Q & A with The Wolf Pack : Wheeled bug out bag suggestions and advice

Question from – Jodi

I have been following your blog for awhile now and enjoy the input and feedback you and your subscribers write. I have been putting together bug out bags for the wife and I and I need advice for a wheeled duffel such as the S.O.C. Rolling Loadout Bag.

I have a medical disorder where I just can not haul gear on my back and neck anymore. I need two bags so I sold an AR type rifle to cover the expense. So any help and suggestions would be appreciated.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Hi Jodi

    Those wheels on the bag you linked worry me. They are small and look plastic and cheap.

    You may want to get something a lot more durable, with durable wheels and a strong frame, like this: http://www.amazon.com/FR110-2-Removable-Pneumatic-400-Pound-34-Inches/dp/B003OANHEY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1373635237&sr=8-7&keywords=pull+cart

    Then you can work with that and customize it to your needs. Perhaps the cage part can haul fuels and a tent then you can put some plywood on top and bungee down a bag?

  2. Northeastern prepper says:

    I also have had thoughts on this issue I got a wheeled duffel bag it is not my bob more like a two week supply of food bag which is to heavy to carry but can be moved fairly quickly no canned food in bag lightest food that I could get but in volume is to heavy to carry bob on back this could be pulled alongside of you worse case scenario could also work as bob terrain could be an issue you must be able to adapt and overcome

  3. axelsteve says:

    The only thing that I could think of is maybe like a garden cart. It may be something that you would have to make or have made.I would check the Grainger catalog for quality parts to build with. Check with tractor supply if they are in your area. Maybe have a fab shop make you something.

  4. A deer hauler with any type bag you wish, duffel bags, back packs etc. With a couple extensions, (pipe or 2×4’s), attached you could pull it like a rickshaw. I just used the attached link to show what I am talking about.


  5. You may want to consider some type of folding luggage cart instead of a bag with wheels. If you have a sturdy but lightweight luggage cart made of hollow metal tubing, you can strap just about any kind of gym bag, duffle bag or back pack onto it with bungie cords. If it’s raining, you can bundle your bag inside a lawn trash bag and then strap it onto the luggage cart. If you go with a wheeled suitcase of some sort, the vulnerable points are the wheels/axel and the zipper/zipper pulls. And most luggage is not water-proof.

    Whether you go with a cart or with wheeled luggage, you may want to consider what product has large enough and sturdy enough wheels to survive gravel paths, muddy dirt paths and very rough pavement. Most wheeled luggage is made to travel over carpeted hallways and smooth solid surfaces after a very brief trip on a smooth sidewalk from car to hotel or airport doorway.

    The in-flight catalogs found in the seat pockets on aircraft and the luggage stores at major airports often have a good selection of extra-sturdy luggage carts designed for adventure travelers. You can also find a good selection of new luggage carts on eBay and Amazon, but will have to take care to avoid the flimsy ones.

    • My experience (25 years ago+) with foldin luggage carts was not good. Too fragile. They never lasted long. I was considering a wheeled hard side tool box? They have them at Home Depot and Lowes.

      • babycatcher says:

        That’s what I use for my midwifery kit, and it works great. Sturdy and dependable.

    • JP in MT says:

      My first thought went to a wheeled luggage cart. Mine has cotter pinned wheel so I was thinking bigger wheels, like off a “red” wagon or bigger (read wider) with a new axle.

  6. worrisome says:

    Any wheeled could start squeaking. Make sure you add a small container of an appropriate lubricant and some extra wheels to your kit.

  7. hvaczach says:

    I would avoid wheeled luggage and maybe go for a two wheeled cart with inflatable tires similiar to what pop/beer delivery drivers use. The wheels will have actual bearings not just sleeves, and you can get smaller versions they are designed to take lots of weight and are very durable.

  8. riverrider says:

    those wheels are too small. you need something like a game hauler, golf bag cart, or the like. large diameter wheels to go over rougher terrain/potholes etc. they sell a nifty one that has scabbards for a couple of long guns and room for a bob. i would suggest looking into a garden wagon for bigger payloads as well. i like those grocery carts that fold up, but i think they are too light to carry a bob. good luck.

    • JP in MT says:


      Game carts would be better, but they are so bulky. Plus they are going to draw more attention that an “up-wheeled” luggage cart.

