17 days on horseback with nomadic herder families across the very seldom visited Altai National Park to the Tavan Bogd Glacier on the Russian/Mongolian/Chinese border.
In 2008 we spent 17 days riding across far northwest Mongolia thru the Altai National Park. This park had only 120 visitors in 2007, is over 150 miles from the nearest road and town. We flew into Olgiy in the nortwest corner of Mongolia, took 1980's vintage Russian trucks 150 miles across the steppe (no roads), and met our families. The trek was led by two nomadic herder families who provided their horses for us and their camels for our tents and food. We bathed in the glacier fed rivers and depended on these small but very strong horses to get us across the swift running water.
These families run very large herds of goats thru this empty land during the summers. When they have exhausted one area, they roll up their Yurts (Gers) and move to greener areas. Boys begin riding at 5 and are sent out to herd the goats at seven or eight. In the winter they hunker down in rock houses while the goats, horses and camels stay outside in the often minus 20 degree weather. Survival of the fittest, those that don't are eaten.
Extended families live in each Yurt, with the children sleeping on the floor, grandma and grandpa on the bed opposite the door, with Mom and Dad on another bed if one is available. Heating and cooking is done on a stove stoked with ox and camel dung. The camels are stripped by hand and their hair used for blankets. Mare and goat milk is used to make yougurt and cheese.