About Outfitting

The inadvertent introduction of the horse by 16th century European explorers to North American revolutionized the native cultures, enabling tribes to expand their territories, increase their hunting range, carry large loads such as tipis, and to wage war or trade with their neighbors.

When Lewis and Clark embarked on their epic journey they purchased horses from the and manufactured their own "saw buck" or "cross buck" type pack frames, the same type used by the Chaffins and most other outfitters during the 40s - 60s.

Guiding a string of packhorses over steep, unimproved trails demands that both humans and beasts have certain attributes; physical strength a sensitivity to balancing two packs that weigh 80 pounds or so apiece, a mutual trust in capabilities and temperament, an alertness to changing conditions on the trail, and an ability to manage all these variables with patience and endurance.