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Re: Gila Wilderness trip report

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  • boardmanmw
    ... Can you tell the trail you took? Nice pics. Not worried about lions getting at the goats? Regards, Mike
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 30, 2007
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      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Ross"
      <jlross_tijeras@...> wrote:
      >
      > Just got back from a week in the Gila Wilderness (SW NM). Hiked in
      > (with packgoats) about 8 miles to friends' elk hunting camp. Very
      > remote, trails faint and rough. Beautiful weather, days 70's, nites
      > 40's, a little rain, hunting unsuccessful. Saw some big bull elk,
      > just couldn't get close enough. Saw only 2 other hunters. Spent 7
      > nites in my Hennessy Expedition Asym.
      >
      > I'm thinking of a trip there soon. What trailhead did you start at?
      Can you tell the trail you took? Nice pics. Not worried about lions
      getting at the goats? Regards, Mike
    • tim garner
      jeff... i ve herd more people say that the hh super shelter did not live up to thier expectations than those that were happy w/ them. under quilts seem to be
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 1, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        jeff... i've herd more people say that the hh super shelter did not live up to thier expectations than those that were happy w/ them.
        under quilts seem to be one of the best solutions.
        check out http://hammockforums.net for more hammock camping info than you can shake a stick at. ...tim


        Jeff Ross <jlross_tijeras@...> wrote:
        Just got back from a week in the Gila Wilderness (SW NM). Hiked in
        (with packgoats) about 8 miles to friends' elk hunting camp. Very
        remote, trails faint and rough. Beautiful weather, days 70's, nites
        40's, a little rain, hunting unsuccessful. Saw some big bull elk,
        just couldn't get close enough. Saw only 2 other hunters. Spent 7
        nites in my Hennessy Expedition Asym.

        What worked:
        ------------
        Goats. They are only a year and half old so they can't carry much
        yet. But they did carry about 30lb (10lb of stuff for them, and 20lb
        of my stuff) between the 3 of them. Next year they will be able to
        carry about 40 lb each. That way I can bring in a few more basic
        essentials (beer, steaks, lawn chairs, etc). They slept under an
        8x10 tarp, ate weeds, flowers, pine needles, drank from the stream.
        No problems. I think coyotes got close one nite and I found them
        sleeping under my hammock the next morning. Otherwise they were in
        heaven and had a wonderful time.

        Hammock. Pretty comfy. I'm 6-3, 200 lb and this hammock is just
        barely big enough. I would like to have a bit more foot room. But
        all in all, quite comfortable. Sure beats sleeping on the ground.

        Alcohol stove. Homemade from a couple of cat food cans. Used Walmart
        91% isopropyl as fuel. Works good.

        MSR Miniworks water filter. Water was clear and clean looking, but
        you never can tell. I like this filter because I can clean it when
        it gets clogged. There are certainly lighter filters, but this one
        is rugged and easy to maintain.

        What didn't work:
        -----------------
        Hammock rainfly is minimal. I hear their new ones are bigger. I
        wound up using a 10x10 nylon tarp from Campmore. That worked fine.
        Now there's plenty of dry room under the hammock for my pack, boots,
        etc. (even goats).

        Hammock "undercover" is minimal. It's a very thin layer of foam
        that's cleverly suspended beneath the hammock. Maybe better than
        nothing, but not much. I used my big old Thermarest Camprest
        mattress inside the hammock, under my sleeping bag. Not cold from
        below any more. It would be nice to find a way to secure this thing
        inside the hammock so it doesn't slide around tho. I tied a string
        around the inlet valve and ran that thru the end of the hammock.
        Thrashing around on it one nite I pulled the inlet valve out of it.
        Not good. I think I fixed it tho.

        Sleeping bag. I used a Slumberjack bag containing something
        called "polar guard" that's rated for 20 degrees. HA! I don't know
        if other sleeping bag mfgrs ratings are so overstated, but that one
        sure is. I used my rain jacket as a blanket to cover my feet, and
        wore pants, two shirts, two pairs of socks. Then I was pretty warm.
        In freezing weather I would have been cold.

