Motorized Pack Wheel - Hauling Trail Cameras and Mineral Blocks

Pack Wheel 29er with Electric Motor

Here's my XL 29er Pack Wheel with the PBJ e-Bike motor kit installed. With the e-bike kit installed it increased the weight by 8-9 pounds.


Motorized Hiking Cart

Nearing the top of the area with my motorized Pack Wheel game cart.


Digging out elk wallow

My cousin Chase hard at work digging out the wallow I like to watch with a trail camera. It's amazing how digging out this little water hole really attracts the critters to come and drink out of it. Chase was a great help on this trip and does a darn good job running the video camera as you can see in the video below.


Browning Strike Force BTC-5HD trail camera

Here's a new Strike Force BTC-5HD trail camera. Even though the packaging states that it will only use up to a 32 gig SD card I am using a 64 gig card in this camera. The video files on this camera are really good quality but very large in disk size. This camera takes AVI video like previous Browning trail cameras while the new Recon Force BTC-7FHD camera takes even higher quality videos and stores them in a MP4 format that takes up less space on the disk. Recon Force BTC-7FHD cameras can only take up to 32 gig SD cards.


250w motor on a Pack Wheel hiking cart with disc brake

Here's a view of the 250W motor with a six bolt disc brake attachment on the Pack Wheel.


Checking the settings on a Recon Force BTC-7FHD

Say cheese. Chase and I got a "selfie" taken while setting up this Recon Force BTC-7FHD trail camera.


Wow what a wet spring we have had this year! I have been itching to get back out in the mountains for some time now. KB and I were able to but out a couple trail cameras in March when we went coyote hunting since then it have been raining like crazy. When it rains the mountain turns into a slimy mess.

So the first week of June it had cleared out enough to dry out the roads to make it up the mountain. I had a ton of gear that I wanted to haul into the area I like to archery elk hunt. I had a couple of new Recon Force BTC-7FHD, a new Strike Force BTC- 5HD and several other Browning trail cameras I wanted to set out to watch the area. I also have been making a bunch of my 12v AA NiMh DIY rechargeable battery packs to use with the cameras to help save on the alkaline batteries I have been purchasing to feed the cameras.

Here's some of the items I needed to haul into the area: I took four metal Browning Tree Mounts, a collapsible shovel, video camera, saw, eight trail cameras, 132 AA batteries, and 90 pounds of minerals to help supplement the elk's diet... ok, the minerals are to hopefully help keep the elk in the area come archery season.

So needless to say I had a crap pile of gear and I didn't want to spend all day making trips up the mountain to get all the stuff in that I needed. In the past to haul in tree stands and ground blinds I have used my 29er or 26 inch Pack Wheels to haul them in. This time I had considerably more weight in gear to take in. The Pack Wheel has been great going up the steep game trails with the gear in the past but this time I had a lot more to get in.

To get it all in one trip I wanted to try running a motor on the Pack Wheel. I picked up a 29er kit from Leed e-bike to see how it would work. I went with the Pocket Bike Juice (PBJ) version because it was the lightest. I figured that I shouldn't need a huge heavy battery because I was still be pushing and would use the motor to give me a boost on the really steep game trails. I will admit I was a little curious to see what power this motor would have with the really large 29er wheel. Simple logic made sense that the smaller the wheel the lower the gear ratio and torque/power.

The PBJ kit installed rather easily and quickly on the Pack Wheel. I did have to file out the sides of the axle slots just a smidgen to get the axle to fit down into place. I also had to use a washer shim included with the quick releases to get the disc to align with the rotor slot. The cables are way too long for the small Pack Wheel so I wound the cable around in a loop and velcro tied it to the handle and the battery pack fit nicely on the back of the handle.

On the really steep inclines the motor would get bogged down if I wasn't pushing myself but as long as I was pushing at the same time it worked really well at helping move the heavy load up the mountain. I did find that with this large 29er wheel the motor wanted to travel a little faster than I wanted to hike. All-in-all the motor helped tremendously and saved me hours of time in either taking multiple trips.

The wheel rolled completely smooth with no noise or resistance when I wasn't using the motor, just smooth free wheeling You can ever so slightly feel some resistance and hear a light noise when the wheel rolls backwards. When using the motor it creates a faint amount of noise.

I'm now going to try this motor on a 20 and or 24 inch wheel. I'm confident the smaller wheel will provide more torque and power so that the motor doesn't get bogged down as much when I slow down. The smaller wheel will also slow down the pace of my hiking so that I don't feel like I am "running" up the mountain. I'll start working on trying a smaller wheel for next time out.

Having this PBJ motor kit setup on the Pack Wheel added an additional 8-9 pounds of weight, almost doubling the overall weight. I do think given the right situation the motor will come in vary handy. Situations like this one where I have a bunch of gear I need to haul up the mountain on steep trails and I am in an area that a motor would not be restricted. Most of the time I'll still be using the Pack Wheel without a motor to do my backpacking and hunting trips but the motor does make for a nice additional option if I need it.

The two Browning trail cameras I had out since March captured a ton of mule deer and various other critters. They actually got a few coyotes on them which has KB all worked up since he helped me setup those two cameras when we were up in there coyote hunting in March. Too funny.

