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Re: Gila Wilderness trip report

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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