Pack em Up, Ride em Out

Classic Horse Pack Trips in British Columbia and Alberta

Tania Millen

When Tania Millen began doing horse pack trips in western Canada, she had trouble deciding where to go—not because there were so many options, but because information was so hard to come by. Riding the trails was the only way she could gain information about particular routes, and she is now sharing her knowledge with readers and riders. Millen provides information on fourteen multiday horse pack trips that will take experienced backcountry riders, inspired novice riders and avid hikers from the snow-capped mountains and flower-strewn meadows of the Chilcotin to volcanic landforms in Tweedsmuir Park and on the Spatsizi Plateau, from the familiar sights of Banff and Jasper National Parks to the less familiar Rocky Mountain parks of Kakwa and Mount Assiniboine. In this unique and well-researched guidebook, Millen includes all the details necessary to plan a successful trip: directions to the trailhead, length and difficulty of each journey, permit requirements, camping and grazing areas, trip description, maps and photographs, plus historical anecdotes for these distinctive and stunningly beautiful areas in Western Canada’s wilderness.

Trip list:

  • Big Creek and South Chilcotin
  • Itcha-Ilgachuz
  • Kakwa
  • Mount Assiniboine
  • Potato Range
  • Snowy Protected Area and Cathedral Provincial Park
  • Spatsizi
  • Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Jasper National Park
  • Willmore Wilderness Park

“The no-nonsense essential, practical, and fascinating information is a must-have for anyone wanting to really experience a well-planned trip into backcountry.”
“As you leaf through Tania Millen’s guide to the backcountry of Western Canada, you might feel as though you’re turning the pages of a private journal. In many ways you are. Millen has logged hundreds of hours in the saddle and on the trail as she’s built this guide, which provides inside information on the best routes, campsites, seasons, trail conditions, and permit requirements. There’s no better source of intelligence on some of the most remote and astonishingly beautiful places on earth than here, and no better way to experience these places than on the back of a dependable horse.”
–Andrew McKean, Editor-in-Chief, Outdoor Life magazine

“Everything you need to know and consider to get that thrilling experience of travelling safely by horseback, whether you are a novice or more experienced rider. I would recommend anyone that is interested in trail riding or packing have this book.”

–Rose Schroeder, vice-president of Recreation Horse Council BC and chair of Yarrow Chapter Back Country Horsemen of BC

Pack em Up, Ride em Out” has been a joy to behold. It is about time a book on this subject matter and quality has become available. The attention to detail about trips is truly exceptional. It is one thing to send someone down a trail and something else to provide important detail–detail that often makes the difference between a successful trip and an ordeal. The information on trail conditions and campsites and distances and water crossings is very impressive. What is a great and pleasant surprise are the sections on logistics and what I would call dynamics. People often feel that once they have the horse and gear and know how to throw a hitch that they are ready to roll. The reality is that those unspoken logistics are more than important and need to be dealt with before you leave, like choosing partners, skills, gear, and most important, understanding caring for horses on the trail. A grade A book long overdue from a genuine back country rider.”

–Stan Walchuk, Jr., author of Cordillera! and Blue Creek Outfitting’s Complete Trail Riding, Packing and Training Manual

“Planning to hit the trail with the pack string this summer? Take this book. Not only is it a good read, but it will save you a whole lot of thrashing. If you are new to packing, you’ll find an excellent grounding in tested technique. If you are an experienced packer, you’ll find both familiar trails and your next route too, all laid out in prose as clear as good mountain water. I wish I’d had it thirty years ago–the resource section alone is worth the price.”

–Wayne Sawchuk, fellow international of the Explorers Club of New York, fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society

 “Gus Macrae, from the TV series Lonesome Dove, said ‘There is nothing better than riding into new country on fine horse.’ The bond between working animals, people and wilderness is a mystical experience that few understand. Tania Millen will take you there, show you where to go and how to do it. Wilderness adventure awaits! Pack em Up, Ride em Out: Classic Horse Pack Trips in British Columbia and Alberta is one of those books that should have been written years ago.”

–Peter Christensen, author of Wilderness Tales

“My fondest memories are of packing into Canada’s backcountry as a guide in the Chilcotin Region of BC. I love this book for what it teaches and how it takes me back to those special places. Every equestrian should get to know these pages…these trips will change you forever. This is a wonderful resource for anyone packing for work or play. This would especially be helpful to riders looking for the perfect trip as Tania outlines in detail many world-class routes.”
–Sean Patrick, author of Countdown to Broke

“If this book doesn’t get you on a horse and out in the back country, check your pulse. As you read about each detailed route, you’ll be treated to historical facts and local color. If you follow Tania Millen’s advice (including picking up specific maps where available) you’ll know exactly what awaits you around each bend. And as anyone who has gotten outdated or wrong advice can tell you, you’ll especially appreciate the updated information on trail conditions and feed, as well as rules and permissions necessary to use the trails. Particularly those of us from the States who may not be familiar with Crown regulations. Nothing beats talking to someone who just came down the trail you’re about to go up. And she’s been up and down them all.”

–Rhonda Hart (Poe), author of Trail Riding, Train, Prepare, Pack Up & Hit the Trail (Storey Publishing LLC, 2006), an American Horse Publications Best New Book