Horse & Mule Packing Clinic - Kenai Peninsula - April 29th

AKMAN

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
186
Location
Alaska
While I know Alaska is a small contingent of Rokslide, and horses/mules aren't all that popular in Alaska, but I thought I'd share that the Kenai Peninsula Back Country Horsemen is hosting* a clinic in Soldotna on horse and mule packing. I've ridden horses and have secured loads to inanimate vehicles with a diamond hitch, but am a true novice when it comes to packing horses and mules.
Babers owns a riding mule (she's no stranger to a, pack saddle though) so I figured this would be a good way to glean some old timers knowledge I could put into good use this summer.

*Also sponsored by Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game

Here's their facebook link for more info:
KPBCH Packing Clinic

If any Alaskans see this, let me know if you have any interest in coming down; ought to be a nice Saturday and it's not too far from the archery range. :)
 

theleo91386

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Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
712
Location
Eastern Washington
I'm not sure what they are like up in AK but the BCH groups around my area are good people to get involved with. The knowledge base of packing is excellent, and probably more important to most Roksliders, is the knowledge you gain from them on hoe to get around in the woods. Lots of trails aren't marked on maps that a lot of old timers in those groups know about. I'm not sure what they cover in the clinics but some of those guys have a PHD level of knowledge on how to tie knots. I've seen everything from 10' bridge railings on the sides for a bridge repair project to 75 gallon water troughs packed into areas inside wilderness boundaries packed on mules.

P.S if you're planning on packing animals in the future have them show you a basket hitch, a crows foot (both used on Deckers) and a box hitch (used on Sawbucks). I don't personally know any experienced packer that runs Diamond hitches on their stock and I've been threatened with bodily harm if I tie one on theirs.
 
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AKMAN

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
186
Location
Alaska
I'm super excited. The knowledge available on a whole range of subjects new to me is going to be vast.
In talking to one of the folks putting it on, she said, "We've been doing this for 35 years; no need for you to re-invent the wheel!"

And point well taken. Involvement with the org could introduce me to lots of great trails. The problem is, with two of us and just one mule, we've got another critter to feed in the near future. :cool:

Edit: Also, thanks for the knot names; always interested in knots. Especially if they're improved techniques.
 

theleo91386

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
712
Location
Eastern Washington
I'm super excited. The knowledge available on a whole range of subjects new to me is going to be vast.
In talking to one of the folks putting it on, she said, "We've been doing this for 35 years; no need for you to re-invent the wheel!"

And point well taken. Involvement with the org could introduce me to lots of great trails. The problem is, with two of us and just one mule, we've got another critter to feed in the near future. :cool:

Edit: Also, thanks for the knot names; always interested in knots. Especially if they're improved techniques.
Knots depend on what saddles you're using. For I was raised on Deckers with combination trees (my dad will only own Ray Holes pack saddles) and they make using panniers and Mante loads pretty easy. On Sawbucks I've never gotten Mante loads down but a box hitch works for panniers and a top pack. Two guys could live pretty comfortably with a mule loaded with panniers and a top pack if they packed a couple of lite packs them selves. Personally I'm not sure how much you'd gain by having a second mule except a moose being one pack trip instead of two. For a guy going solo and not afraid of riding at night two animals, one riding and one pack animal, can be a force to be reckoned with.

In these photos the black mule has two different kinds of loads but both are tied using a Crows foot. If it's just me she gets panniers on both sides like the photo with the horns and one of the Mante loads from the first across the top. With multiple guys and mules one animal gets the bed rolls and pads (Mante loads) and another gets the cooler and food.


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