        Here are a few pics:

        http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/gilatrailhead.jpg
        http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/lenwgoats.jpg
        http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/gilatrip1.jpg
        http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/claytoncreek.jpg
        http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/stormcomin.jpg




        Yahoo! Groups Links






        don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


        ---------------------------------
        Don't let your dream ride pass you by. Make it a reality with Yahoo! Autos.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jeff Ross
        Neither I, nor the goats, carried any food for them. They did carry a couple liters of water, but they didn t drink it. I did. They drank from stream
        Message 3 of 17 , Oct 1, 2007
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          Neither I, nor the goats, carried any food for them. They did carry
          a couple liters of water, but they didn't drink it. I did. They
          drank from stream crossings. They ate wild forage (pine needles, oak
          leaves, twigs, flowers, weeds, etc, etc). They eat a little grass,
          but not much. Having had a very good monsoon (rainy season) this
          year, the Gila country is lush and green now. The goats really
          thrived on this food, and actually gained weight during the trip.
          When they are full grown (at about age 3) they will weigh 200-250
          lb, and will be able to carry about 40 lb each on a trip like this.
          There are several manufacturers of goat packing equipment. They make
          little sawbuck pack saddles and panniers. A complete saddle/pannier
          combo will cost about $200. The gear they need consists of a tarp, a
          leash for each of them, and a first aid kit. They sleep under the
          tarp, the leashes allow me to control them when we're near a road or
          other hazard, and we share the first aid kit.

          I bought these guys last year in June (for about $70 each), when
          they were 3 mo old. At that age they were ready to wean, or switch
          from milk to an adult hay/forage diet. I got them from a dairy. Each
          year the dairies have lots of little billy goats they just want rid
          of. Since then I've taken them camping and hiking a lot. At about 7
          months old I had them castrated by the vet. By that time they were
          stinking and fighting and I just about couldn't stand them any more.
          After their "attitude adjustment" procedure, they quit stinking and
          became mellow good natured guys. I waited that long before having
          them castrated so their urinary tract equipment would mature as much
          as possible. This is important because wethers (neutered male goats)
          can have problems with urinary stones, that can kill them. But for
          the most part they are very healthy animals. They will live and work
          for 12-15 years. For packgoats you want goats that are big and
          athletic. Avoid Nubians. They have a reputation for laziness. Mine
          are Saanen and Oberhasli. Alpines, Toggenburgs, and La Manchas are
          also popular.

          They I have had to learn a lot. Behaving on a leash, hopping in and
          out of the trailer, trail and camp manners, etc. They need a small
          shed and a pen or pasture with a GOOD fence. Goats are not easy to
          contain, and they are very vulnerable to predators, especially dogs.
          The more you can take them out to forage the better, but if you
          don't have the time, hay and a little grain will do. They aren't
          much trouble to keep, about like dogs. A lot less trouble and
          expense than horses or mules. They stay right with me while hiking,
          and just quietly hang around camp. If they start making noise
          there's something wrong (predators, forest fire, sasquach, UFOs,
          etc). I don't have to worry about them running off. Sometimes I have
          to zing a pine cone or stick at one when he gets too nosey around
          the cooking area, tho.

          I do worry about predators such as mountain lions, coyotes, bears,
          and wolves. But the boys stay close to me all the time. And if
          something scares them they come running to me. They are alert in the
          boondocks, and know they are prey. I put up their tarp near my
          hammock so they bed down close by. Predators here are hunted (except
          for wolves), and are wary of people.

          I transport them in a funky old trailer made from the bed of a
          pickup truck, with a camper shell on it. The US Forest Service
          office in this are has all kinds of strict regulations about using
          pack animals in the wilderness and surrounding national forest.
          These regulations are focused on keeping horses and mules from
          destroying meadows where horse people camp all the time. Horses and
          mules need grass and daily water, so certain areas tend to get
          overused by them. With the goats I can camp anywhere, the rougher
          the better. The forest service people I've run into have reacted in
          various ways. The trail maintenance crews are glad to see them
          eating stuff along the trails. The ranger in the pickup thought
          there should be more of them out in the woods thinning out the
          zillions of little trees that are growing like grass on the hills.
          All the brush and little trees make for a lot of forest fire fuel
          during dry weather. The district administrator didn't even come out
          of her office to talk to me about it. She just told the receptionist
          to hand me the official policy pamphlet on pack animals, which is
          written for horses and mules. Typical bureaucracy BS. For anybody
          who is interested in more packgoat info there's a good book on the
          subject. "The Packgoat", by John Mionczynzki. There's also a yahoo
          group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/packgoat/).

