Camping Must Haves
There are a ton of articles out there that talk about all the things you must have while camping to make your time safer, more enjoyable or more convenient. My list is short but comprehensive just what you need to remind yourself that this is about having fun with your horse.
Do a preflight check on both your truck and your trailer. Make sure that both are in working order, tires aired up and ready to go. These preparations can save you a whole day of aggravation and some money.
Know your horse
If you have a horse that is a bit of a diva, bring a cooler or light blanket for the evenings. They may never need this at home in the middle of summer, but seem to shiver when they are away from home. Traveling is stressful for all, bring a binky for your horse just in case, you’ll both sleep easier.
Food and drink for you and your horse
One of the easier things to remember and usually on the top of the list when packing for any of our animals. You may want to bring some packets of gatorade if you need to entice your horse to drink unfamiliar water. If you do bring an additive for water, practice at home so they understand that when it smells and tastes like that it is OK to drink. Besides the electrolytes will help your horse stay hydrated to help prevent any colic episodes.
Know where your horse will spend the night
Some places have corrals, some have high-ties, but many have nothing at all and you need to bring your own way to keep your horses. Some use a form of high-tie between rigs when traveling in groups. Many have portable fences, in electric, PVC or metal gates. Whatever you choose, sometimes it is a good idea to bring a secondary method of fencing even when there are corrals provided. Sometimes even pasture mates don’t get along in a smaller corral and need separation.
Basic First Aid
Have a first aid kit for you and then one for your horse. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed a band-aid. Between the dry air and just using them and never moisturizing them enough, skin cracks.
The same can be said for your horse, they are like children, if there is something they can get into and hurt themselves they will find it.
Where are you going?
Relying on your GPS is ok, but it is better if you can plan your route on a computer or larger screen so you can see more of the route, zoom in at intersections to see what kind of turns there are and any landmarks that will help you while driving. This will keep you aware of the progress of your trip, but will help you figure out when the GPS might be trying to lead you a way that is less desirable when driving a trailer. (Note my Puddle post!)
When are you leaving?
For anyone that travels it is good to plan your departure so that you can avoid any of the heavy traffic on any of the major arteries that you may be traveling on during their most congested times of day. You can leave at a time to help you avoid the worst of the areas that you want to avoid during their rush hour.
The most important thing though…
Have fun! Relax! Enjoy your horse, the area you’re camping in and hopefully the neighbors you’re camping next to. Don’t work too hard, that fire doesn’t need to be as tall as you are, dinner doesn’t have to be some elaborately grilled meal unless you want it to be.
I didn’t start horse camping until later in my life, at first I would spend weeks planning one trip with my camping companion. What to bring, what to eat, what to do for entertainment, what to bring for clothing, the list was endless. The planning was exhausting. It sucked a lot of fun out of the experience, granted we rarely forgot anything, but the price for that was high.
This is why I try to keep in mind that camping isn’t about all the details, it is nice to have them all, I agree, but one can be very content with all the things I have mentioned above.
So get out there, take your steed, go camping and explore some new or some old trails, but above all else have some much needed fun for us all!
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