Never heard of goats for backpacking? You've got to try it to believe it. Goats are ideal companions for backpackers, those under 10 and over 40, or anyone who could use a lighter load.
Willow-Witt pack goats are bred, raised, and trained for backpacking. We begin leash and water training at two months and work with each Alpine-cross kid one-on-one to ensure calm, reliable packers.
On the trail, they follow easily and can be handled by one person; in camp, they can be tied or allowed to browse free-range. Each goat can carry 25-30% of its body weight, approximately 35-60 pounds for an adult goat. They can be transported to the trailhead in a pickup and need only a handful of grain in addition to 3 hours browse daily.
Pack goats are very sociable, responsive, and make delightful companions.
Pack goats are relatively easy on trails and campsites, allowing your party to tread lightly on the land. Where regulations permit, they can travel without a lead, providing an easy and efficient way to transport gear over varied terrain like packed snow, fallen logs, or rock. Goats are favored by hunters because they tend not to frighten game in the wild. Plus, pack goats and their gear cost much less than the alternative pack stock: horses or llamas and their gear. Currently, pack goats are permitted in the National Forests and BLM lands on pack stock designated trails and in designated remote backcountry.
Pack goats are outfitted with specially-made packs; resembling small mule packs, each has a wooden crossbuck, pads, and a set of panniers. Willow-Witt packers easily cross waterways and will even swim if needed.
Hike wethers (castrated males) and take a doe in milk to provide fresh milk for coffee and cooking while on the trail. To see our pack goats and breeding stock including our buck, does, and previous year's kids, visit our photo gallery page.