You achieve the ultralight horse camping goal through a process, not an event. Don’t feel like you are a failure if you cannot meet some arbitrary weight goal. Apply the following tenets of ultralight backpacking to horse camping.
- Weigh your current gear.
- Replace aging gear with a lighter version.
- Gradually make changes.
- Find items to eliminate.
Use these points to make gradual changes. Any change you make is progress. Just like a diet, focus on the weight you’ve lost, not how much you have left to lose.
So do I practice what I preach? Yes.
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The Old Ways
Read About to see why I choose to move toward ultralight camping gear.
I am far from “UL”, but moving steadily toward that goal. I started out with the idea of making my camping experience as much like home as possible. You know…glamping. I began to question this way of thinking.
I used to make a super comfortable camp site, but it took two hours to transform a two-horse, straight-load, bumper-pull trailer into my glorious “whinnybago”. Don’t get me wrong; I had a lot of fun, but I spent more time working than playing.
The New Way – Ultralight Horse Camping Goal
I began the steps toward the ultralight horse camping goal by replacing a few things with lighter versions as my gear wore out. I also changed out my sleep system with the one I was using for backpacking.
Lighter Cook System
When car camping, I still love to pull out the dutch oven and make an awesome meal. I also had a Coleman Classic Propane Stove. When my Coleman died, I replaced it with a BRS Ultralight Titanium Stove. I use a Snow Peak Titanium Single 600 Wall Cup instead of a larger pot, such as my dutch oven.
Lighter Refrigeration System
Most of the time, I now take freeze-dried foods, which require no refrigeration. I could reclaim all the weight of the dorm refrigerator that I had in my trailer. These days, I use a very small cooler to ensure I keep the weight down when I need to take a small amount of perishable food. Because I sometimes carry this small cooler, we will only consider the weight difference between the refrigerator and the cooler and not a camp with no refrigeration.
Lighter Sleep System
I still bring the bunk cots when I have a guest sleeping in my trailer. When it is just me, I use a hammock with a bug net and straps. This not only brings the weight down significantly, but also the setup time is a fraction of what is was before.
Lighter Horse Containment
There are times when my portable corral is still appropriate. To further my ultralight horse camping goal, I now use my HiTie Trailer Tie System whenever possible. This takes up so much less time and space. My horse is quite comfortable with more room to move around than a stall. The only disadvantage of the Hi-tie is that I can feel him move around at night.
Because the Hi-Tie is installed on my trailer, I only have to worry about the weight of the attached bungee tether.
Lighter Food and Water
It is impossible to estimate my weight savings where food and water are concerned.
I am no longer hauling cases of bottled water. I now use my BeFree filter instead.
Freeze-dried food weighs considerably less than the rehydrated version or canned foods. This is now my preferred menu selection.
Total Savings So Far
Taking all of the these changes into consideration, I have saved this much weight so far. Almost 400 pounds!
|Category||Old Item||Old Item Weight in Ounces||New Item||New Item Weight in Ounces||Weight Savings in Pounds|
|Cook System||Dutch Oven, not including lid stand and lid lifter||320||Titanium Pot||6.4||19.60|
|Cook System||Coleman Stove||185.6||BRS Stove||0.9||11.54|
|Horse Containment||Portable Corral||3360||Hi-Tie Strap||96||204.00|
|Refrigeration||Dorm Refrigerator||1123.2||Small Cooler||57.6||66.60|
|Sleep System||Bunk Cots||1184||Hammock, Net, and Suspension||52.32||70.73|
|Water||Case of Bottled Water||440||BeFree Filter||3.2||27.30|
|Total Weight Savings||399.77|
Make a few changes to your gear. Track the weight difference and compare it to the benefit of carrying any extra weight.