Things to Pack
Hi there guys, I'm new here.
So I'm planning on doing lots of trail riding when I move to my house in the country, mostly in the area around my house (it backs up to 1,000 acres of BLM land) and I'm trying to come up with a list for things to pack in my saddle bags. I'm only going to be doing day trips for the first year or so, or until I have a more experienced friend to ride with.
Ok so here's what I have so far:
- Spare tack (spare set of reins, not a whole saddle)
- First aid kit
- Water bottle
- Bug repellent
- Long sleeved shirt/jacket
- Small multi-tool or Swiss Army Pocket Knife
- Twine or thin rope
- Lead rope and halter
- Vet wrap
- Hoof boot
- Water proof matches
This is what I have so far, and any suggestions would be great!! PLEASE remember that I'm new and if I'm posting in the wrong area or anything, treat me nicely. I have been part of some other forums that aren't very nice to some of the newbies that are still getting used to the forum.
What part of Oregon are you in? Since the climate/terrain varies so much across the state what you need can change.
-Coast/Valley one of the biggest things you'll want is rain gear and a change of clothes. Central/eastern Oregon change of clothes is still a good idea but you can get away without any rain gear most the time. Don't get the plastic/rubber stuff, you'll just sweat and get cold. You want breathable rain gear like gortex.
-Layering is your friend when getting dressed. Start off in the valley where it is warm and climb up into the mountains and you'll want some extra clothes or vice versa. Tie the extra clothes to the back of your saddle, same with rain gear.
-Some hand trimmers and hand saw. Again needed more west of the Cascades for those overgrown, brushy trails. This is really important early in the season as not many have used the trails yet and they need some maintenance after the winter. Plus blackberries can close a trail in just weeks so a way to trim them out of your way is a good idea.
-Chaps are good protection east of the Cascades, those tree limbs don't give.
-Boots with lugs for western Oregon, helps if you have to do some hiking and theres mud. I say that and my boots are smooth soled, go figure.
-Maps of the areas you intend to ride in until you get to know them.
-Cell phone carried on you, not your horse in case you get seperated.
That's all I can think of at the moment.
Chicago screws are in my pack also. They come in handy for repairs on everything from your saddle to your halter, once even my boot. I split a side seam when I got thrown. 2 screws and they got me home.
Horse treats. Gotta have them, if you are unseated and can't get to your horse, the treats can get him/her to you when they otherwise might choose to wander and graze.
Ok, and another thing I bought was a machete. I was thinking about carrying a pair of hand clippers, and when I talked to the guy at True Value and he said a machete. So now I have a nice little machete and a sheath for safety :P It should be nice to have to cut down branches and what-not.
Thanks again!! :)
Spare Stirrup leather,
Basic pain killer for yourself such as panadol
Snacks for you trail mix or granola bar etc
Tail bandages are great for support if you or the horse hurt yourself. Id take one of those and a couple of sanitary pads in case of injury or even if you do something like roll an ankle.
A whistle a friend I know trained her horse to come when she blew a whistle handy for catching a loose horse or god forbid you need to be found
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Cell phones a must.
Multipurpose tool (Gerber, pliers, or swiss army) ,Lighter, Knife
If you are going to be dealing briars & such, I would pack leather gloves
In new country I would always have a GPS and a compass with me.
So True Elky.
Too quote Kit Carson, "I've never been lost, But there have been a few times that I didn't know where I was"
Sometimes it's nice to know what is the shortest route back to where ever I need to be, vs retracing the trail I came in on.
Cell phones don't work in a lot of the areas I ride. So I can't consider them an essential. They are nice if they work.
I've rolled an ankle and wraped it up in Vet wrap before. Seems I was leading the horses because they were packing an elk, so I had to keep walking. I've also used it to pad parts of a bridle that were rubbing my horse. And even the Hot Pink Vet wrap to help mark horses during hunting season.
I leave matches and a SpaceBlanket in my cantle bag. They are always there in case I need some surivial gear. Winter rides or wet weather, I usually add something to help get a fire going faster. A small bottle or charcoal starter or some dryer lint soaked in Parafin wax, Just something to help wet wood start buring. When you are really cold and if you somehow get wet, You don't have a lot of time or energy to mess with fighting wet wood. We regularly see hikers die of Hyperthermia from a July Thunderstorm. You get wet from a sudden storm and the temps drop 40° and it's life threatening.
I have a kit that I keep in an old binocular case. It has a compass, fire tools, first aid, and survival gear(space blanket, needle and thread, wire saw, fish hooks, candle, etc.). With just that case I could make it 2-3 days if I had too. I wear a real small backpack(usually camelback) that I keep it in. Though very rare(once) I have unfortunately found myself afoot many miles from camp and I was glad I had it on my back rather than in my saddle bags.
The most used items have absolutely been the fire tools and blanket.
Whether I am going on a day ride or a multi-day trip I grab that case and I know I have the bare minimum covered.
Obviously I usually have many other items in my saddle bags/tied to the saddle etc... but the must haves are in that case or on my person (knife).
More important than anything else however is probably common sense and a basic knowledge of the area and country your riding in.
All the gear in the world isn't worth much if you don't understand how to use it and when.
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