Every time I start putting together an issue of Pack Animal, I’m amazed at what you people are getting out there and doing. In fact, I have to keep adding pages to fit it all in!
This issue has several examples of different user groups packing together, and that in and of itself is exciting. Our cover story, by Topher Downham, is about the pack trip we took early in June with three folks using handcycles, three “standing campmates,” and five llamas carrying in all of our gear. Next, An Emu is a story by Joe Boyle about the various ways he and his sons get out into the backcountry together: first as backpackers, then as goat packers, and most recently with the help of a llama and a mule. There are all types of alternative pack animals out there, and they all serve different needs and solve different problems. It’s just further evidence that there’s a perfect pack animal for every backcountry trip.
But don’t worry, there is still plenty of llama packing and goat packing in this issue, including reports from NACA (the North American Ccara Association) and the PLTA (Pack Llama Trial Association)—plus the outdoor content relevant to all of us, no matter how we get out there: navigation, knots, food, and tips for leaving no trace.
All of us here at Pack Animal are always exploring new ways to get outside. We’re launching another new column called Dose of Nature that, starting with the winter issue, will be written by Dave Hodges. Shirley Weathers has run out of poisonous plants to describe, so she is taking over the Public Lands Advocacy column with plans to teach us all how to become more effective crusaders for our public lands.
Finally, you have a day or two left to order a Pack Animal t-shirt, but I need to put the order in by September 4th.
Enjoy your summer, and
Alexa Metrick, Editor