Rulksack / Pulk Combo

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a light pulk strapped onto your pack so you could instantly to switch back and forth between pack and pulk?  This approach allows you to pull when there is a smooth and level trail and quickly switch to backpack mode in rough or wooded terrain.

Jörgen Johansson built a prototype  and describes it over on BackpackingLight .


The pulk and harness consisted of aluminum sheeting, 1 mm, cut to the size of the pack, 40 x 16 inches, 7  plastic clips, 5 yards of 4 mm nylon cord and 2 lengths of plastic hose with an inner diameter fitting the cord.

Jörgen  took it on a 70-mile trip in the four days/three nights trip and found that the aluminum sled  became deformed, from sled to half pipe, and scooped some snow, but it was easily re-shaped by hand.  The half pipe deformation and a relatively high center of gravity also caused the unit to become unstable.

Perhaps worth investigating would be a cut down plastic sled that could be strapped onto a pack.  Anyone else with experience trying a pack/sled combination?

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4 comments to Rulksack / Pulk Combo

  • Chuck

    I started out winter traveling this way….mostly in the Adirondacks. I used a platic K Mart sled and pulled it until I hit a point in the trail that was too rocky etc for sled hauling. It was great and allowed me to haul in more gear than was comfortable to haul on your back all day. I eventually got into dog sledding and got away from this method of travel…but it’s funny how things go full circle and it looks like I’m heading back in that direction. Would love to hear other folks experience with this.

  • Tom Murphy

    I pack my winter dayhikng gear into my back pack and it goes in the pulk along with my winter camping gear [tent, sleeping bag, pads, etc]. I have a light-weight pulk harness that I cannibalized from a Kelty Kid Carrier.

    When the trail gets too steep, I swap out the pulk harness for the backpack, attach the pulk to the backpack and go.

    This set-up adds to the total weight.

    Pulling the now lighter weight pulk up the steep secion is still tough, but I find having a bunch of the weight on my shoulders and hips rather than in the pulk, definately helps.

  • Muller_Jim

    Tom – Do you have a picture of your set up? I would post it on our blog along with your description. Thanks

  • Tom Murphy

    Sure, can you send me an email to my email address?
    I couldn’t find a contact email on the site.
    I will also send you some rough numbers on the weight splits in the two modes.
    That’s a great excuse to start pulling out my winter gear!