Camping With My Horse: What to Pack

Camping With My Horse: What to Pack

Use this checklist of essentials to pack for your next horseback camping trip.

trail ride with friends (Credit: AQHA Journal)

text size

By Tom Moates

There’s a whole world out there to explore; what could be better than embarking on a horse camping adventure? Packing well can improve the likelihood of a fun, smooth and successful camping trip with your horse. The first advisable item on the checklist, though, is to bring your horsemanship skills, as well as a horse that you have successfully enjoyed riding at home. 

The supplies you find on a horse camping checklist are much the same as the items you find on a trail ride checklist. Use this list as a template for your next trip:

  • Proper-fitting tack in good condition.
  • Water. Bring along or make sure that there will be available adequate water.
  • Good-quality hay and feed. Pack enough for the length of your stay plus extra for unexpected circumstances. And remember: It is considerate, and often required, that you bring only a guaranteed weed-seed-free hay for your horses into horse-friendly campgrounds. 
  • First-aid kits for you and your horse. Basic items should include adhesive wrap, gauze, antiseptic, Banamine and whatever else you think you may need for your horse in the environment you will be exploring. 
  • Tack repair basics to pack: lengths of small leather strips, duct tape, baling wire ... you know the drill.
  • Grooming and hoof-care tools, and perhaps an extra hoof boot in case a shoe gets thrown or the boot that gets destroyed (that duct tape you packed can work for this in a pinch). 
  • Other specific needs, including a cheat sheet with simple safety tips for camping and being on the trail. 
  • Your cell phone and/or GPS device. Always carry these devices on your person when riding. (Packing it in a saddle bag does not help you if you get thrown and your horse heads for the hills.) 
  • An ID with emergency contact numbers on your person when riding or camping in wilderness areas. You can do the same for your horse by braiding a laminated card with that information into his mane.