Camping with your horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-20-2012, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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Camping with your horse


My authors copies just arrived today and I wanted to share. In addition to our regular monthly column in Trail Blazer magazine we had a feature article this month on lightweight Horse Camping, or camping away from the trailhead without pack stock.

We had a ball last year camping off of our horses in several wilderness areas as we worked to refine our technique to keep weight and volume as low as possible. By last September we had our gear and food weight down to just under 10 pounds for each of us (of course that's excluding tack).

Once the weather breaks we're really looking forward to further refining and taking tons of pics for the book we're writing on the subject. Pretty much each paragraph in the article is a full chapter in the book. It's still rough but my editor seems pleased. We hope to have it out by Christmas.

At any rate you can see how we camp without pack stock in the back country by reading the article, or download the PDF, here.

All the best.

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post #2 of 3 Old 04-21-2012, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
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Back in the early days, when I was short on horses, tack and trailers to transport. We used to pack the horses and hike in leading the horses. Once camp was set up, I could still ride the horses around the area of the base camp.

As the years progressed and I got more horses for my daughter to ride. I started putting most of the gear on the horses my daughters where riding, The girls were lighter and not as prone to over load the horses as adding camping gear to my horse.

Now days my daughters have grow up and left home. So I have horses that need the exercise. So I take them all even if they only carry a light load. At least they are getting out and covering ground.

Hunting season in Utah often means any grass for grazing is long gone by that time of year. So I have to pack in feed. Since hunting camp is often setup and left for extended period. we can pack in camp 1st trip and make a return trip to pack in hay pellets for the horses. October camp outs at high elevation sites often see single digit night temps. Requiring heavier sleeping bags and tents that can hold up under the weight of heavy snow. So I definitely haul in more than any camp out duing the summer months,

Carrying feed in to camp using a regular western saddle with panier thrown over. The horse can still be rode each day even after being used as a pack horse for the trip in

Just as I wear different cloths for each season, Packing needs change to suite the different seasons, weather or purpose of the camp out. There will always be a need for light weight camp out. and it's great to see equipment that is now available to make a night in the back country more comfortable.
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-21-2012, 08:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vidor, Texas
Posts: 2,805
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Very good article. Unfortunately, my back doesn't allow me to sleep on the ground without major problems the next day! My camping is gonna have to be in a hotel or camper! It's heck to get old.
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