          We were along the northern edge of the wilderness. The roads into
          this area are long and rough. The trails are poorly maintained,
          rocky, and vague in places. This is very rough, remote country and
          the nearest towns are pretty small and far apart. Civilization is
          pretty sparse. About the only time many people are around is elk
          season (Sept-Oct). The rest of the year it's almost empty. We took
          the trail in from Willow Creek (about 30 miles east from Glenwood)
          and hiked about 8 miles south and east to Clayton Mesa (near Turkey
          Feather Pass and the Jerky Mountains). Elevation there is about 7500
          ft. We found later that there were lots more elk closer to the
          trailhead, where the elevation was 8000-9000 ft. We saw elk, wild
          turkeys, deer, a bear, and a bobcat. Great trip. Going back soon.

          Thanks for the tips and other hammock forum info.



          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, N Thomas <norvell1@...> wrote:
          >
          > I am curious as to what supplies you carried for the goats. You
          mentioned that they foraged, but what type of food or other items
          did you carry for them? How much weight do you expect them to carry
          when they fully mature? What type of pack/saddle/whatever did you
          use for them? Did you transport them out there yourself? Any
          problems from the park people?
          >
          > Nice pics. I am in central Texas and goats are a dime a dozen
          here. I have pondered starting a herd for such activities, but am
          curious about the overall effort.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Frank Looper
          Mark me as one who s happy with the Supershelter. I ve only been down to 50 degrees so far, but when it gets cooler, I ve got evazote foam to stick between the
          Message 4 of 17 , Oct 2, 2007
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            Mark me as one who's happy with the Supershelter. I've only been down to 50
            degrees so far, but when it gets cooler, I've got evazote foam to stick
            between the OC pad and the hammock. Even just the undercover warmed it up
            some, without even using the pad. When it gets below 30 down here, I plan on
            getting a nest or no sniveler to go along with the SS, and I'll have a true
            4-season setup.

            Being a warm sleeper--very warm, actually, I expect this to get me down as
            low as I'm comfortable camping. Last year, I was caught twice in very cold,
            windy weather. Once on the FHT in December, with 10F temps and high wind and
            once at Tray Mtn Shelter on the AT in February with near 0F temps and high
            wind. In both cases I had a 30 degree bag, and though I was uncomfortable, I
            didn't freeze, and I slept right through the night with no problems.
            Therefore, I may not be a "normal" case, but I expect a SS and a 3-season
            underquilt to do me year round. The SS is much lighter than any quilt that
            I've thought of buying, and I'm thrilled with it. The SS and my UL
            Backpacker Asym weigh less than my old Exped Asym did by itself, and the
            comfort level is amazing to me. At 50 degrees last night, I only had a
            fleece blanket over me and was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Way, way
            cool. :-)

            Frank

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "tim garner" <slowhike@...>
            To: <hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 9:04 PM
            Subject: Re: [Hammock Camping] Gila Wilderness trip report


            jeff... i've herd more people say that the hh super shelter did not live
            up to thier expectations than those that were happy w/ them.
            under quilts seem to be one of the best solutions.
            check out http://hammockforums.net for more hammock camping info than you
            can shake a stick at. ...tim


            Jeff Ross <jlross_tijeras@...> wrote:
            Just got back from a week in the Gila Wilderness (SW NM). Hiked in
            (with packgoats) about 8 miles to friends' elk hunting camp. Very
            remote, trails faint and rough. Beautiful weather, days 70's, nites
            40's, a little rain, hunting unsuccessful. Saw some big bull elk,
            just couldn't get close enough. Saw only 2 other hunters. Spent 7
            nites in my Hennessy Expedition Asym.

            What worked:
            ------------
            Goats. They are only a year and half old so they can't carry much
            yet. But they did carry about 30lb (10lb of stuff for them, and 20lb
            of my stuff) between the 3 of them. Next year they will be able to
            carry about 40 lb each. That way I can bring in a few more basic
            essentials (beer, steaks, lawn chairs, etc). They slept under an
            8x10 tarp, ate weeds, flowers, pine needles, drank from the stream.
            No problems. I think coyotes got close one nite and I found them
            sleeping under my hammock the next morning. Otherwise they were in
            heaven and had a wonderful time.

            Hammock. Pretty comfy. I'm 6-3, 200 lb and this hammock is just
            barely big enough. I would like to have a bit more foot room. But
            all in all, quite comfortable. Sure beats sleeping on the ground.

            Alcohol stove. Homemade from a couple of cat food cans. Used Walmart
            91% isopropyl as fuel. Works good.

            MSR Miniworks water filter. Water was clear and clean looking, but
            you never can tell. I like this filter because I can clean it when
            it gets clogged. There are certainly lighter filters, but this one
            is rugged and easy to maintain.

