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You are a part of a tribe called the Twin Sisters.

You need to travel for about 3 weeks worth of travel, but there all no cars: You live in post-Nuclear Colorado. You need some type of animal to help pull your things like your cart of food, water, and gear, through the mountains.

My question is: What animal is best suited to pull the cart?

Criteria

-The animal has to be able to handle large burdens.

-It has to be able to withstand cold.

-Be able to eat any available food.

-Climb mountains/steep rocks.

(Horses cannot be used, as they’re extinct)

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  • $\begingroup$ What condition are the roads? A lot of medieval travel with goods used mules instead carts because the roads were just that bad. $\endgroup$ – Mary May 16 '20 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ how much time and what animals are available to be trained? $\endgroup$ – user69935 May 16 '20 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ by that I mean, why would a hippo be in north America, are we limited to local creatures? $\endgroup$ – user69935 May 16 '20 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Mary: But if horses are extinct, you can't have mules. (Assuming this is longer than the mule's lifespan after horse extinction.) $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 16 '20 at 4:16
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf What does that have to do with whether the roads can handle a cart? Changing the animal will not change the difficulties of carts. $\endgroup$ – Mary May 16 '20 at 4:17
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If horses, mules and donkeys/burros are not allowed, camels would seem to be out because of the climate, I suppose llamas and and perhaps alpacas are potential options. Both have been used as pack animals and can be acclimated to high altitude and cold climates. The alpaca is smaller and more used for its wool that is very silky. The llamas wool is more coarse but is supposedly warmer than sheep's wool. This could be motivation for having them around in addition to pack animals. There have been various fads in the US where people have tried to breed them, so there could be reasons why they might be around in an post apocalyptic society.
The llamas were bred to be pack animals but can not carry as much load as horse. Rather than a single llama, I think it is more common to have a few and they can be easily led. They actually vary in appearance quite a bit, ranging from white to brown to black. I haven't spent much time around them, but hiking saw them being used to take supplies up to a set of cabins. I was kind of surprised that they seemed to have different personalities and seemed to look you over in a dignified way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Donkeys are allowed. Only horses are extinct $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper May 16 '20 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ @DTCooper so have a Donkey then? $\endgroup$ – user69935 May 16 '20 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ Llamas are actually fairly common around here (east side of the Sierra Nevada). I pass several places with llamas (or perhaps alpacas - I can't tell the difference) driving out to my friends' ranch. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 16 '20 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ @DTCooper Burros may be able to care a little more weight. I didn't know, but apparently goats have been used in Asia for pack animals. This link has a picture of some goats with horns carrying packs and claims they ar good on the trail eating anything etc.notechmagazine.com/category/pack-animals $\endgroup$ – UVphoton May 16 '20 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ And there is a North American Pack Goat Association napga.org $\endgroup$ – UVphoton May 16 '20 at 13:31
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The ideal animal would be something like a mule, which would be preferred over horses anyway. Mules historically served this role with the US military in frontier days.

Mules are tough, sure-footed and cope well with large packs and rough terrain.

Alternately, for a more colorful option, a giant mutant sentient eight-legged mountain goat would give you a companion who would talkback.

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  • $\begingroup$ One of the conditions set by the OP is that horses are extinct. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas May 16 '20 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Mules are not horses $\endgroup$ – David Hambling May 16 '20 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ @David Hambling: A mule is the result of breeding a horse and a donkey. If you don't have horses, you can't have mules. DUH! $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 16 '20 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ You don’t need a horse, just horse semen. And there is plenty of that stored $\endgroup$ – David Hambling May 17 '20 at 17:32

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