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Clay Zimmerman of High Unita Pack Goats adores his tribe of goats. The feeling is quite obviously mutual.
Author Casey Lyons, on the other hand, isn’t so sure.
The three components of the goat’s pack system must weigh within a few ounces of each other and have equal bulk (for balance).
Every stream is a water hazard to goats, who will do anything to keep from getting their feet wet. Note: the author keeps the spray bottle handy to discipline rebellious behavior.
The author attaches the understrap of Draco’s harness. Each goat wore a saddle with a wooden yoke for attaching three equally weighted nylon bags of gear. The process of brushing, saddling, and packing takes about 10 minutes per goat.
Goats don’t love the water, but the right coaxing and pulling gets them across.
In the morning, the goats eat a free-range breakfast, but tend to stay nearby.
Meadows lie between the High Unitas’ towering rock ridges, offering plenty of flat, soft camping and fodder for the goats.
Lunar is a La Mancha/alpine mix, making him strong enough to carry loads and (allegedly) docile enough to follow commands.
The author says goodbye to his three rented goats at the Salt Lake City airport.
Is goatpacking the ultimate ultralight solution—or a surefire way to ruin a good hike? Our senior editor gave it a shot.