Take a hike with a Goat
Information courtesy of: North American Packgoat Association
(and let them carry your gear)
WHY PACK A GOAT?
THE GOAT (and the dog) are the two animals first domesticated by man. Goats have been used as beasts of burden in European and Asian countries for centuries, but have only recently joined the packstock scene in this country. Goats, like dogs, bond with humans at a young age and will follow anywhere. Unlike dogs, they do not chase squirrels and deer, and may even put wildlife at ease, allowing you to approach closely.
Goats Eat Like Deer...
They forage and browse for a wide variety of food, so there is no need to pack much extra food for them. You may need to pack feed in areas where your goats must be kept tied. In areas not requiring tying, your goat will willingly follow along the trail, browse for his own food and sleep next to your tent or rainfly.
Goats Are Easy To Train....
They can start with light loads as yearlings. When properly conditioned, you can expect your goat to carry 30-60 pounds (or 25% of his body weight) over 5-15 mountain miles per day. Goats can be trained at an early age to cross streams. When hiking in areas that require a lead on your goat, they can be trained to tether or highline and lead.
The Family Goat...
Goats are easily led by children and are easy to pack for all ages, as you need not lift your load very high. They are affectionate, playful, and no -- they don’t stink!
Where Can I Take My Goat?
Goats can utilize areas that are inaccessible to horses, relieving congestion on crowded trails. Goats can travel over a wide variety of terrain such as packed snow, downed logs and rock. Goats are used in the National Forests and BLM lands on packstock-designated trails and in remote trailless areas where allowed.
In some states goats are used by the Forest Service in support of trail maintenance. Many State Parks also allow packgoats but they must be on leads. Currently, goats are not allowed in National Parks.
Check regulations with your local land manager in the area you wish to go.