            What didn't work:
            -----------------
            Hammock rainfly is minimal. I hear their new ones are bigger. I
            wound up using a 10x10 nylon tarp from Campmore. That worked fine.
            Now there's plenty of dry room under the hammock for my pack, boots,
            etc. (even goats).

            Hammock "undercover" is minimal. It's a very thin layer of foam
            that's cleverly suspended beneath the hammock. Maybe better than
            nothing, but not much. I used my big old Thermarest Camprest
            mattress inside the hammock, under my sleeping bag. Not cold from
            below any more. It would be nice to find a way to secure this thing
            inside the hammock so it doesn't slide around tho. I tied a string
            around the inlet valve and ran that thru the end of the hammock.
            Thrashing around on it one nite I pulled the inlet valve out of it.
            Not good. I think I fixed it tho.

            Sleeping bag. I used a Slumberjack bag containing something
            called "polar guard" that's rated for 20 degrees. HA! I don't know
            if other sleeping bag mfgrs ratings are so overstated, but that one
            sure is. I used my rain jacket as a blanket to cover my feet, and
            wore pants, two shirts, two pairs of socks. Then I was pretty warm.
            In freezing weather I would have been cold.

            Here are a few pics:

            http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/gilatrailhead.jpg
            http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/lenwgoats.jpg
            http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/gilatrip1.jpg
            http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/claytoncreek.jpg
            http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee283/gila_dog/stormcomin.jpg




            Yahoo! Groups Links






            don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


            ---------------------------------
            Don't let your dream ride pass you by. Make it a reality with Yahoo!
            Autos.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • Dave Womble
            Frank, I had always thought of the Super Shelter to be at its best in windy environments because the bottom is made of silnylon. The tradeoff with that since
            Message 5 of 17 , Oct 3, 2007
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              Frank,

              I had always thought of the Super Shelter to be at its best in windy
              environments because the bottom is made of silnylon. The tradeoff
              with that since it is waterproof and it encloses the whole bottom side
              of the hammock, is that the inside surface of it and any insulation
              inside it will be a more susceptible to condensation buildup from
              insensible perspiration. And if you don't handle that well,
              especially in calm conditions, it can be a nuisance.

              I recently designed the SnugFit Underquilt which has down insulation
              and breathable shells for hammocks and I would be concerned about
              putting it inside a silnylon shell like the Super Shelter. It may work
              fine for you or you may not like the combination of underquilt and
              Super Shelter. Starting off with a Super Shelter, I can see where one
              would think that a underquilt would compliment it in cooler weather as
              additional insulation neatly tucked inside. But starting off with my
              SnugFit Underquilt, I would be fearful of complimenting it with a
              Super Shelter because of the breatheability versus condensation issue
              as well as down compression issues. Does that make sense... it is a
              troublesome marriage from an underquilts point of view because an
              underquilt tries very hard to be breathable enough to avoid
              condensation buildup and a well designed underquilt avoids down
              compression issues like the plague. <grin>

              Dave Womble
              aka Youngblood 2000
              designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit Underquilt, and
              Winter Tarp
            • Stuhr, Tim
              The SS is also designed to be a little tighter against the hammock. If you put an UQ between it and the hammock you will compress the down and decrease or
              Message 6 of 17 , Oct 3, 2007
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                The SS is also designed to be a little tighter against the hammock. If
                you put an UQ between it and the hammock you will compress the down and
                decrease or completely wipe out its insulation value. I used a JRB Nest
                on the outside of my SS last winter successfully to 18 degrees but it
                was a little bit of a pain to get in and out of the hammock

                Tim (Stoikurt)

                -----Original Message-----
                From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Womble
                Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 7:48 AM
                To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [Hammock Camping] Gila Wilderness trip report

                Frank,

                I had always thought of the Super Shelter to be at its best in windy
                environments because the bottom is made of silnylon. The tradeoff
                with that since it is waterproof and it encloses the whole bottom side
                of the hammock, is that the inside surface of it and any insulation
                inside it will be a more susceptible to condensation buildup from
                insensible perspiration. And if you don't handle that well,
                especially in calm conditions, it can be a nuisance.

