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DIY milk crate portage cart

Sep 11, 2023
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Rapid River, Upper Michigan
I made a cart today using an instructables tutorial.

You need a milk crate, golf bag pull cart, zip ties, pipe insulation foam And a few household tools like screwdrivers and adjustable wrench. I took apart the golf cart until I had the wheel assembly. Then zip tied the crate on and padded the rim.

It worked very well going downhill to the water, but not coming out. That is due to my situation of sinking into the mud and not a flaw in the cart itself. A couple of slabs of leftover lumber or Driftwood to make some ramps for the tires would do the trick, I hope.
I did put a bungee cord around the seat and anchored it to the strap to keep the strap from sliding off. I’ll probably come up with something better. I did not attach the foam yet, as I want to get bigger diameter foam or a jumbo swim noodle and double it up before I zip tie the foam down. I was thinking in case I ever tip over, the crate might not sink to the bottom with the foam Zip tied to the rim.

My canoe is dented already, it is not being bent by the cart, though the angle looks terrible now that I am really looking at it. It was a very easy project and I could have used a bigger milk crate or custom built a box, as there was still a couple of inches of room. I would like to add that the wheels are meant to be easily removed on this particular cart, though I simply left them on as I have the room for the whole rig in my canoe. I don’t golf and don’t know if this is a normal feature, but was a pleasant surprise once I started taking the golf cart apart. I could have put it closer to the middle for better balance, but I was in too big of a hurry to go fishing to go hunt down a longer ratchet strap to make it around the middle. I grabbed a damaged short one, but it’s a little too short for the project.

There are other diy plans leaving the whole cart and handle in place and putting strategic pads on the frame, and the frame still folds. I did not damage anything taking it apart, so I could try that system too. The advantage of that is you have the supports stretched out over the length of the frame, so if you have a longer canoe or kayak, it has more support. I included a picture and link to that style, too.


using the full frame and it still folds. At the bottom of this instrucable page, someone else made a cart and enhanced the frame with pvc pipe. It looks pretty good and sturdy if you don’t need something super portable.


I hope someone finds this useful. Golf bag carts are really cheap to find second hand. I got mine for $10 and the crate for $2.
Best regards, Lisa
I like it.
I don't know if it would have helped your muddy situation, but I have a method for pulling a boat across a soft surface. I use a long rope, leaving the boat at the water's edge and walking to a firm spot. Then set my feet and pull the boat to me instead of sinking in at every step while trying to pull the boat. I used this method to pull a >100# dinghy up a soft beach and small dune.
The recycle man came this morning and hauled away the remains of a golf cart. I think it was the exact same model cart as the OP used. I had it in the shop for a bit as I was going to convert it to a cart for hauling gear to a walk in campsite. During the imagining stage, contemplating adding pieces to hold the load, I decided I’d just use a small hand truck, and the wheels and plastic pieces went to recycle.

JohnSand, a mud mystery is how mud can be so slippery to walk on, yet, can be so difficult to slide a canoe over. Sometimes dragging is the best way, but it can be an arduous pull.
JohnSand, a mud mystery is how mud can be so slippery to walk on, yet, can be so difficult to slide a canoe over. Sometimes dragging is the best way, but it can be an arduous pull.
Thanks Chip, I failed to mention that I was using a cart with fat tires when boat hauling which really helps on soft surfaces.
A shipmate and I were just recalling an incident where we hauled a dinghy over snow covered ice. It was extremely difficult.