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Packing Out
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ricco



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 168
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Packing Out Reply with quote

This year my son is planning on packing out for the first time. He has his pack saddle. Now the rest of the story. Would appreciate any pointers you can share. Do' and don'ts etc. We have a horse that we are going to use but have yet to put the pack saddle on him.
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Wrangler



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 22
Location: North West Illinois

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Packing in Reply with quote

Hi ricco,

Your son should have a great time. Here is a site with some good common sense info
http://www.packsaddleshop.com/PackingTips.html

Also do a search for horse packing etc you should find some books on this.
One that comes to mind is Packing in on Horses and Mules.

Get a packers scale and weigh the packs they need to be balanced.

Is he going to use manties(traps) or panniers?

Dave[/img]
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ricco



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 168
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, he is going to be using panniers. We got the notaknot system from outfitterssupply with the decker pack saddle. thanks for the link and i will check into getting him a book. All this packing stuff looks complicated to me.
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SarahR
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Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 911
Location: Bayfield Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have that exact same set up Smile It's easy to use, but if you get in a wreck (which we did) the straps will break. So, it's still a good idea to bring rope and know how to tie a few simple packer's knots. We have some packing books, too, they are very helpful. We are also lucky enough to have friends that taught us a lot, my husband and I have gone on 6-7 trips with them, and this summer went on our first solo trip with no incident.
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www.fourcornerstrails.com
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ricco



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 168
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarah, how do you like this system? Thanks for the tip about wrecking. Hope it was not something too serious. Did you find you can fit a lot of stuff in the panniers?

What kind of food do you usually take? I know it would be hard to keep things cold. My son was thinking about taking a lot of can stuff but that will really ad to the weight. Also what do you use to purify water with? Since he works a lot, I will be the one who puts all of this together.
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cotrailrider44



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 14
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: Packing Out Reply with quote

Rico
One important tip I have is to keep at least one horse contained, tied or something. Count count the numer of times I have been riding in Colorado and come across lost horses or someone looking for their horses. It is a lot easier to look for horses on a horse than on foot.
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Todd



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricco

Iam Sarah's husband and I was the one to blame for the accident with the not-a-knot system. I overloaded the panniers(the hard panniers are large enough to hold more than enough stuff,obviously) , loaded the decker style top pack with heavier items that could shift, and didn't cinch the horse properly. If the panniers are packed to a proper balanced weight(45-50lbs each), the top packed used for only lightweight items25-30lbs), the not-aknot system is great. In my opinion, the best thing about this system is easy access to the cinch while on the trail. The extremely thick pad takes a lot cinching to get the saddle secure. The most important thing I have learned over the last two years is not to get rushed, prepare things carefully, and keep a close eye on things while on the trail.
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ricco



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 168
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great pointers. I realize we have a lot to learn. Our son is going to try a couple of trial runs in the local area before we go to the mountains. I go to a couple of other boards but I don't think anyone on there has packed out. I really appreciate the tips and don't be shy to share more.
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SarahR
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Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 911
Location: Bayfield Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ricco wrote:
Sarah, how do you like this system? Thanks for the tip about wrecking. Hope it was not something too serious. Did you find you can fit a lot of stuff in the panniers?

What kind of food do you usually take? I know it would be hard to keep things cold. My son was thinking about taking a lot of can stuff but that will really ad to the weight. Also what do you use to purify water with? Since he works a lot, I will be the one who puts all of this together.


The, um, 'wreck' was pretty scarey. As my husband said he overloaded it (Outfitters Supply said (I'm pretty sure) you can put 70 lbs per side, and 40 lbs in the top pack.....don't do that). We headed out hoping not to get hit by the storm gathering around us. Well, 10 minutes out in a steep narrow section we got nailed by a hellacious lighting storm, right on top of us. That horse, who was already unsure of the pack (and yes, we did a few test runs on trails before hand) pulled free and took off down the trail, bucking and crashing and finally careening off the trail and getting stuck in some bushes. They had to cut some of the straps on the panniers and top pack to get her free and the straps had actually ripped loose of the pannier boxes. The horse was fine for the most part. We had to go buy new panniers and a top pack and start fresh the next day, though. The horse did fine, she didn't seem scarred by the incident. My husband repaired the straps on the knot-a-knot system later. That is the only wreck we've had, I think sometimes stuff just happens. We learned from this not to overload the packs, and to keep the top pack very light. In fact, many outfitters around here don't even use top packs.

We usally bring steaks or chops for the first night, along with some veggies and bake potatoes in foil. Bring a whole roll of foil, as you can use it to cook lots of stuff (veggie packets, trout, etc). We also precook meal and freeze them in serving size ziplock bags that you can reheat by immersing the bag in boiling water. Like chili, soups, stew, etc. Sometimes I do spaghetti and meatballs by premaking the meatballs, freezing them, bringing spaghetti sause in plastic bottles. Anything that is liquid is heavy to bring, though. Our friends bring a few dozen eggs those red plastic egg containers. Instant oatmeal, salami, cheese, crackers, stuff to go with trout, boil in bag rice....it's all stuff we bring. We take a few of those smaller fabric coolers and keep all the frozen stuff together in the shade. We've kept food this way for 5-6 days. You can wrap it in newspaper to help keep it this long. You can also immerse food in cold mountain creeks.