                I recently designed the SnugFit Underquilt which has down insulation
                and breathable shells for hammocks and I would be concerned about
                putting it inside a silnylon shell like the Super Shelter. It may work
                fine for you or you may not like the combination of underquilt and
                Super Shelter. Starting off with a Super Shelter, I can see where one
                would think that a underquilt would compliment it in cooler weather as
                additional insulation neatly tucked inside. But starting off with my
                SnugFit Underquilt, I would be fearful of complimenting it with a
                Super Shelter because of the breatheability versus condensation issue
                as well as down compression issues. Does that make sense... it is a
                troublesome marriage from an underquilts point of view because an
                underquilt tries very hard to be breathable enough to avoid
                condensation buildup and a well designed underquilt avoids down
                compression issues like the plague. <grin>

                Dave Womble
                aka Youngblood 2000
                designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit Underquilt, and
                Winter Tarp






                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • Dave Womble
                Tim, That sounds like a great way to do it and I know Ed Speer uses a vapor barrier at times between his hammock and peapod to get extra warmth. Sounds like
                Message 7 of 17 , Oct 3, 2007
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                  Tim,

                  That sounds like a great way to do it and I know Ed Speer uses a vapor
                  barrier at times between his hammock and peapod to get extra warmth.
                  Sounds like your arrangement works about the same.

                  I know what you mean about the conflict with bottom side insulation
                  and bottom entry hammocks, I used one for the first year or so of my
                  hammock camping until I tried Ed's hammock for a few minutes on the
                  1st SEHHA backpacking trip... they were backpacking trips instead of
                  campouts in earlier days. After that I was sold on the top entry
                  approach with a removable bugnet and a decent size rectangular tarp.
                  It is like a different world. I almost look forward to overnight
                  rains as I tend to sleep better.

                  Dave Womble
                  aka Youngblood 2000
                  Designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit Underquilt, and
                  Winter Tarp
                • Pat
                  that was great sorry I emailed you I should have looked further. after reading that you have peaked my intrest up a bunch now. How do you train them to walk
                  Message 8 of 17 , Oct 4, 2007
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                    that was great sorry I emailed you I should have looked further.
                    after reading that you have peaked my intrest up a bunch now.
                    How do you train them to walk with you on trail and stay with you at
                    night and not worry about them leaving you high and dry and packing
                    stuff out for your self.




