Gearing up for camping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
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Gearing up for camping

A couple weeks ago I bought us two sets of TrailMax five bag luggage sets for our horses. Got 'em thru Cabela's, not that it matters. I'm pretty impressed with them--but haven't actually put them on the horses, yet.

I loaded up one saddle bag with my camp kitchen today, just to see how everything would fit. It fits fine! Stove, nesting cook kit, coffee cups (need to add a couple more), and my coffee fixing stuff (the important stuff!). I think there's still room for plates/bowls and utensiles. All in one bag.

That leaves the other saddle bag for all the food and water--at least 3 liters of water, maybe more--and the water filter.

The cantle bag is plenty big enough for sleeping bag and clothes or tent and clothes. I'll have to attach either the sleeping bag or tent behind the cantle bag, I think.

Which leaves the rather spacious pommel bags, and a couple of the bags on the Mrs. horse, for the rest of the stuff, not that there's much left!

My goal is for the Mrs. and I to go on two night camping rides without any need for a pack animal (which we don't have and can't haul in our trailer, anyway). I think we could pack this luggage for a week long ride with no problem, but I just don't see us doing that.

Of course, it's all a pencil exercise for the next five or six months. Sigh.
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
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sounds like it could be a good time. Good luck
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 09:01 PM
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Must be some big luggage! Have to say I love camping with my horses but I sleep in the neck of my trailer.
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I dislike those bags because it puts to much weight on the horses loins. At 6'1" Your are a pretty good sized guy. I'm 6'2" So I assume you are about the same weight as me. Be careful putting enough gear for a 2 day trip behind your saddles cantle.

I'm a believer in taking a pack horse. My saddle bags are for lunch, a drink or two, gloves, first aid kit, rain gear etc. My pack horse carries tents, sleeping bag, cooking gear.

My kids may carry some gear on their saddle. But they weigh a whole lot less than I weigh.

Remember you need to keep the weight your horse has to carry to 20-25% of his body weight. If you are an avg 6'1" guy, You will be 180-200lbs, add boots, chinks, coats, saddle and gear you will hit 250-260 pretty fast. For an 1100lb horse that is 23% of his body weight.

good luck and have fun camping
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
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Well, Painted, you do make some good points. But, as I said, we have no pack horse nor a trailer that would carry one. And, honestly, I'm not all that interested in messing with a pack animal at this point, regardless.

That being said, yes, it is possible to overload a horse. Not easy with a big horse, but possible. Mr. Big weighs in at about 1350. At 25% percent of body weight there's more weight capacity than there is volume capacity in the luggage. And I've read from several different packers that 30% is the upper limit--if the bulk of the weight is a rider. A pack horse can't take as much because it's 100% "dead" weight. Either way, it'd be hard for me to exceed the weight limit unless I'm packing rocks.

But, your points are still well taken. It IS important not to overload the horse--either with total weight or weight distribution.
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
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I readily admit, I have no idea how big your horses are till your last post, and I'm only guessing a your weight. You will just have to watch how your horse performs. As you mention there is a difference in live vs dead weight. And there is a difference in where the weight rides on the horse.

I admit, I sometimes overload my horses. When I have to get a elk or moose off the mountain, and the choice is over load or make a second trip, and sometimes when it dark or a bad storm is blowing in, I sometimes put more weight on than I should. But we give the pack horses as much rest as they require and get the weight off as quick as possible.

Other consideration are what type of terrain you are riding and how bouncy your horse is. Mountainous terrain like I ride takes a lot of energy out of even the fittest horses. Even lighter cantle and saddle bags can bruise and make backs sore when horses hard trot . If you maintain a walk on flat ground may be whole lot easier with a cantle pack, that my doing a fast trot to cover ground in the mountains.

There are always exceptions. And only the person on the scene can really evaluate what's appropriate. I've let my daughters pack gear in cantle bags. But they are a whole lot lighter than I am. But in general for men like myself, I don't recommend that type of pack system.

Regardless of how you do it. I hope you get out and enjoy it.
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 12:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
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Horse camping is great and so are the majority of the people. But I sleep in an LQ now--sleeping bags, then horse trailer, now LQ. I get to go even when a little nippy at the coast or mountains.
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
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Originally Posted by Painted Horse View Post
Regardless of how you do it. I hope you get out and enjoy it.
And the people said "AMEN!"

'Cause in the end, that's what it's all about!
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: San Diego, California
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I just got my first tase of horse camping this summer and oh man! I can't wait to get back out there again when the weather is nicer! Hope you have a great time, and take lots of pictures to make us all jealous ;)

My blog ~Life and Horses~
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 08:10 PM
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Sometimes the planning is just as fun as the trip itself!

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