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OHF’s Sherpa Stick - An innovation for Nepal porters

In Nepal, it is common practice to see Nepalese porters and villagers carry very heavy loads on their back. Mr Robert Kee, founder of OHF, observed that for majority of the journey, the terrain travelled by the Nepalis are relatively flat and non-rocky. The rocky terrains of the mountain paths only consisted about 10-30% of the full journey travelled.

Mr Robert Kee then came up with the idea of a Sherpa Stick, named after the famous Sherpas, that would allow the Nepalis to drag the load rather than carry the load on their backs for extended periods of time. The initial prototype design of this Sherpa stick was done in 2019 and the preliminary trial test was done in Nepal. The Sherpa stick is confirmed to help support as much as 50% of the load and reducing the weight of the load considerably when it is on a flat non-rocky terrain due to the design of the wheel.

When using over a flat non-rocky terrain, the Sherpa stick allows the Nepali to wheel the load over the terrain like a trolley. By simply bending slightly forward, the Sherpa stick also allows the load to be carried over the rocky terrains sections of the mountain paths. If the terrain is extremely rocky, the Sherpa stick can be lifted up and the load can be carried across the terrain as per normal. When travelling down slope, the Sherpa stick can be used in a reversed manner and wheeled down the slope like a trolley.

OHF has since tested several prototypes and are working to produce hundreds of Sherpa sticks to be given to poor Nepalease villagers living in the mountainous areas. We hope that with this new invention, we can help to lighten the load that these Nepalis carry on a daily basis thus making a difference in their lives.

If you have the calling in your heart to support this project, please write to us at admin@ohf.org.sg.

Video Resources

This video shows an American traveller, William Jans, even though taller and bigger in size, being unable to even stand up while trying to carry  the 170 pound load! However, the Nepalis who are much smaller are able to carry it effortlessly.

This video shot by Atlas Obscura shows you the life of Nepal’s Porters.

Summary:
Meet the porters of Nepal, who work long days, sometimes even weeks, transporting baggage and materials around the steep, mountainous terrain of the Khumbu region. Being a local porter, some of whom belong to the Sherpa ethnic group, is a tough, thankless job, especially outside of the more coveted jobs in the tourist trade. Some begin transporting materials around the mountains as teens, and many are forced to continue because of a lack of other opportunities.