                    --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Ross"
                    <jlross_tijeras@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Neither I, nor the goats, carried any food for them. They did carry
                    > a couple liters of water, but they didn't drink it. I did. They
                    > drank from stream crossings. They ate wild forage (pine needles,
                    oak
                    > leaves, twigs, flowers, weeds, etc, etc). They eat a little grass,
                    > but not much. Having had a very good monsoon (rainy season) this
                    > year, the Gila country is lush and green now. The goats really
                    > thrived on this food, and actually gained weight during the trip.
                    > When they are full grown (at about age 3) they will weigh 200-250
                    > lb, and will be able to carry about 40 lb each on a trip like this.
                    > There are several manufacturers of goat packing equipment. They
                    make
                    > little sawbuck pack saddles and panniers. A complete saddle/pannier
                    > combo will cost about $200. The gear they need consists of a tarp,
                    a
                    > leash for each of them, and a first aid kit. They sleep under the
                    > tarp, the leashes allow me to control them when we're near a road
                    or
                    > other hazard, and we share the first aid kit.
                    >
                    > I bought these guys last year in June (for about $70 each), when
                    > they were 3 mo old. At that age they were ready to wean, or switch
                    > from milk to an adult hay/forage diet. I got them from a dairy.
                    Each
                    > year the dairies have lots of little billy goats they just want rid
                    > of. Since then I've taken them camping and hiking a lot. At about 7
                    > months old I had them castrated by the vet. By that time they were
                    > stinking and fighting and I just about couldn't stand them any
                    more.
                    > After their "attitude adjustment" procedure, they quit stinking and
                    > became mellow good natured guys. I waited that long before having
                    > them castrated so their urinary tract equipment would mature as
                    much
                    > as possible. This is important because wethers (neutered male
                    goats)
                    > can have problems with urinary stones, that can kill them. But for
                    > the most part they are very healthy animals. They will live and
                    work
                    > for 12-15 years. For packgoats you want goats that are big and
                    > athletic. Avoid Nubians. They have a reputation for laziness. Mine
                    > are Saanen and Oberhasli. Alpines, Toggenburgs, and La Manchas are
                    > also popular.
                    >
                    > They I have had to learn a lot. Behaving on a leash, hopping in and
                    > out of the trailer, trail and camp manners, etc. They need a small
                    > shed and a pen or pasture with a GOOD fence. Goats are not easy to
                    > contain, and they are very vulnerable to predators, especially
                    dogs.
                    > The more you can take them out to forage the better, but if you
                    > don't have the time, hay and a little grain will do. They aren't
                    > much trouble to keep, about like dogs. A lot less trouble and
                    > expense than horses or mules. They stay right with me while hiking,
                    > and just quietly hang around camp. If they start making noise
                    > there's something wrong (predators, forest fire, sasquach, UFOs,
                    > etc). I don't have to worry about them running off. Sometimes I
                    have
                    > to zing a pine cone or stick at one when he gets too nosey around
                    > the cooking area, tho.
                    >
                    > I do worry about predators such as mountain lions, coyotes, bears,
                    > and wolves. But the boys stay close to me all the time. And if
                    > something scares them they come running to me. They are alert in
                    the
                    > boondocks, and know they are prey. I put up their tarp near my
                    > hammock so they bed down close by. Predators here are hunted
                    (except
                    > for wolves), and are wary of people.
                    >
                    > I transport them in a funky old trailer made from the bed of a
                    > pickup truck, with a camper shell on it. The US Forest Service
                    > office in this are has all kinds of strict regulations about using
                    > pack animals in the wilderness and surrounding national forest.
                    > These regulations are focused on keeping horses and mules from
                    > destroying meadows where horse people camp all the time. Horses and
                    > mules need grass and daily water, so certain areas tend to get
                    > overused by them. With the goats I can camp anywhere, the rougher
                    > the better. The forest service people I've run into have reacted in
                    > various ways. The trail maintenance crews are glad to see them
                    > eating stuff along the trails. The ranger in the pickup thought
                    > there should be more of them out in the woods thinning out the
                    > zillions of little trees that are growing like grass on the hills.
                    > All the brush and little trees make for a lot of forest fire fuel
                    > during dry weather. The district administrator didn't even come out
                    > of her office to talk to me about it. She just told the
                    receptionist
                    > to hand me the official policy pamphlet on pack animals, which is
                    > written for horses and mules. Typical bureaucracy BS. For anybody
                    > who is interested in more packgoat info there's a good book on the
                    > subject. "The Packgoat", by John Mionczynzki. There's also a yahoo
                    > group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/packgoat/).
                    >
                    > We were along the northern edge of the wilderness. The roads into
                    > this area are long and rough. The trails are poorly maintained,
                    > rocky, and vague in places. This is very rough, remote country and
                    > the nearest towns are pretty small and far apart. Civilization is
                    > pretty sparse. About the only time many people are around is elk
                    > season (Sept-Oct). The rest of the year it's almost empty. We took
                    > the trail in from Willow Creek (about 30 miles east from Glenwood)
                    > and hiked about 8 miles south and east to Clayton Mesa (near Turkey
                    > Feather Pass and the Jerky Mountains). Elevation there is about
                    7500
                    > ft. We found later that there were lots more elk closer to the
                    > trailhead, where the elevation was 8000-9000 ft. We saw elk, wild
                    > turkeys, deer, a bear, and a bobcat. Great trip. Going back soon.
                    >
                    > Thanks for the tips and other hammock forum info.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, N Thomas <norvell1@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I am curious as to what supplies you carried for the goats. You
                    > mentioned that they foraged, but what type of food or other items
                    > did you carry for them? How much weight do you expect them to
                    carry
                    > when they fully mature? What type of pack/saddle/whatever did you
                    > use for them? Did you transport them out there yourself? Any
                    > problems from the park people?
                    > >
                    > > Nice pics. I am in central Texas and goats are a dime a dozen
                    > here. I have pondered starting a herd for such activities, but am
                    > curious about the overall effort.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > ---------------------------------
                    > > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    >
                  • Steve Bennett
                    I remember when they were filming Broke Back Mountain up in Canda that there was an issue with having sheep up on the mountain as there was concern that they
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 4, 2007
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                      I remember when they were filming Broke Back Mountain up in Canda
                      that there was an issue with having sheep up on the mountain as there
                      was concern that they could pass some disease on to the indigenous
                      animals in the area.

                      I am not sure if they were concerned about direct contact with the
                      sheep or wether it was something that was passed through their feces
                      but I seem to recall they had to keep the sheep well contained and
                      possibly had to clean up after them.

                      Have you hear anything about this and do you know if it would also
                      apply to goats?

