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Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby Tom_H » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:25 am

intrek38 wrote:No robots should ever be aloud on trail, IMOP..


Agreed, while I would allow them, I wouldn't like them being aloud. Part of the reason I backpack is for the quietness.



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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:59 pm

sekihiker wrote:Fifty years ago when rules weren't as strict, we took a kid goat on a hike into the Kern headwaters where we ate him.

Okay, that was a plot twist I didn't see coming. But then, I'm guessing neither did the goat. ;)
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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby sekihiker » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm

Jesse, the kid goat, became a pet to one of the scouts. Needless to say, there was a little more meat for each of us at the feast. After the NPS banned the troop from taking a goat, they took pigeons. No, not to eat, but as a primitive version of SPOT!
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Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby wanderin.jack » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:18 pm

I talked to the ranger once in evolution and asked him what pack animals he saw the most trouble with and which ones he saw the least trouble with. He enthusiastically responded that llamas were by far the worst and burros were by far the best. Go figure, the age old tried and true donkey gets the gold medal. Not very sexy but I guess they get the job done. Just thinking ahead to when I'm too old to carry my stuff and still need to wander in the thin air.


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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby Tom_H » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:06 pm

intrek38 wrote:No robots should ever be aloud on trail, IMOP...


I really do think the day will come when we can choose a robotic device rather than an animal. I know there are those who say robots should not be allowed. I think of it this way, if 50 years for now one could have an electric device, perhaps powered by an ultracapacitor rather than a battery, capable of following the human and actually doing less damage to the trail than the human, and which did not drop scat on the trail, what is the objection? Some will make appeal to the aesthetics, some will claim it is not natural. Well, we already use all kinds of stuff that isn't natural-synthetic insulation, stoves, GPS devices, heck almost all the gear we use isn't natural, but it helps us have lower impact on the land. Stoves leave the land in better shape than fires. Sleeping pads and bags do far less damage than building fires, heating cobble, burying the hot cobble, cutting and laying boughs over them for a night's sleep the way trappeurs used to do. Rather than the Danger Will Robinson robot from Lost in Space or the anthropomorphic C3PO, I would envision a low profile device designed to pick its way along the trail with less impact than the human foot. I would be willing to limit the robot to the same trails to which pack animals are limited, but why prevent those who are growing old from continuing to enjoy the back country? I couldn't still be out there had SUL gear not come along. Youngsters who say, Well if you're too old to haul your own weight you shouldn't be out there, you just wait; your time will come. You will either grow old and wish you could still backpack, or you will die before you get old. Besides, if I had a choice between a 75 lb. low impact machine to carry my stuff, or a 600 lb. animal that munches plants and drops scat all over the place, it just seems like a no brainer. As for those who just laugh at the idea as silly, for how many hundred thousand years did humans think the idea of themselves flying was silly? Two years ago, my daughter's team robot had to be able to drive anywhere on a basketball court, use accelerometers and computer to determine correct trajectory, then launch a basketball through the net. Last year it had to be able to climb to the top of a pile of rubble, site a frisbee golf goal, then launch the frisbee, landing it in the goal. We are on the cusp of the robotics age. For those who still object...ya know, if I were rich, I believe it actually would be legal for me to just fly a helicopter from campsite to campsite. Don't think many purists would like that. Wouldn't a robot be better?
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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby oldranger » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:02 pm

Tom

No, I prefer animals, properly managed.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:56 pm

Still waiting on Segway to come out with a hovercraft that can carry 350lbs w/o touching the ground or making noise. ;)

Teleportation would be nice, but after watching "The Fly" a few times, the skeeters might be a problem on the trip in and back. :)

Guess it's back to goats, llamas, burros, or mules.. sigh..
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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby wanderin.jack » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:16 am

Ok, well I stand corrected. I've done a lot of reading on this topic and have come to the conclusion that for a wide variety of reasons goats are probably the ideal pack animal. Check a book called, The Pack Goat by John Mionczynski. I've been very interested in pack animals because although I'm 54 and in great shape, I want to get deep into the backcountry for as long as I can. Goats are idea because they are gentle eaters, ideal for off trail, even will eat snow, don't crap in streams like llamas, they like people and have been domesticated about 5,000 years longer than horses.... The list goes on and on.


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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby wanderin.jack » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:22 am

John Mionczynski worked in Wyoming with the task of observing and recording a band of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. He had a good deal of equipment to carry into the high mountains, including a big radio receiver to follow the radio collared sheep. He tried horses and then mules to follow the sheep into the high wild terrain. He could not get near the area where the sheep lived. Stuck with this dilemma, he trained his pet wether (castrated male goat) to wear a modified mule cross buck and off into the rugged slippery upper reaches they went; the goat’s presence did not alarm the wild sheep. He ultimately wrote a book called The Pack Goat and is considered the father of American goat packing.


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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby Ska-T » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:13 am

An Internet search brings up examples of microbial infection between domestic goats and bighorn sheep. For this reason alone I'm not a big fan of domestic goats in the wild.
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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby Sierra Miguel » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:57 pm

Tom_H wrote:they'll have robots to carry your pack and probably robotic power assist devices to support and give a bit of extra power output for the knees and hips.


They already do: HULC exoskeleton, made in Berkeley.
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Re: Anybody ever see goats used as pack animals?

Postby toejam » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:21 pm

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The guy who got me hooked on trail work would pack beer, steak, salad, & tools into the wilderness on goats to support trail crews. The goats were easy to get along with - better behaved than all the dogs and some of the hikers. I did maybe a dozen trips with them.

The goats were good for about 40 lbs each on a good day, but slow way down in heat. They are super low maintenance on a trip, but their owner has to saddle them up and go on long walks a couple times a week. They are getting old now and some have been retired or can't carry loads. He's had one drop dead on the trail and one crawled off injured and was lost in the woods for 3 weeks. Bears and cougars avoid them, surprisingly.

They were really cool on the trail, but they'd be too much work for me to add to my normal routine.

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Last edited by toejam on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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