The Goat Spot Forum banner

how do you pack your gear?

1369 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Herb
I would like to know what you guys are using for camping gear. How you pack your gear and how much each goat carries on your trips on average.

If you have pictures please post them

I usually pack two goats for one hunter. Each goat carries around 20-30 lbs of gear. Including mountain house meals, hammock, stove, titanium pot, sleeping bag, change of clothing, rain gear,
I weigh my gear out and write it down on a piece of paper. So I can remember what goes where. I usually put the bulky gear like sleeping bags, hammocks, clothes on one goat. Then put the cooking gear, mountain house meals, water, and goat stuff on the other one.

I carry my own back pack large enough to pack everything out if I need too.
I also carry my own range finder, water, bow, spotting scope, camera, and binoculars. These are things I don’t want the goats to break, and things I use all the time so I don’t want to bother with unpacking and packing the goats.

If I do tag a deer I bone it out, put the meat in game bags, hang them in a tree to cool off until I finish packing up camp. When the meat is cooled off I place it into a few garbage bags and load them on the goats. Then I load the two goats up with all the meat, and their stuff like ropes, ground stakes, and I pack my own camp off the hill.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
First, I never pack much on young goats, they just get pillows or sleeping pads but only after they are large enough to really carry a saddle, after a year old.

At two years old I still don't pack more than 10% on them, which means a 200 pound 2 year old wether would not carry more than 20 pounds and likely with me they would carry a lot less just because they are yearlings. My yearlings only carry two down pillows in thier panniers so that they learn how wide they are and that they have a job on the trial. They feel very important but it is not hard on their bones and joints.

Mikey turns three in February and this year he will pack no more than about 12-15% max. When he is four he will pack 20-25% of his body weight and I do take them to the vet to weigh them to ensure I'm loading them the proper amount for their age but I'm also careful to make sure they are well conditioned for the type of hiking we will do and are used to the load. This plan of training a young packer teaches them that hiking is fun and creates a sense of accomplishment and the attitude that they can. If you overload them to young they feel defeted and tend to give up more easily later on.

We usually pack with 4 people and 4 goats. Sierra and Marina are small for their ages and cannot pack more than the barest of things, a light jacket, space blanket, small first aid kit, snacks and water. Randy carries about 45 pounds worth of photographic equipment, water and snacks.

I carry a light pack as my back will not tolerate more than about 20 pounds before both my legs go totally numb.

We load the sleeping bags into the panniers first, all of our bags are down and weigh almost exactly the same amount. Then other soft stuff near the goat like ground cloths or clothing, which is all in stuff sacks and marked with who's and what.

The pot and cook kit go on the outside and top of a pannier, the tent is a pyramid tent with a single pole, I carry the pole, the tent is made of silicon impregnated lightweight nylon and has a stuff sack, it only weighs a few pounds and sleeps 4 plus all of our gear, saddles and packs. The first aid kit is usually on me, the water filter again goes on the outside of a pannier. The tent stakes are on the outside as well in a little stuff sack. We pad the panniers with jackets or cloths so that the goat side is always comfy for the goat and nothing is poking.

I bring a fish scale along to weigh everything. The tie ropes and such go in the bottom of a pannier as they are not hard. I use prussik knots on little lightweight cords to tie the goats to my lowline when I lowline them. They each have their own line and collar or halter depending on the goat.

Bear canisters are great because they can go on top of a sleeping bag and are round and easily fit in the panniers. The sleeping pads go on top of differnt goats depending on who is carrying what. Gulliver carries Randy's tripod because his saddle (Rex's super whiz bang aluminum and resin model) is well suited to attaching the tripod and because he never seems to bash any of the gear on his back and is a careful boy.

The goats come up and line up in the morning to be loaded and again in the evening to be unloaded when we are in camp.

Gosh I love my goats!

Charlie Goggin
Lightfoot Packgoats
See less See more
swbuckmaster said:
I weigh my gear out and write it down on a piece of paper. So I can remember what goes where.
I'm not nearly so organized. We lay out everything we want to take including a two burner propane stove, big dome tent and plenty of food. Fishing gear and a book or two. Then I pack it according to description. Food in one set of panniers, clothes and sleeping bags in a set, cook ware and other hardware in a set etc. I double check to make sure there won't be anything sharp, or hard for that matter, poking against the goats side when the panniers are loaded. Besides keeping each pannier the same weight, I also try to keep them the same size. Just because they are the same weight doesn't mean they will ride the same. Fat ones tend to hang lower than skinny ones if put on the same goat. Probably because the weight is farther out from the goat on a fat pannier making it have more "leverage". I also keep my top loads to a bare minimum. Preferring none if I can get away without them. The simple fact is that every pound you get above the goats top line increases saddle movement when the goat walks and it's just something extra to snag on brush and blow downs when traveling cross country or on grown in trails. When our gear is all packed into panniers and weighed, I go out to the barn and load how ever many goats I need to carry it all. :mrgreen:

All the panniers have outside pockets for water bottles etc. We use the water to regulate the weight distribution. If you eat the trail mix from one pannier then drink water from the other. If one side keeps hanging lower than the other then move the water to the high side. Pretty simple really. I'd rather take an extra goat than carry a back pack. Thats why I got `em in the first place.
See less See more
I just start checking things off the list.

Wood Stove/Pipe
Fire starter
2 lighters
2 tarps

Coleman Stove (if fire restrictions are in place)

Cook kit
Dish scrubber/Soap

Shower Bag(a real treat after a few days)
Water Filter
400 ft parachute cord

Goat First Aid Kit

Cable Bow Press
4- buckets (we pack food and stuff in these for the trip up the mountain, there they are chairs, water carriers, storage, tables, ect., they fit right in the panniers)


This is the full size camp, it will take 4 - 6 goats, varies with the amount of food we take, and how good of food we take. The above list is the "shared" gear, then everyone gets one goat to carry their personal stuff. Everyone in our group has their own mix of items they like, some a heavier sleeping bag, maybe a cot, extra pair of boots, whatever, you just get one goat.
See less See more
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.