                      >
                      > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Ross"
                      > <jlross_tijeras@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Neither I, nor the goats, carried any food for them. They did carry
                      > > a couple liters of water, but they didn't drink it. I did. They
                      > > drank from stream crossings. They ate wild forage (pine needles,
                      > oak
                      > > leaves, twigs, flowers, weeds, etc, etc). They eat a little grass,
                      > > but not much. Having had a very good monsoon (rainy season) this
                      > > year, the Gila country is lush and green now. The goats really
                      > > thrived on this food, and actually gained weight during the trip.
                      > > When they are full grown (at about age 3) they will weigh 200-250
                      > > lb, and will be able to carry about 40 lb each on a trip like this.
                      > > There are several manufacturers of goat packing equipment. They
                      > make
                      > > little sawbuck pack saddles and panniers. A complete saddle/pannier
                      > > combo will cost about $200. The gear they need consists of a tarp,
                      > a
                      > > leash for each of them, and a first aid kit. They sleep under the
                      > > tarp, the leashes allow me to control them when we're near a road
                      > or
                      > > other hazard, and we share the first aid kit.
                      > >
                      > > I bought these guys last year in June (for about $70 each), when
                      > > they were 3 mo old. At that age they were ready to wean, or switch
                      > > from milk to an adult hay/forage diet. I got them from a dairy.
                      > Each
                      > > year the dairies have lots of little billy goats they just want rid
                      > > of. Since then I've taken them camping and hiking a lot. At about 7
                      > > months old I had them castrated by the vet. By that time they were
                      > > stinking and fighting and I just about couldn't stand them any
                      > more.
                      > > After their "attitude adjustment" procedure, they quit stinking and
                      > > became mellow good natured guys. I waited that long before having
                      > > them castrated so their urinary tract equipment would mature as
                      > much
                      > > as possible. This is important because wethers (neutered male
                      > goats)
                      > > can have problems with urinary stones, that can kill them. But for
                      > > the most part they are very healthy animals. They will live and
                      > work
                      > > for 12-15 years. For packgoats you want goats that are big and
                      > > athletic. Avoid Nubians. They have a reputation for laziness. Mine
                      > > are Saanen and Oberhasli. Alpines, Toggenburgs, and La Manchas are
                      > > also popular.
                      > >
                      > > They I have had to learn a lot. Behaving on a leash, hopping in and
                      > > out of the trailer, trail and camp manners, etc. They need a small
                      > > shed and a pen or pasture with a GOOD fence. Goats are not easy to
                      > > contain, and they are very vulnerable to predators, especially
                      > dogs.
                      > > The more you can take them out to forage the better, but if you
                      > > don't have the time, hay and a little grain will do. They aren't
                      > > much trouble to keep, about like dogs. A lot less trouble and
                      > > expense than horses or mules. They stay right with me while hiking,
                      > > and just quietly hang around camp. If they start making noise
                      > > there's something wrong (predators, forest fire, sasquach, UFOs,
                      > > etc). I don't have to worry about them running off. Sometimes I
                      > have
                      > > to zing a pine cone or stick at one when he gets too nosey around
                      > > the cooking area, tho.
                      > >
                      > > I do worry about predators such as mountain lions, coyotes, bears,
                      > > and wolves. But the boys stay close to me all the time. And if
                      > > something scares them they come running to me. They are alert in
                      > the
                      > > boondocks, and know they are prey. I put up their tarp near my
                      > > hammock so they bed down close by. Predators here are hunted
                      > (except
                      > > for wolves), and are wary of people.
                      > >
                      > > I transport them in a funky old trailer made from the bed of a
                      > > pickup truck, with a camper shell on it. The US Forest Service
                      > > office in this are has all kinds of strict regulations about using
                      > > pack animals in the wilderness and surrounding national forest.
                      > > These regulations are focused on keeping horses and mules from
                      > > destroying meadows where horse people camp all the time. Horses and
                      > > mules need grass and daily water, so certain areas tend to get
                      > > overused by them. With the goats I can camp anywhere, the rougher
                      > > the better. The forest service people I've run into have reacted in
                      > > various ways. The trail maintenance crews are glad to see them
                      > > eating stuff along the trails. The ranger in the pickup thought
                      > > there should be more of them out in the woods thinning out the
                      > > zillions of little trees that are growing like grass on the hills.
                      > > All the brush and little trees make for a lot of forest fire fuel
                      > > during dry weather. The district administrator didn't even come out
                      > > of her office to talk to me about it. She just told the
                      > receptionist
                      > > to hand me the official policy pamphlet on pack animals, which is
                      > > written for horses and mules. Typical bureaucracy BS. For anybody
                      > > who is interested in more packgoat info there's a good book on the
                      > > subject. "The Packgoat", by John Mionczynzki. There's also a yahoo
                      > > group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/packgoat/).
                      > >
                      > > We were along the northern edge of the wilderness. The roads into
                      > > this area are long and rough. The trails are poorly maintained,
                      > > rocky, and vague in places. This is very rough, remote country and
                      > > the nearest towns are pretty small and far apart. Civilization is
                      > > pretty sparse. About the only time many people are around is elk
                      > > season (Sept-Oct). The rest of the year it's almost empty. We took
                      > > the trail in from Willow Creek (about 30 miles east from Glenwood)
                      > > and hiked about 8 miles south and east to Clayton Mesa (near Turkey
                      > > Feather Pass and the Jerky Mountains). Elevation there is about
                      > 7500
                      > > ft. We found later that there were lots more elk closer to the
                      > > trailhead, where the elevation was 8000-9000 ft. We saw elk, wild
                      > > turkeys, deer, a bear, and a bobcat. Great trip. Going back soon.
                      > >
                      > > Thanks for the tips and other hammock forum info.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, N Thomas <norvell1@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > I am curious as to what supplies you carried for the goats. You
                      > > mentioned that they foraged, but what type of food or other items
                      > > did you carry for them? How much weight do you expect them to
                      > carry
                      > > when they fully mature? What type of pack/saddle/whatever did you
                      > > use for them? Did you transport them out there yourself? Any
                      > > problems from the park people?
                      > > >
                      > > > Nice pics. I am in central Texas and goats are a dime a dozen
                      > > here. I have pondered starting a herd for such activities, but am
                      > > curious about the overall effort.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > ---------------------------------
                      > > > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Rat
                      ... carry ... Hey Jeff, good to see another Goat Packer on the hammock forums. I have used goats as pack animals for years hunting Elk in Colorado. I have a
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 16, 2007
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                        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Ross"
                        <jlross_tijeras@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Neither I, nor the goats, carried any food for them. They did
                        carry
                        > a couple liters of water,

