachment points as long as you are rolling light. A 30 lb pack would be at most 15 lbs on a hip belt only with this rig. Fight that Entropy! :beer: