Some 15 years ago (before I had the big trailer with LQ and the horses and I could drag the creature comforts of home with us everywhere we went) I went to distance rides and pitched a tent, the good ol' fashioned way!
We were signed up to go to a competitive trail ride (I don't even remember where) and since CTR's here don't refund your money if you don't show up (one of the many reasons I switched to endurance LOL!) we were determined to get our money's worth so we went...
We pulled in to a muddy rainy mess of a campsite, checked in a rode and camped through three days of muck and mire. Half of the trail got washed out and submerged, so we had to repeat a 12 mile trail over and over the whole 50 miles and you can only imagine the mess that was in after a couple of loops of about 50 horses tromping thru....
There was wind, sideways rain, some hail and lots of thunder and lighting. I had trailered in with friends, but was camping on my own so I brought only a tent, and ended up having to pitch it in the back of the horse trailer because the temp changed and my tarp for my tent ended up being my horse's blanket (it dropped from 85F to 65F and with the rain and wind chill being around 50F, we were all shivering.
The back part of the trailer was an open stock trailer and even tho I cleaned it out as best I could, wet liquid poo seeped thru the bottom of my tent and sleeping bag while I was trying to keep warm with my little camp stove. The family I came with slept in the modified tack room part of the trailer. I often got invited to go with them on these rides, and I was grateful, but I paid my way and stayed out of their way - brought my own food - kept my horse's area clean, etc and kept to myself mostly -they had goals and were trying to get year end awards and were very competitive - more so than me at that point in my life.
Every single dry item of clothing I had was wet and filthy after 24 hrs. The weather report the day that we left showed sunny skies, warm weather with a 20% chance of rain so this storm was a completely freak thing. Later on after we got home, we heard two tornadoes had touched down within about 10 miles of our campsite and tore up some houses and property. No one had expected the weather to turn into such a storm so we weren't prepared.
I had actually considered skipping this ride, just because I had other things I wanted to do that weekend but since entry fees were $75 (again, no refund), I decided I had just better go for it. The second day I didn't even ride - I just gave up - it was so crazy. So I skipped the ride meeting the second night and stayed in my seeping poo tent with my little camp stove, soaked to the hilt and shaking. The others went - wind whipping, pelting rain, flashlights and trying to have a meeting out in the open while the ride managers yelled instructions to everyone because the rain and wind was so loud.
A couple of hours later I was still huddled in my little tent in the trailer and heard a bunch of commotion - which meant they were back - and peeked out, and apparently the wind had blown over the picnic table they had brought, and their food - bread - covered dishes - etc and the canopy tarp they had tied to trees to cover it, while they were at the ride meeting. I never noticed it had happened but I jumped out to help them rescue their food - then I went back to my little hovel as fast as I could since I had a nasty chill that I couldn't get rid of.
The next day I got some sort of serious cold shoulder attitude from the folks I came with and couldn't figure out why. I decided I would just ride with the drag riders for something to do and when I asked them what changes had been made to the trail for that day, they said ' i don't know - maybe you should have just come to the meeting' and walked off - I can't figure out what that was about - except that maybe it was because I hadn't noticed their canopy and food/table had blown over while they were at the ride meeting the night before? LOL - I think everyone was just tired and we still had another day to go.
So they acted quite snotty all day so I just kept my distance. The judges came over to inspect our area and were teasing me about my camping hovel (in a nice way - we've all had to camp in bad weather before, but this particular weekend did take the cake so to speak) and one of the ladies made such a big fuss about the poop coming in thru my tent and lack of dry clothes and such that she let me sleep in her pop up with her that night - I was very grateful, and it was so nice to have a warm place to sleep.
The folks I came with stopped being so snotty after that - again, I can't figure that one out...LOL! So that second day, I donned trash bags to try to keep the heat to my body thru my wet clothes and rode with some other folks who also decided to ride drag and take it easy and we took our time and watched several horses get pulled that day with lower suspensory injuries (really? who would have guessed that!? with all of the mud).
We drove 4 hrs back home in the sunshine (go figure) and my traveling companions were super nice to me again - but at that point in my life and for so many other reasons, CTR's were not fun anymore and that ended up being the very last CTR I ever entered - that was just the most miserable ride competition and weather I'd ever been in - the tornado pics on the news were quite incredible. Torn off house roofs, over turned cars - WOW! There were a bunch of trees where we were, so there was never a clear view of the sky - I wonder if we were in the open - maybe we could have seen the tornadoes?