Rolling Carts for Bug Out?

It was brought to my attention today that one of the new products being marketed to preppers is a sort of rolling cart that is designed to be a portable bug out bag or kit.

While it looks like a solid and well built cart, I cannot in good conscience recommend such a product for bugging out. First, it is bound to be heavy. One of the selling points they make is that it is set up to carry 28 liters of water in seven bottles of four liters each. That alone weighs over 60 pounds! Add in your gear as well as the expected weight of the cart itself and you’re going to be getting close to 100 pounds.

Ok, sure, you’re rolling it not carrying it so the weight isn’t quite as much of a factor. But, what if you do need to pick it up over just a large crack in the road? Can you essentially dead lift 100lbs and carry it even as much as six feet? Or are you expecting to unload the contents a little at a time, then repack everything?

Also, we’re assuming that we can find fairly level surfaces to wheel this beast around on. I can’t imagine this sort of cart will be all joy and sunshine to get up a hill though. Downhill could be fun, I guess. This cart does come with brakes, so we have that going for us, I suppose.

Look, I fully realize there are folks out there who are, for one reason or another, not physically capable of carrying a pack or a duffel bag. I totally get that. But if your physical condition prevents you from doing that, I would expect that same physical condition is not conducive to pushing or pulling 100lbs on wheels for any great distance.

A bicycle might be a better solution. Not necessarily for riding but as a “pack mule.” I think you’ll find a bike is easier to push than a cart. Outfitted with panniers and such, a bike can carry quite a bit of gear and still be very easy to push.

Personally, I would never suggest someone on foot even try to come up with a way to transport that much water to begin with. It just isn’t feasible. Far better to have a few water bottles and the means to collect and purify more water along the way.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

One thought on “Rolling Carts for Bug Out?”

  1. True. Cannot carry everything.
    A small high wheeled baby carriage (meant for jogging) should carry a few things. Small pioneer tools (garden shovel, mattock…) fix it to your needs. Water collection and purification is a must! Shelter (tarps, bivy, tent…) A small to medium size backpack and that is it. Most of us are NOT in the shape we think we are to be pushing forty-gallons of water, 5 ammo cans and the kitchen sink. Water treatment/ collection, food (SOLAS, MRE…honey, nuts tuna [canned]) Weapon .22/410 or whatever fits your needs. Solar panel for charging phones, RADIOS, batteries…) medicine/first aid…
    Can you push it on rolling terrain? RXR tracks? over debris…can your Family push it if you are no longer able? Pets? pet food?

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