                        Hey Jeff, good to see another Goat Packer on the hammock forums. I
                        have used goats as pack animals for years hunting Elk in Colorado. I
                        have a brother and sister pair of Nubians, tweedle-dee and tweedle-
                        dum, dum is a wether but not dehorned. They are getting a little
                        long in the tooth now, over ten years old, but still going strong.
                        They live in Colorado with a friend of mine, who I hunt with, he
                        gets a lot more use out of them then I would in Texas. They have
                        kived with him for several years now.

                        I have never had any issues with mine being lazy, but I have heard
                        of it as well with Nubians. I bought mine from a ranch that
                        specializes in packgoats tho. They can be loud tho, Nubians are very
                        vocal, especially if I leave them at camp for a hunt.

                        I always pitch their tarp close to me so they can get under the
                        hammock if they want to. Several nights they have woke me up kinda
                        freaked out. I found bear tracks the next morning one time, but
                        nothing on the others, I figured it was some predator out and about,
                        but we have always been safe.

                        I don't know if you have ever packed out Elk meat before, if you
                        have then you know how hard it is, the endless trips back to the
                        forest service road. That is where your kids will shine for ya, I
                        can't tell you how much of a difference it makes.

                        I will proly start looking for a new pair when I get home in Nov.
                        Maybe some Toggs this time. My kids are only about 210 pounds, but
                        they can carry 40-50 pounds all day with judicious rest stops. They
                        rarely do, unless we get an Elk.

                        One of these days I need to get back into Gila, I practically grew
                        up there, but haven't been back since high school.

                        Sounds like you are learning hammocking and goat packing at the same
                        time. Sounds like fun:) Just wait until they learn to untie the
                        panier straps!

                        Rat
                      • Jeff Ross
                        Hi Rat. So far I ve had no predator problems except domestic dogs on the trails. I had to bash one with my walking stick (a good reason to carry a real stick,
                        Message 11 of 17 , Oct 16, 2007
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                          Hi Rat. So far I've had no predator problems except domestic dogs on
                          the trails. I had to bash one with my walking stick (a good reason to
                          carry a real stick, not a fancy aluminum one). I worry more about
                          wolves than anything in the Gila country. They aren't afraid of
                          people, will attack dogs, and my goats would be very attractive to
                          them. Mountain lions are also a concern, but they avoid people.

                          If you decide to get new packgoats here's a link to a lady in CO who
                          raises and sells packgoats. She knows her stuff and her animals are
                          first rate.

                          http://huffakerfarms.homestead.com/soap2.html
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