Crossing the creek on a log with a Pack Wheel

Ruff Grouse

On the way back off the mountain crossing a creek with my Pack Wheel. Even on this narrow log the Pack Wheel provided a great extra point of contact to keep my balance by riding the brake.


Here's a Ruff Grouse that was in the area.


Alps Crossfire X Day Pack

Yellow Wildflower

My forvorite daypack a Alps Crossfire X. This pack is really comfortable.


Lots of these yellow wildflowers were all over the place on this trip out.




Stolen Browning Trail Cameras - DIYHNTR03 and DIYHNTR21

Stolen Browning Trail Camera DIYHNTER03

Here's a sample photo from my Recon Force BTC-2XR camera named DIYHNTR03


Stolen Browning Trail Camera DIYHNTER21

Here's a sample photo from my Strike Force BTC-5 camera named DIYHNTR21.

Well I knew it was bound to happen sometime. Today when I went to pull two trail cameras from some sage mule deer wintering area the two cameras were gone. I had the two cameras watching two directions off the same dead juniper tree in Morgan, Utah. Whomever took the cameras got a sweet Strike Force, BTC-5 and a Recon Force, BTC-2XR camera. They also took the Browning Tree Mount metal bracket and a Browning external battery pack.

The property they were on was on the north side of the valley butting up to Kippen property. The cameras were on my families property placed 50 yards or so from the Kippen fence. There has been an ATV traveling the fence line on the Kippen property.

The cameras were named DIYHNTR03 and DIYHNTR21 and have this in the lower portion of the images they take. I had DIYHNTR03 written on the one BTC-2XR camera but I believe the DIYHNTR21 camera did not have anything written on it.

I was hoping to catch some nice mule deer bucks on these cameras wintering this past winter but nothing exciting was on the cameras on January 31st the last time I checked them. My cousin said they were still on the tree recently when he was up on the hill. I'm guessing someone was out looking for shed antlers noticed they were on camera and decided to keep the evidence of their tromping through the property.

I have some creative ideas on how I could make them trackable if stolen in the future. Hmm....

Full HD Trail Camera - Browning's New Recon Force (BTC-7FHD)

Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD Trail Camera Mounting plate

The Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD trail camera has a solid metal mounting plate on the back. Good luck ripping this camera off the tree Mr. Black Bear.


Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD Trail Camera Door Latch

The door and latch system to access the control panel and SDHC memory card on the BTC-7FHD trail camera.


Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD Trail Camera with 12V NiMh battery pack

A rechargeable NiMh 12 Volt external battery pack attached to the external 12v power port on the Browning Recon Force trail camera.


In February of 2015 I was able to get my first Recon Force (BTC-7FHD) trail camera, the newest trail camera from Browning. After a couple weeks of testing the camera I am just amazed with the video quality this camera produces.

The camera takes full HD 1920x1080 video. The quality of the audio is also top notch. The video is saved in H264 MP4 format on a SDHC card.

I have just really been blown away by the videos this camera produces. I thought the HD videos the older Browning Trail cameras produce where awesome, now they just don't quite compare.

The camera uses the single buckle latch on the lower half of the camera. Browning used this latch on the sub micro Strike Force trail camera last year. I like this system over the double snapping buckles from the older Recon Force cameras.

I have noticed that the camera does an awesome job with getting triggered by even small critters like robins and cats and raccoons that are 20 yards away from the camera.

Another feature I really like is that the plastic mounting brackets have been replaced with a solid steel plate that covers much of the back of the camera. This will greatly help the camera from being broken off a tree by a bear or an operator trying to wedge a shim in between the camera and the tree while the camera is cinched on tight. Not that that hasn't ever happened to me. ;)

One thing that I have found with this camera is that it does chew through batteries a little faster than the past models. Taking video uses a lot more battery than just taking images. More battery consumption was expected given that it writes more to the SDHC card and captures so much more detail.  To help with making sure the camera has plenty of juice between checking it I have made a 12 volt NiMh rechargeable battery pack.

I also found that set to capture 30 second video clips the camera took 386 videos before the 32 GB SDHC SD card filled up. Many of the videos it captured were 10 second LED infrared lighted ten second videos at night of raccoons. The ten second black and white videos don't take as much space on the SD card. A little math on the file size on the 100,000 KB file size of a 30 second clip gives me 320 videos to fill a 32 GB card.

I picked up some 64 GB cards to try but the camera shows an error. Darn it! There have been many times that my favorite springs to watch for elk have filled up my 32 GB SD cards with the smaller HD videos from my old cameras in less that two weeks. It sure would be nice to be able to use 64 or 128 GB cards. Looks like I'll have to check this camera a little more frequently. I guess the camera isn't quite perfect but it's getting close.

Included on this post are some sample videos from the first few weeks of using the camera. Wow! Just awesome quality for a trail camera.

Thanks to this camera I will now be trying to upgrade my cameras to the new Recon Force Full HD cameras. I may also try the new Strike Force BTC- 5HD camera as it also has better video... although probably now quite as good as this Recon Force.

Additional information