As you can tell, we've never gone hungry in the backcountry Smile
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SarahR
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Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 911
Location: Bayfield Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Packing Out Reply with quote

ricco wrote:
This year my son is planning on packing out for the first time. He has his pack saddle. Now the rest of the story. Would appreciate any pointers you can share. Do' and don'ts etc. We have a horse that we are going to use but have yet to put the pack saddle on him.


We used our colt for the first time last year. We begain by putting the packsaddle on him in the roundpen. He's really calm, so it didn't take long before we were ponying him out with the pack saddle, and then with the soft panniers. Nothing bothers him, so it was pretty easy. On his first pack trip he did great, I think he even had fun.


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Sarah Rose
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www.rosehorse.com
Sarah@rosehorse.com
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Wrangler



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 22
Location: North West Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricco,

Sarah Rose covered quite well the food prep newspaper and all.

I have not used the not a knot system and can not comment on it. We use sawbuck saddles and Utah type panniers tied with a Wyoming box hitch, with the heave stuff in the paniers and the fluff (sleeping bage etc on top)and covered with a manty.

Dave

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Painted Horse



Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 690
Location: Northern Utah

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We pack into the high country during the summer and a lot during the hunting season in the fall. We often will use saddle panier, and hike in leading the horses loaded. Unload and set up camp, then we can ride the horses while we hunt.

I've got my camp on the grey horse and meat from an elk on the sorrel.

I roll the saddle paniers up behind the saddle when we are hunting, When I shoot an elk, we just bone it out, bag it in cotton bags, throw the saddle pannier over the saddle and load the meat in. Being careful to balance the load as close as possible. If it starts to slip on the trail because of un-balance, I slip a rock or two into the light side.

A decker saddle will carry more weight and more awkward materials. But the cheaper sadddle panniers work in bind.

Our Elk Camp


We high line the horses at night or when ever we leave camp. During the day we turn them out in the meadows. We usually bring up an electric fence. A 1320 foot roll of Poly String and a battery operated charger and enough fiberglass rods to string the hot wire around. Here we have 19 horses turned out in at 11,000 foot. We actually used two whole rolls of Poly Hot wire for this meadow. That's 1/2 mile of string



We've had problems with wild game running through the hot wire at night, so we don't leave the horses in the hot wire after dark. The elk or deer will knock the hot wire down pretty fast.




We bring a lot of powdered foods. Things you can mix with water and serve. ie. pancake batter, Cheese & Brocholli soup mix, dried chilli mix, Scoup some water out of the stream or lake, Run it through you purifier and add to the powder, bring it to a boil and serve. We also usually bring some hard or Potato rolls. Even if they get mashed, they are still good to dip in the soup. I always pack my eggs in a tuperware bowl fill of Sweet mix or horse grain. The grain keeps the eggs from breaking and provides some extra calories for hard working horses. And if an egg does break the horses don't seem to care. Gatoraid powder to make the lake water taste better. Some canned milk to put in hot chocolate or Coffee.




If I'm doing an extended stay, like Elk hunting, we will haul in the camp the first trip, then pack in food/water on subsequent trips. We often leave the tent and sleeping bags for several weeks at a time. If we have enough horses or are making multiple trips, I like to take in a dutch oven for cooking. If I'm by myself or two riders and 1 pack horse, we forgo heavy things like dutch ovens and eat more freeze dried food or army MRE's

Make sure you bring wet weather gear. I'been rain or snowed on too many times to ever go into the high country with it. I like to take my rain slicker and pull it through and old leg cut off a pair of jeans. The old denim protect the slicker from tears while tied on the back of the saddle. yet it's easy to pull the slicker out when you need it.
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SarahR
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Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 911
Location: Bayfield Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That reminded me, we use a Katadyn water purifier like this one:

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/filterdetail.cfm/KAT1200

We pump it into water bottles and collapsable water containers.
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Sarah Rose
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Sarah@rosehorse.com
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jcmwilson



Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Bayfield, Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may not have to use ropes with your decker pack outfit but make sure you familiarize your horse with ropes all around him. This will go a long ways to building his confidence in what your doing. This is something I do with all my beginning training horses. Keep your horse in a confined area where he can't get out of if he gets real scared. Is this horse saddle trained or is he green? If he is already saddle trained then most of the work is done and you only have to get him used to a brichen and the panniers which can be done safely in a round pen. Never tie a horse the first couple of times you put the panniers on keep a tight hold so you can correct him if he goes to move off or gets scared. Teaching a horse to stand still even when scared can save you a lot. Always do lots of ponying especially in brushy country so he can get used to brush going along his sides and get used the sound of it scraping on the equipment. You know your horse better than anyone and how he is most likely to react take that into consideration and plan your moves out carefully!
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Wrangler



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 22
Location: North West Illinois

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first try at posting pictures.

did not work

http://picasaweb.google.com/Wranglers455/PackingIn

Go here to see a few of Wind River Packing pictures.
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