Electric Pack Wheel

Electric Motor Pack Wheel

Electric Motor Pack Wheel Cow Elk Hunting in Snow

For 2018 The DIY Hunter has perfected powering the Pack Wheel with an electric motor. This system has been heavily tested and tweaked from his 2017 backcountry hunts and over a decade of experience with his Pack Wheel system. Motors have been in the mix of things The DIY Hunter has been working on for years. Back in 2015 (see Pack Wheel history) The DIY Hunter tested the easy to implement electric HUB motor on the Pack Wheel. Yes, it was an easy way to power the Pack Wheel but it lacked in the torque needed to climb steep mountains with heavy loads and do it at walking speeds. What we have now is high torque freedom to climb the steepest of terrain with the heaviest of loads — a packing freedom that feels like a dream.

Electric Pack Wheel Specs and FAQs
Max Speed 3 mph
Min Speed As slow as you need to go with torque to spare. AKA, this motor will not bog down under heavy loads and steep climbs. There's no need to run up the mountain, just walk as fast or slow as you want with the Pack Wheel carrying all of the weight. 
How is the speed of the motor controlled? With a modified variable speed grip throttle.
Motor 350 Watt, 36 V electric motor with a 9:1 gear ratio to convert the high-speed power of the motor into high torque walking speed power.

Lithium-Ion 36V with Panasonic cells and 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Distance on Single Charge

418 Watt-Hour - Climbs 4,500 vertical feet with 100+ pound load
504 Watt-Hour - Climbs 5,500 vertical feet with 100+ pound load

The DIY Hunter used the 418 WH battery on four backcountry hunts in the fall of 2017. The battery never ran out of power on any of the hunts. In fact, after four days and many miles of use on one hunting trip, the battery still showed half power after coming off the mountain. 

On one hunt The DIY Hunter climbed straight up 4,000 vertical feet on a really steep trail with right around 100 pounds of gear using the 418 Watt-Hour battery. Other than pausing to rest on the climb the motor was used non-stop under a heavy load. After making the climb the battery still indicated it was in the 25% range of remaining power. This hike was a great test placing the battery under a heavy draw of power. This is what we have based the length of battery life per charge. If you are going up really steep terrain with a heavy load we would rate the 418 WH battery to last for 4,500 vertical feet of climbing. If you are on more moderate climbs, have less weight and are not constantly using the battery you would be able to climb more elevation. As we learn more about the batteries we will let you know.

Solar Rechargeable? We are still working on finding the right solar system to recharge the batteries in the field. 
Total Weight 33 lbs 1 oz - 418 WH Batttery
33 lbs 4 oz - 504 WH Battery
(Weights vary from Pack Wheel to Pack Wheel as everyone is individually handcrafted.)
Will the wheel freewheel? Yes, The wheel spins freely in a forward direction just like coasting on a bike. Going up inclines, the motor acts like a brake preventing the wheel from spinning backward when you stop. You only need to use the motor when climbing or cutting through the snow.
Is my non-motorized Pack Wheel upgradeable to the motor? Sorry, they aren't. There are a couple features and sizing differences that prevent them from being upgradeable.
Can I remove the battery and motor? The battery, motor, and chain can be removed without any tools in less than 20 seconds. This removes 14 pounds of weight from the Pack Wheel.
Do you operate it differently than a non-motorized Pack Wheel climbing inclines?

Yes, this is where bar ends are very necessary. When climbing grab the bar ends and tip the Pack Wheel forward to the point that it almost feels like it is going to tip over forward then use the throttle to pull the Pack Wheel back and climb away. It looks a little different than how you use a Pack Wheel without a motor but oh is it so comfortable to climb. By tipping the Pack Wheel forward you are taking the weight off your arms and balancing it on the wheel and the motor does the rest. It's slick.

When you operate a non-motorized Pack Wheel you carry a portion of the weight in your arms when going uphill. This helps in allowing the wheel to bump up and over obstacles as you climb. With a Motorized Pack Wheel, the weight in your arms is amplified going uphill from the torque of the motor if you operate the Pack Wheel with your hands at your sides like you would with a non-motorized Pack Wheel. By rocking the Pack Wheel forward leveling off the weight of the load over the wheel no weight is being placed into your arms. It looks a little weird at first like you are riding a tall handled motorcycle but it is actually very comfortable to have your arms in this upward position. In this upward position, your arm's weight is actually being held up by the Pack Wheel to the point that you feel like you can pull yourself up the incline.

When you encounter an obstacle like a log or rock you may need to lower your arms somewhat and push some of your own weight into the wheel to give the wheel extra traction to climb up and over the obstacle.

Where can I take the Motorized Pack Wheel? Many public land areas we have found no restrictions on the use of a system like this. The Pack Wheel is not a vehicle that carries you like an e-bike would and the Motorized Pack Wheel is very quiet. We have been able to get permission to use the system on public land that has "no motorized vehicle" restrictions because it is quiet and you still have to hike yourself. If in doubt please check with your local authorities over the property you wish to use this in.


Motorized Pack Wheel Chain and Sprocket Guard

Motorized Pack Wheel Mud and Snow Cutter

Sprocket/Chain Shield: The logo plate added to the side is a nice aesthetic touch but it also serves as a guard from meat and gear panniers that could bulge a little into the frame and sprocket and chain drive that are located just inside the frame. Mud Cutter: The adjustable Mud Cutter wire in the rear prevents mud and snow from building up against the motor mounted in the front.

Motorized Pack Wheel Mule Deer Hunting The DIY Hunter


While we haven't been posting about it lately, we have been very busy testing the motorized Pack Wheel on our family's hunts this fall. This video is from September going in five miles with enough water/Powerade for two people to last 5 days. @diyhntr has tweaked the design from what is seen here but the basic design is the same. And we can report that this system is absolutely amazing! With the ultra-high torque this system has it will climb like no other. You will have to hike yourself up the mountain but not the gear on the Pack Wheel. You only need to steer and operate the throttle as the motor will do all the work. Watch for more info to come. Available to purchase in January 2018. #goinheavy #motorizedpackwheel #climbingmachine #packwheel #hunting #whatgetsyououtdoors #hiking #outdoorlife #backcountryhunting #backpacking

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Electric Pack Wheel in the Snow

Electric Pack Wheel Mule Deer Hunting Selfie The DIY Hunter

Electric Pack Wheel Panniers Handle Elk Hunting The DIY Hunter

Electric Pack Wheel Muzzleloader Mule Deer Hunting The DIY Hunter

Electric Pack Wheel Mule Deer Pack Out The DIY Hunter

Electric Pack Wheel Muzzleloader Mule Deer Hunting The DIY Hunter with Dallen

Electric Pack Wheel Muzzleloader Elk Hunting The DIY Hunter

Electric Pack Wheel Elk Hunting Selfie The DIY Hunter

Electric Pack Wheel The DIY Hunter Cow Elk Hunting with Boys

Photos currently shown on this page are of a prototype and pre-production models. Production models have the motor mounted on the front edge of the frame (as shown in some of the photos) and will have a sprocket cut with a lighter weight cooler looking design.

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