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Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Llamas on 01/26/2010 14:43:22 MST Print View

I have a friend who wants to bring his two year old on a 6 day backpack next summer. Last summer we saw some people in King's Canyon with a little kid riding a llama. Anyone with experience with llamas? Can you rent one?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Llamas on 01/26/2010 15:20:27 MST Print View

Many locations rent llamas, but usually just for gear. Google around the area, but then ask specifically about hauling a child. Llamas are intelligent, particular, and sometimes belligerent. If not "child ready", I would not risk it.

Transportation can also be an issue. It is easiest if they can meet you at the trailhead. Otherwise you will need at least a small truck.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
an alternative on 01/26/2010 16:28:25 MST Print View

If llamas become too much of a problem, the other alternative would be the human porter. My friends have a kid that was brought along on all backpack trips from age 3 months on. The backpack baby carrier was the key. Once the kid gets too heavy to carry, then the kid is probably big enough to walk some miles on their own.
Since the dad got to carry the kid for those couple of years, they always recruited a human porter (me) to help carry the remaining gear load.
Once the kid got to be four or so, there was no further use of the baby carrier.
--B.G.--

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
re: llamas on 01/26/2010 17:42:09 MST Print View

Greg,

I found a company about 70 miles from Yosemite that rents llamas. You are right though. They don't want the liability of a two year old riding it.

Bob - Are you hiring out for this task? :) Actually that is probably the best idea of all. We could all share the extra load of the gear and Dad would carry the two year old.

Larry

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
the human porter on 01/26/2010 17:54:50 MST Print View

I've been known to carry the excess ten or so pounds of gear for close friends. It gets interesting when we get to the thigh-deep stream crossing.
--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: the human porter on 01/26/2010 18:14:15 MST Print View

Bob:

Is this one of those "will work for food" deals? :)







j/k!!!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
llamas versus donkeys on 01/26/2010 18:25:11 MST Print View

I've also seen donkeys being led along the trail in Kings Canyon (Goddard Canyon). Obviously they are smaller animals, so they can't carry extremely heavy loads, but if they carry the gear, then dad can carry the kid. There is some place that rents donkeys, but (as I recall) you have to deposit some horrendous pile of cash and submit to some training. Donkeys are such docile animals that few hikers would object. OTOH, check with NPS first.
--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: llamas versus donkeys on 01/26/2010 18:40:04 MST Print View

In many parts of the world, donkeys wait in line to carry tourists up rocky trails -- adult and children alike. Petra (Jordan) is one such.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Llamas for rent on 02/26/2010 17:15:57 MST Print View

I did find a guy named Greg Harford in Sonora, CA that rents llamas. The cost is $55/day per llama and they can carry up to 75lbs. There are others listed in a website as well: http://www.bcllama.com/Rlsorc.html

Bob, do you rent out cheaper than this???

Greg does not want kids to ride them though for liability reasons but the parent can carry the kid while the llama carries the equipment.

Sonora is just west of Emigrant Wilderness and I think that would be about the only place that this would be feasible in California. Emigrant is a beautiful place but it does not seem very challenging and there are no trail quotas so it's probably crowded in the summer. They are fine with llamas though.

Here is the llama contact:

Greg Harford
Potato Ranch Llama Packers
15025 Potato Ranch Rd
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 588-1707
email: potatoranch@gmail.com

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
I resemble that remark on 02/26/2010 17:34:15 MST Print View

"Bob, do you rent out cheaper than this???"

I can't match that price.
--B.G.--

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Donkeys on 02/26/2010 18:13:56 MST Print View

"Obviously they are smaller animals, so they can't carry extremely heavy loads,"

Donkeys can carry way more than Llamas. A lot of Llamas cant pack as much as goats that are half their size. Just me, but if I did not own, and know that Llama very well, I would not put my kid on. I'd say Llama for gear, Donkey for riding.

Corey Miller
(coreyfmiller) - F

Locale: Eastern Canada
Buy a goat on 03/07/2010 00:26:08 MST Print View

Get a goat, $200 bucks... will carry all your stuff... they eat anything and you'll save $600 on lightweight gear! lol

My old man has two, never thought of packing them up... their kinda stubborn but I guess they could probably be trained...

They make a ton of noise though!

Corey Miller
(coreyfmiller) - F

Locale: Eastern Canada
Whoa! on 03/07/2010 00:29:13 MST Print View

Just googled it... I could live forever on the trail with these guys! Wonder if I could train a chicken to sit on the back of one of them... one of em gets slow... trail dinner!

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=_OElSwPZDq8&feature=related

Problem solved for everyone here!

Edited by coreyfmiller on 03/07/2010 00:30:42 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
goats on 03/07/2010 00:56:39 MST Print View

Goat meat is too hard to cook right.

Besides, you will have PETA demonstrating against you.

--B.G.--