Pack Animal Magazine

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From The Editor, Summer 2020
FROM THE EDITOR

From The Editor, Summer 2020

by Alexa Metrick (Summer 2020)

The world has changed completely between Pack Animal issues, and it’s given me a chance to think about the lifestyle we, as packers, have chosen. In his Manifesto, Paul Kingsnorth writes that “the pattern of ordinary life, in which so much stays the same from one day to the next, disguises the fragility of its fabric. How many of our activities are made possible by the impression of stability that pattern gives?”

Lost Llama: Maybe Forever
ESSAYS

Lost Llama: Maybe Forever

by Lina Gustafson (Spring 2020)

You may have read the article my father, Eric Gustafson, wrote in the Summer 2019 issue of Pack Animal about adopting two young llamas from Southwest Llama Rescue. That was a happy tale, but this is the story of how I lost my first pack llama and best friend.

From The Editor, Spring 2020
FROM THE EDITOR

From The Editor, Spring 2020

by Alexa Metrick (SPRING 2020)

I’m on the left, leading JP, and on the right is my eldest daughter leading Sunrise—with a doll in a pannier pocket in both shots. It is sometimes difficult to describe the impact growing up on the trail with llamas had on me, but maybe the fact that I’m trying to give my girls what I had says it all. Or enough, anyway.

From The Editor, Winter 2019
FROM THE EDITOR

From The Editor, Winter 2019

by Alexa Metrick (WINTER 2019)

When I was a kid, we’d kick off every packing season with a Pack Festival, where all the llama packers from miles around would gather for a weekend in the mountains. We would share knowledge, make memories, and build community during these weekends.

From The Editor, Fall 2019
FROM THE EDITOR

From The Editor, Fall 2019

by Alexa Metrick (FALL 2019)

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!

The 2011 Pack Llama Festival
LLAMA PACKING

The 2011 Pack Llama Festival

by Alexa Metrick and Charlie Hackbarth (October 2011)

[In September of 2011], eighty-three llama packing enthusiasts gathered in beautiful Silverton, Colorado to talk shop. Because all of the participants were so willing to share ideas and knowledge, we were able to make real progress toward re-defining the sport of llama packing.

Training Tip: It's Never The Llama's Fault
LLAMA PACKING

Training Tip: It's Never The Llama's Fault

by Wes Holmquist of the Llama Connection (Spring 2013)

I don’t know how many times I have had a llama start to tug on his lead or stop, and I have started thinking “why is this llama getting stubborn?” Then I check things over, and find the saddle turning on him or something in his load gouging him. Then I realize (again) that it wasn’t the llama, but the dummy leading him/her who was wrong.

Magic On The Trail
LLAMA PACKING

Magic On The Trail

by Greg Harford of Potato Ranch Llama Packers (Spring 2013)

In our brief conversations with hikers, a few would mention “Trail Magic,” freshly cooked meals provided by strangers where a dirt road would intersect the PCT... Having complete strangers set up a food rest stop makes quite an impression.

Losing A Llama In A Parking Lot
LLAMA PACKING

Losing A Llama In A Parking Lot

by Janet Boyhan (Spring 2013)

Once again, it happened in a parking lot. Tom and I joke that we only get lost in parking lots. We’ve trekked our llamas through countless wildernesses for very extended periods of time and never get lost. In parking lots, we get lost. Many people know this about us; it’s old news. But on this day, it was our llama.

Training Tip: Water Crossings
LLAMA PACKING

Training Tip: Water Crossings

by Cody Bish of Rocky Mountain Llamas (Summer 2013)

Every pack llama should be able to negotiate a stream crossing. It’s one of the first things we teach our young packers when we take them to the hills.

Encounters On The Trail
LLAMA PACKING

Encounters On The Trail

by Duane Ackerman (Summer 2013)

In 1994, my wife Carolyn and I rented two llamas and completed a seven-day pack trip into the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Within two months of completing the trip, we purchased our first two llamas—untrained two year olds—then started a huge learning process for all of us... Encounters on the trail are unavoidable.

You Can Pack With Goats?
GOAT PACKING

You Can Pack With Goats?

by Charlotte Zimmerman (Fall 2015)

“You can pack with goats? What a novel idea!” Those are usually the first words out of the mouth of someone who sees them on a trail for the first time.

The NAPgA's Troubles In The Winds
GOAT PACKING

The NAPgA's Troubles In The Winds

by Larry Robinson (Spring 2013)

In November of 2011, the Shoshone National Forest summarily closed the Wind River Range to packgoats, ostensibly because they represented a threat to the Bighorn Sheep (BHS) there due to pneumonia pathogens that our goats could possibly be carrying.

A Packer's Responsibility
PUBLIC LANDS ADVOCACY

A Packer's Responsibility

by Murray E. Fowler, DVM (Spring 2012)

Llama packers in the United States will remember the challenges posed by a planned exclusion of llamas for Canyon Lands National Park in Utah. Similar exclusionary policies have been put in place in California. Another such policy is being attempted in Alaskan wilderness areas.

Green Chile Chili
FOOD

Green Chile Chili

by John Myers (Summer 2013)

Anaheim chile peppers should be purchased in the fall of the year and roasted so they peel easily when defrosted. I usually buy a bushel or more, have them roasted, and then package them in gallon-size ziplock freezer bags so I have enough chile peppers to make a big batch with each package.

Grandma’s Trail Bars
FOOD

Grandma’s Trail Bars
(Cinnamon Raisin Oat Triangles)

by Alexa Metrick, Editor (Spring 2013)

My grandmother was an incredible woman. She was also a magician in the kitchen, and friends and family still request her meals by name (i.e. “Will you be bringing your grandma’s ham loaves/your grandma’s strawberry shortcake/your grandma’s trail bars?”)

Preparing for the New Season
NAVIGATION

Preparing for the New Season

by Phil Romig Jr (Spring 2014)

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, tax returns aren’t due for a couple of months, and there will be more long, cold evenings before spring takes over. This is the perfect time to take care of details that will help make this year’s trips the best ever.

Making Hay While War Rages
ESSAYS

Making Hay While War Rages

by Kristen Davenport (Summer 2013)

Twelve years ago, when we moved out of the city and came up here to live on the edge of the woods, it was definitely an attempt to get away—and to find a place where we could grow good garlic. But it also felt crazy. I was commuting over an hour to my job at a newspaper, living in a dilapidated house and not quite sure what we were doing out here.