Backpack With Wheel: MULE Hauls Heavy Loads Over Any Terrain

This thing looks a little weird, and a lot awesome. If you have to haul extremely heavy loads in non-motorized areas, read on.


The Multipurpose Uniaxial Litter Enginery or MULE, is a kind of upright pull-behind cart that attaches to a person by a harness.

A single wheel stabilizes the cart, which can “hold up to twice the weight that an average backpacker would be able to carry,” according to the company.

Sit back and dig on this video. If you’re like us, you will really want to meet this Melvin McCoy character.

While it’s hard to imagine the experience of hauling a 100-pound load with the MULE without testing, it seems like it just might work.

Huge Loads

To minimalist backpackers, the concept probably looks ridiculous, but we can think of a lot of times a litter like this would come in handy — packing out elk quarters or a deer carcass, hauling in supplies to remote cabins, carrying tools for trail maintenance, lugging camera or video equipment into the backcountry… really the list is pretty long.


The MULE is made of a metal frame, a single tiny wheel, and harness (and bike reflector!), and McCoy says it can be serviced with just two tools.

It appears he has been working on the project for a few years, as mentions of the MULE crop up from the early 2000s.

We must admit this is one of the more interesting “backpack” design modifications seen in a while. We suspect a fair number of people are scratching their heads with curiosity.


Unfortunately, the barrier to entry is pretty steep: McCoy is selling the MULE for $600 on Kickstarter, which seems like a fair price, but a lot of money to spend on an experiment.

McCoy exudes confidence in his product, and we like his outside-the-box moxie.

To demonstrate the capabilities of the MULE, McCoy is walking 500 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., to Washington, D.C., carrying everything he needs for the journey with his canine companion, Sherlock.

The walk is raising funds for the veterans’ group Alpha Omega Veterans Services. Follow his journey at the following links:

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Eric Lemke

Eric is a contributing writer based in Bozeman, MT. An avid climber, mountain biker, backpacker, and snowboarder, he earned his degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. When not living the GearJunkie life, he can be found exploring the Montana backcountry.