There's a new pew pack animal for your next backcountry camping trip, and he doesn't kid around.
Goats, too, can be added to the pack list.
These ungulates are surprisingly strong, too. An adult male can carry up to 50 pounds on its back. That could mean a tent, water, food, and pots and pans, leaving you strapped with just a day pack.
If you're intrigued by the idea of a adding a goat to your backcountry team, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Different breeds are more suitable to rough terrain and long distances, and a goat of a larger size is better fitted for lugging supplies. Goatman and avid hiker Jarrett Babincsak suggests the Alpine breed, specifically a castrated male.
But, he makes a good point about hikers bringing along a female for milk--"a fresh squirt into their morning coffee or cereal" sounds nice.
Goats can be stubborn, though their sheep friends take home the trophy in the dairy industry. However, their personality is more akin to a dog than an alpaca, giving them qualities that liken to man's best friend--i.e. the animal you'd want at your side if you run into trouble in the woods.
You can rent these hooved climbers if you want, through companies like High Uinta Pack Goats in Wyoming. But frequent campers and hikers could benefit from investing in their own companion. Goats are significantly cheaper than any of the other traditional pack animals, both in initial purchase and lifetime care.
So why not invest in an affordable helper and hiking mate? They'll even keep you warm at night if you let them.
All images via High Uinta Pack Goats.