Packing a Blanket for Overnighters?
My family does lots of backpacking and hiking during the summer. I also trail ride a lot. This year we are planning a backpacking trip to bury my grandma's ashes. My aunt and uncle really want to come, however they have a 1.5 year old child. I was thinking that it would really help out if I could use my mare to pack in their stuff and then they would just have to worry about carrying the "baby" :smile:.
My concern is that during one previous camping trip with the horses, I remember waking in the morning to see my mare shivering! I felt so horrible. Luckily we were camped at the trailer and not up in the mtns somewhere, so I made a makeshift a "blanket" and used a fleece cooler held on by my bareback pad. Lol! It seemed to work. The elevation on that trip was about 4000 ft. The elevation for this years trip will be about 6000 ft and probably much colder. Considering that we are only at 1400 ft at home, she surely will not have the coat to keep her warm.
The question: Do you pack in blankets for your horses? If so, do you have recommendations? Thickness? Waterproof or Non?
My neighbor brings a waterproof one, idk thickness thoigh
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I was wondering if just a waterproof one would be enough to trap body heat in and keep her comfortable without making her hot.
I always have a couple wool coolers and a medium-weight blanket with me on rides. In the middle of summer, the blanket generally stays in the bag, but it's sure nice to have it on those unexpectedly cool evenings! I figure since my mare is in a small pen, she doesn't have the ability to move around and find a warm place, so only fair I blanket her to help with that (she is rarely blanketed at home).
I never blanket at home. But I do keep a few sheets in the trailer for when I'm camping. I live at 4400' but my camping trips in the summer and fall are often at 10,000 to 12,000'.
I often use the horses sheets as a rain tarps for my packs. They keep my stuff dry on the trip in and if the horses get cold enough, I can throw the sheet over them to help keep them dry or stop the wind. I can't afford the bulk of a real blanket on a pack trip, so rain sheets are all I take. But usually if I can keep them dry and out of the wind, they do fine.
Summer is not usually a probem, But sept and oct, it can still be 80° at home and 15° up at 10,000 while hunting elk. I make sure to bring lots of feed and dump lots of calories into them when it's cold. It sometimes means several trip hauling hay pellets in.
I pack in a sheet. It doesn't have to be waterproof unless you are sure it is going to rain. I think having something to trap body heat and block the wind will be enough in most situations.
And what Painted Horse said about calories. Bring in some extra pellets/grain/beet pulp.
Suitability has a pattern for a horse blanket that you can sew yourself and make it really lightweight.
Packing extra calories is a good idea. Even during the winter I don't use a blanket just free choice hay.
I'll definitely look into wind proof-ness then. Would that be affected by the denier? A higher denier would mean its more blocking of wind and stuff, right?
I think denier is thickness. I know that 1200 denier cordura is thicker and tougher than 600 denier.
What I used when I made the sheets was a fabric called Supplex and it is water-resistant and wind-resistant. It may have been wind-proof but it's been a while and I don't remember. It is available from The Rain Shed in Corvallis, Oregon. Probably available elsewhere also, but I've purchased from them. They have all kinds of fabrics used for outdoor sports and equipment. Nice shop and great people. Good prices, too.
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