      • riverrider says:

        good points. from what i saw in bosnia refugee exodus nobody pays any attention to what you have except to figure on how to get ahead of you. just my limited experience tho. after the mass migration, well, i wouldn’t be on the open road at all.

  9. will e styles says:

    I highly recommend beach / dock carts. They fold up so store easy also make it easy to portage over obstacles. they hold a lot of weight but are still narrow enough to go through doorways. large tires and as the name imply easy to pull over sand and mud. http://www.amazon.com/Tipke-2100-Marine-Fold-It-Utility/dp/B00006LPPJ
    This is the one that I use for work. Have not tried the bike attachment but seems like a good Idea. It is made of aluminum so it has been easy to bend back in to shape when I have overloaded it. Going on 3 years of every day use (misuse) and has held up well. No connection with the company or distributors, just like the product.

  10. The first thing that came to my mine if you are sticking to hard surface was one of those roll-around golf bag frames with a duffel bag strapped to it.
    The second thing was more like a rickshaw with the poles hooking in to loops on a belt around your waist . This gives you hands free and all weight supported by your legs . Think of the trotting carts for a horse. Nice tall tires low friction .

  11. RB In Alabama says:

    Sportsman’s Guide has their game carts on sale atm. They claim the various versions will carry 250-300lbs. Large solid rubber tires, fold flat capability and come with a few tie down straps. I just ordered one to see if it will work as a bug out cart myself (300 lb cap. one for $45.)

  12. If you live near an airport, bus or train station, contact the left over luggage departments of the specific airlines, or the offices at the stations. You would be amazed at what people abandon. As people have mentioned, luggage wheels aren’t rugged enough for anything but carpet and sidewalks. But with a little ingenuity I’m are wheels and axles can be replaced or modified. Commercial water proofing is available at camping stores.

    Personally, I’ve been thinking about getting that flat garden wagon that Harbor Freight sells and modifying it to attach to a waist belt. Pulling a bag on wheels trashes my back and shoulders every time. I’d do the same for a dog harness if I get a younger dog.

    You might have to widen the wheel base to keep I from tipping on very rough terrain, but HF sells wheels and stuff for that too. If you do go with them, check for their 20 or 25% off coupons. I know AAA’s magazine has them in there. You can go to their store or look them up online.

    Hope this helps.

  13. anthony m says:

    some other options.
    large wheeled baby cart. people use them for gun toting at the range
    bicycle cart that children ride in. attach to your belt and pull.
    some sort of appliance cart. off road type.
    large wheeled “little red wagon”
    wheel barrow.
    Getting something with run flat tires will be important if you do not carry fix a flat or tube repairs. They do make outdoor backpack type bags with the wheels built in. the wheels are small though it wouldn’t be better than the baggage you have linked. I would focus on low friction and easy to push.
    How many miles is your BORoute? is it all off road or would it only be off road for certain sections.

  14. tommy2rs says:

    I keep a folding game cart in the car and the truck. It hauls a good sized load over most any terrain. Got it from sportsman’s guide

  15. I use a game cart. They are available in several styles with capacities from 75 pounds to 500 pounds.. All have large wheels (luggage wheels, luggage carts, duffle bag wheels are FAR too small for rough ground/gravel/etc.) I have a large plastic water resistant equipment box that I lash on the cart with sleeping rolls on top of that. Weapons can be attached outside or hidden inside as the situation demands. It works for me.

  16. Momturtle says:

    It is difficult to go wrong with the folding game cart. I also have physical problems with carrying a heavy load. The game cart can carry a lot of weight, go off road without a lot of stress, and has a high enough handle to push or pull it without strain. In a pinch, it can serve as the support for a shelter. Use a swatch of camo netting and you can stash it in the bush. The kids call it my hi-tech walker and it does make it easier to walk longer distances. I have a photographer’s vest that I wear which contains all the emergency must have items, camelback w/water, fire starter, etc. so if I have to ditch the cart, the bare essentials are always on me. Can be used to transport an injured person, and is useful around the homestead as well.

    Of course, I have a bunch of stuff to load on it. If I have to leave my BOL and cart off somewhere, it would be for an extended period of time.

  17. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Sounds as if a wheelbarrow fits the bill as well. The wheels can be purchased in ‘run flat’ form and the handles available in steel. Sloped surfaces can be negotiated with them and they can be pushed as well as pulled in unison by multiple members of your group.

