With Grizzly in my sights one way or another and miles under saddle planned, it’s time to look at that aspect of endurance riding I tend to…not give as much attention to: camping comfortably. As a lifelong camper, I’m fairly dialed in on tossing stuff in the car, finding a riverside campsite and settling in.
Coyote Ridge Ride Camp 2017
But as in everything, an endurance ride camp requires a whole other mindset, even without the child complication. I’m not just taking care of myself and my noble steed for the weekend, as a catch rider I have to be willing and able to lend a dozen extra hands and go the extra mile, earning my keep as well as I can. The more organized, efficient and comfortable I make my set up, the easier it is to help out when I’m tired and sore.
The first few years of rides, I wouldn’t have dreamed of bringing my son, so this process was a little easier. But now that he’s older and a little more savvy and extremely cute and helpful (mostly), I’m trying to set things up so he can come with each time. Toss in a big lovable Boxer too and I’m prepping for camping at ride camp a lot differently this year. Not only do I have more horse gear, I have more stuff to bring and less space in my truck to pack it into.
Since we’re aiming for about one ride a month (or so), plus additional camping trips, I’d like to get this all dialed in way ahead of time. I’m planning a test run after a spring cleaning and restocking of gear to the Celena Pentrack clinic over my birthday (so psyched to ride with her again!) However, the added stressors of kid and/or dog have me considering my budget and hitting up Google.
For roughly $200-300 a weekend (maybe less, maybe more), on top of my ride entry and gas money budget, I could find a small camper trailer to rent and tow with my sturdy SUV and be 1000 times more comfortable at ride camp. I’d have a place so many things; I can stash kid, dog and person assigned to watch both that’s more conducive to such things than a camp chair; a place to change that’s not the horse trailer; a place to get out of whatever ugly weather may come our way (I’ve seen snow, rain, wind, dust, heat, all of it at camps). I won’t have to worry about making sure everything fits in the truck and still let kid & dog travel in comfort. And, the final bonus, I might even convince the fiance to come to ride camp if he’s got a bed to sleep in!
Thinks roughing it is a La Quinta
But that extra money can also make a huge difference in a tight budget, so a light bulb went off and I thought, “Endurance riders are a family! But not everyone goes to the same rides at once. Maybe one of them has a trailer I could borrow for a little cheaper?”
Here’s my question to the endurance world (mostly in the Willamette Valley or SW Washington). Is this a workable possibility? Does anyone have a camper trailer (not the pop up kind, those are freezing!), or a smallish RV I could rent from you for a ride weekend? Grizzly & Klickitat are my only two for sure rides planned, although I’m going to do my best to support Nicole & Jala’s new Creek to Peak ride as well. I have a 2003 GMC Envoy XL, can tow up to 5500 pounds so looking for a camper trailer that tops out at 4000 to be on the safe side.
My future post 30 and 50 mile self appreciates you all in advance, and either way I can’t wait to see everyone settled in at the next ride meeting, kvetching about gates and ribbons and water crossings!
Endurance riding junkie who works, parents, partners, hikes and hammock camps and bike rides on the side!