I love camping, but I hate bringing a ton of stuff. It’s so much packing and unpacking, so much gear, so much hassle. The last couple times I’ve car camped, I’ve been on a concrete pad surrounded by giant RV’s. That’s not my idea of getting back to nature.
I’ve discovered that what I really get into is ultralight backpacking. I have to carry all my stuff on my back, but I can hike way out and get away from other people. I’ve always been kind of a minimalist anyway, so I love the challenge of fitting everything I need and keeping the weight down.
Recently there was a post on a facebook endurance page about what people carry on a ride. Some people said water and chapstick and others had a whole laundry list of “necessities.” Since I’ve had to hike out to a campsite with a pack on my back, I know that all those little things add up to more weight the horse has to carry. I don’t want Heidi to carry an ounce more than she has to, which is part of why I need to get in better shape, so I’m not planning on carrying much.
Some of my ultralight backpacking gear is coming in handy! A while back, I tried riding in a Camelbak filled with water. I get really thirsty and like to be able to drink, but the Camelbak threw my balance way off. I felt like I was leaning forward to accommodate its weight. Then I remembered my Sawyer Mini Filter! It’s a tiny water filter that screws onto a water bottle or pouch and allows me to drink quickly and safely from creeks and rivers. You fill the pouch with creek water and suck it through the filter and it’s clean. Amazing and so tiny and lightweight! It only costs $20 on Amazon.
The pouch it comes with doesn’t have a way to attach it to the saddle, so I bought another pouch with a hole for a carabiner and now I can attach it to the D ring on my saddle. I got it at Wal-Mart which, believe it or not, has an awesome and also cheap brand of camping supplies called Outdoor Products. If I remember correctly, this little pouch cost $2. When not being used, it folds up tiny and fits in my kickass fanny pack.
My kickass fanny pack is also from Wal-Mart and cost a whopping $6.
It comes in several colors and I chose purple because that’s Heidi’s color. It has 3 pockets so, when we trailer off to do a conditioning ride, it can fit my truck keys, phone, and carrots. On a real ride, I’ll leave the keys and add the filter.