    Gunkid was krazzzeee, but a good wheelbarrow is an asset – A LOT OF WORK IN THAT SCENARIO WILL BE MOVING HEAVY THINGS FROM HERE TO THERE so it is definitely needed, in my opinion.

    Just saying – I hope you find some good suggestions in this post.

  18. Winomega says:

    I’d go one-wheeled, like a wheelbarrow base, except that the handles may not be long enough to pull.

    But then again, if you can’t handle rugged terrain, you don’t need your cart to handle rugged terrain.

  19. There are carts made to haul deer out of the woods that are light and very sturdy. It should be able to handle any load to bug out.

  20. I have to agree with others to get a cart of some sort. It will help keep the weight off your back, but is more stable than a suitcase. Also you could pack more into it if you pack carefully. With that said I would do either what Momturtle said with the vest or at least keep a pack light enough that you can handle it with a few essentials so if you ever have to abandon your cart, you dont lose everything.

  21. Get a deer carrier, then put your bag(s) on it… it’s made for going through rough terrain wood etc. and if you can’t navigate the roads you can still get the hell out of dodge on foot.

  22. t42n24t2 says:

    How about a hand truck or dolly? When I worked in a craft store, I found them to hold a lot of stuff, could be easily maneuvered, and were easy to pull. If you get the one they have at Lowes or Home Depot, you have the option the folding down extension. You could load even more items, and once you have it tilted, it is nicely balanced. If you are urban/suburban, you could find a shopping cart, too, but I like the hand truck. It’s small, compact, and sturdy enough to knock someone down if you must.

    • As a college student I pushed a shopping cart 1/2 full about 1 mile. Including 2 flights of stairs (one down, one up). Not an experience I would want to repeat. They can be tough with just one wobbely wheel on a level floor. A good quality hand cart sounds like a better idea.

  23. They make a small shopping cart , that is low to the ground , its light weight , and folds up ……..its designed for senior citizens .

  24. button crazy says:

    I think a cart that hauls kids and most attach to a bike. They can be closed in for all types of weather. I have seen a person pushing this this type of cart down the side of the road. Just an idea.

  25. hi. i know nothing and this is off the top of my head. my husband’s [age 68] boy scout books contain travois instructions. no wheels. depends where you must use it, though

  26. herbpassion says:

    As an older female with two bad shoulders, I use one of those jogging baby strollers. They fold up nicely, have 12 inch bicycle tires, mine is really light weight, and they have plenty of pouches for quickly needed items. Your BOB will strap in nice and secure. They work well for hills also. Kids seem to enjoy helping you push. Picked both of ours at garage sales for less than $20 each. Remember to look at the condition, especially the frame. Used mine for the grandkids also. Hope this helps.

  27. McDreamy says:
  28. I turned a large (very large) golf cart into a bug out trailer for my bike. It would easily be fitted to use for your backpack.

  29. Pineslayer says:

    I have a game cart that is really handy. It is patterned after an expedition style unit. A bicycle is hard to beat for price and versatility. Even better is an adult style tricycle, they can haul alot and are self balanced.

  30. Game haulers are good, but I use golf bag carts. I picked up 3 of these for $25 total at Goodwill for modifying into gun carts for Cowboy Action shooting. Of course, I then did something totally different! I put a piece ot plywood on the base, screwed directly onto the existing bag base. A milk crate with odds/ends goes on the bottom, a case of bottled water on top of that, and the BOB tops it off, held on with bungie cords. Easy to use and carry, and if we’ve got to drop them and run, the BOB (which has all the essentials) comes off and the rest is left.

  31. I would think that you would want something that you wouldn’t get too upset about having to give up . People have posted some great suggestions , look at the cost , and structure of the device , will it be awkward to control on uneven surfaces ? will using it in that way put a strain on your back or body ? will you be able to use it on unpaved roads ? Will you be able to move fast with it ? all will be a factor if its going to actually be a practical device . Whatever you choose , you need to keep in mind that somewhere along the line , you may end up having to ditch the thing and carry your gear yourself , because of bad terrain , other people , etc . ……..and once its gone , its gone ……plan B

  32. I have a garden cart with large rubber tires and have been using it for nearly 30 years with some occasional repairs. It’s great for hauling large loads like firewood and large bags of animal feed; however, as a long distance carrier it would not be great, although better than a lot of other things.
    I’ve used the game haulers to drag game from the kill to the car, but depending on the type, they can be cumbersome to use.
    Assuming you want something all terrain, you would want something with large rubber tired wheels, like the garden cart, something more ergonomic and designed for pushing moderate to long distances. I think one of the jogging baby strollers (which has already been mentioned) fits the bill quite well.

