If you’re new to horse camping, look for a campground with corrals or highlines, potable water and/or stock water, and manure bins. These amenities can simplify your horse-keeping regimen while you’re out in the woods.
If you already have a camper or living quarters trailer, you’re golden. As a camper, you need RVs that typically feature beds, cooking facilities, refrigerators, lights, and maybe even a table or couch.
If you don’t have an RV, you can sleep in a tent, in your truck, under your truck canopy, or on a clean tarp in your horse trailer. Regardless of which of these you choose, you’ll benefit from a sleeping bag and air mattress or pad, and maybe a cot.
You’ll also need a camp stove and fuel, pans and cooking utensils, food, and water for drinking and washing. If you’re camping with several friends, divide and conquer: You can get by with only need one set of each necessity, so have each person bring one or two things to make the packing easier.
Dress for the weather. Don’t forget to bring some warm layers so you’ll be comfortable at night when the temperature drops. And, sunscreen and bug spray will make your trip more comfortable.
A flashlight or headlamp is a must-have on a camping trip so you can find your way from the campfire to bed after dark, and so you can check on the horses during the night if need be. Finally, be sure to keep a knife handy just in case you need it.
Bring along all your normal trail riding gear, including tack and saddlebags. You’ll also need to bring feed for your horse, a hay bag or net to feed from, and water buckets. It’s helpful to bring a 5-gallon water bucket to put in your horse’s corral, plus a couple of small buckets for carrying water to your horse from the pump or the creek. (A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, so refilling the big bucket with smaller ones is the way to go.)
Depending on the weather, you might need to bring some clothing for your horse. A fly sheet can help protect him from flies and mosquitoes (which can transmit some equine diseases), while a rain sheet or blanket can offer protection if the weather is rainy or cold. Remember, it gets much colder at night in the mountains than at lower elevations.