When camping with llamas there are many things a person needs to know and work out for their own and the animals safety and comfort.
One thing to think about before leaving home, such as; How will you keep the animals in camp with your while you are sleeping? What food will you carry for your llama to eat? What if it rains? What if the llama is injured? Do you want the llamas to wear bells? How big of a bell? Will you be tying your animal off in camp or setting up fencing?
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KEEPING THE LLAMAS IN CAMP OVERNIGHT
There a few ways to keep your llamas in camp overnight. How much room for camping your group has will make a difference in your choices.
You can High tie your llamas, or tie to a stake if you only have one or two llamas.
There are kits available that include wires for fencing and batteries to hot wire the fence. You can also put a little kit together on your own. Most llamas will respect a two wire line small fence. I would however to try this at home a couple of times, once at night, before trying to keep the llamas in it over night in a strange place you call "camp".
FEEDING YOUR LLAMAS ON AN OVERNIGHT CAMPING TRIP
Be sure to pack and take at least a small amount of grain for your llamas. Feed them a little bit when you take their packs off and settle them, then feed them a little more after you eat. Feed them just a little more before you bed down....why? This might help keep them in camp, wondering if you will have a bit more grain to "dish out". In the morning, give them just a little bit of grain, making them want to stay with/near you and wonder "When will be the next time my human gives me a treat to eat."
If you normally feed your llamas, say 2 cups of grain each, break that amount up during their time in camp. You may also want to take just a little bit more grain per llama, they are working. They are carrying a load all day for you. Reward them in a way they understand.
What are Llama Bells? Llama Bells are bells you attach to your llamas collar or halter for hiking and/or for camp. The idea is that the bells will ring on the trail, moving wildlife away from you and your animals.
In camp, overnight, the llamas wear bells so that you can hear where they are. You can hear if the animals are startled and or running away.
MAKING REPAIRS TO EQUIPMENT IN CAMP
Be sure you have safely packed a small sewing kit inside your llama pack. Pack your pins and or needles in a small plastic jar, or metal mint container. This will keep the llamas safe and away from the items sticking them in the sides.
If your equipment should need repair, do this in the evening after you take the pack or equipment off the animals. Stitch it well. Stitch it correctly. It does not matter if you have 1 or 100 miles to go before returning home. Not only will a split or hole in your equipment spill your items. If it rips and items start falling out, it will not only be aggravating, it could spook your animals.
If you have a small hole or tear in your tent. You might want to repair that by hand in camp too....especially if you are going to be using it again on this same trip. Keep in mind with a tent, each hole you make with your needle, will make a rain hole in your tent.
If your clothing gets a rip or tear, you might just leave it. But truth is, if it is in your jacket, you might not want to wait.
Sewing Kits can be worth their weight in gold on the Trail. If you have animals you are packing, I would never leave the home without a Sewing Kit. It could mean the difference of the animal continuing to wear the pack, or you carrying it.
WILDLIFE IN CAMP
From Skunks to Mountain Lions, Wildlife in your camp, especially during the night, can be dangerous to you and your animals. Be ready for all types of animals and know how to chase them off so that they do not come back to worry you or your animals.
Loose Dogs in your camp can do more harm than good. Many times they wander off and lead wildlife back to the camp.
more to come
REPACKING FOR THE TRIP HOME
I am always amazed by people that leave a mess and trash behind them when they leave a camp. Really? It is not like EVERYONE has not heard "If you pack it in, pack it out.", or more than that, "Pack out any trash you find along the way on the back trails.". So why do people leave a mess? Selfishness. No respect for others or trails, or the backwoods. And SHAME on them. Don't be this person. Take your trash and mess with you.
more to come
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