  33. I’d go with the game cart, although the argument for a wheelbarrow is convincing. When I was young and wild, we’d often go up the canyons outside my home in SLC to imbibe the watery beer they sell there. To carry it up, we rigged a child’s push scooter with three pieces of plywood, a floor plate, side plate and triangular brace between the two to support one side of the cases. Everything was held on with cable ties and bungees.
    The advantage it offered was the ability to go up narrower trails than a two-wheeler, it was very light, and if you got a little tired, you could straddle the load and push it along with your feet and ride it downslope. A big plus was the front brake, which made downhill walks safer. The hardest part about building it was locating a flanged upright tube for the seat/rear handle. If I recall, we found an upright piece originally intended for an in-ground pool rail and we modded it to accept an old bike seat.
    It carried about 150 lbs easily, and the best part about it was, all the parts were found in the trash except for the cableties, bungees, and some hardware.

  34. I would look at Wheeled Shopping Carts that are essentially rectangular baskets with 2 to 4 wheels and a handle. The basket can allow you to place multiple containers for more visible organization, and many are collapsible so they can fold up for storage and open up for use.
    Another thing you may also consider is the Baby Stroller Trailers, some can be attached to a bike as a trailer and may have a handle so it can be pushed from behind…
    Just a couple ideas.

    • Side note… I saw a man with a truck bed tool container with wheel attached on one end and the other end attached to his bike and used it as a lockable trailer.

  35. How about one of those motorized golf caddies, small and unobtrusive, you could even put some dummy club ends sticking out of it. Mind you if you are that frail that you cannot carry a backpack I don’t like your chances of bugging out. Perhaps you should think of another plan.

    When people bug out the pack is supposed to get you to somewhere where you have tons of stuff to survive on and the reality is that you will only need the pack in about 2% of senarios. Most likely you will be able to fill the boot of your car and get out early or you will be stuck, trapped in a city and the BOB will be useless. I wouldn’t try to walk out of a major city after a SHTF event. It will go very tribal and just crossing your suburb would be a major risk.

    Personally I think the whole BOB idea is flawed but I have one and enjoy packing stuff into it and refining it lol.

  36. When I lived in rural Vermont, it wasn’t so much a BOB as an emergency kit. First aid kit, space blankets, a good knife, boots for snow and warm socks, candy and water. You never know when you’ll need it. I never did. But it was nice to know it was there.

  37. Good point Ethan. The bob goes in the car and mine is far too heavy for long hauls but if I do need to walk with it I can throw away probably half of the food and other stuff.

  38. Some time ago I bought a Coleman wheeled camping bag/organizer – and I love it! It saves me trips from the car to the campsite and back plus it gives my back and knees relief from all the hauling.

    The pockets in the bag are designed to accept various types of camping equipment (like propane fuel bottles, for example), and there’s one huge pocket, too.

    Amazon has them for $39 – http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000003559-Wheeled-Carry-Bag/dp/B00363X1G8 – Coleman lists them for $49. These are great bags; the quality is good & I think you’d be happy with one of these.

  39. Hey there. Little behind in my reading, but hope you get to read my comment. I am much closer to 70 than 60 and been rode hard put up wet once too many times. I became unable to pack even a medium heavy ruck a few years back (rule of thumb = ruck should not exceed 25% body weight).

    I have a zippered duffle I bought from Sam’s Club several years ago and used it to build my GHB. I picked up two 12” hard rubber wheels, 24” length of 5/8 rod, two 2”x4”x8’ boards and build a dolly to haul my duffle. I can now tow/push 50% of my body weight over some fairly rough terrain. With what’s packed, I can shelter, feed, and protect up to four people for four days.

    This is what works for me and may or may not work for you. Just thought I would tell you about it.

    I Timothy 5:8

  40. Lonewolf says:

    I know this is late but I have build a cart out EMT and if you like it can be made into a pull cart I do have all the information if anyone interested we can come up with something….I have a couple booklet on bicycle cart and a video….

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!