The more you know, the less you need
|April 11, 2013||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
We are going to consider this “Aboriginal Proverb” in the title but first…….
…what’s happening with me (and more importantly, with Farley)?
1. I am NOT going to American River Ride. I’m going horse camping instead. In a place with LOTS of hills.
I’ve been concerned about the trail conditions on the trails that American river uses, in both wet and dry conditions. There’s a lot of erosion and “funkiness” that has the potential for wearing a horse out and causing subclinical injury.
All trails of course have this potential, but I just don’t like the feeling of the trail and the footing. It’s a lot to ask of the horse and a lot of risk, especially if you have a big ride coming up later in the season.
I didn’t like the feeling in my gut when I thought of doing AR, and after talking to some people that have ridden the trails more recently than I, I found out that the erosion has gotten even worse etc. AND heard yet another person tell me that they had a horse that after AR, has been NQR ever since with intermittent lameness that can’t easily be diagnosed.
I’ve learned to listen to my gut over the years, and I’ve decided that the better plan is to get in 50 or 60 miles on hilly terrain during a camping trip over a couple of days. I’m not avoiding AR because I don’t think that Farley couldn’t do it, but I think the risk/benefit of that particular ride is not high enough to include in my prep.
2. Farley is doing well. Melinda is getting Fat. That sentence says all you need to know. I have GOT to get my act together, which involves LESS icecream and MORE running. Important object lesson: stress is derailing my health, but hopefully the lack of stress in Farley’s routine is helping hers.
3. It’s impossible to have a bullet list with less than 3 points. It just isn’t done. But I don’t have a 3rd bullet point….ummmmmm…….Widow in the boot update! Boot has been relocated to my back porch and a plan has been formulated. Mirrors, flashlights, and vaccum cleaners is the working plan at this point.
“The more you know, the less you need”
I came across this saying as I was doing research into ideas for an ultralight backpacking trip I’ll be taking this summer.
It rings true. I think there’s 3 stages to an active sport like endurance or backpacking
Stage 1. You bring a moderate amount of stuff, but it’s all the wrong stuff.
Stage 2. You add a bunch of stuff to your kit and now you have way too much stuff – some of the right stuff, but some of the wrong stuff too, left over from stage 1.
Stage 3. You get rid of a bunch of stuff and now you have relatively little stuff.
In stage 3, the amount of “stuff” has been reduced either because
a). you never used it, it expired and you realized that you wouldn’t know how to use it if you did have to……..or
b). it was redundant or…….
c). it was totally unnecessary
Another factor at stage 3 that may contribute to being able to bring less stuff is that you are less likely to make mistakes that would require a plethora of stuff and thus you can weed out some of that gear that was there to protect you if you did something really stupid…..however, often this backfires and you enter the optional stage 4.
Stage 4. Slightly more stuff than stage 3. Usually a result of getting yourself in trouble in a kit that was too minimalist…so you’ve added some gear back in.
You can tell what “stage” someone is in by the stories they tell when they come back from a ride or a trip.
Stage 1: OMG everything went wrong and I had to totally improvise something out of baling twine because I had everything EXCEPT an extra stirrup leather in my crew bag.
Stage 2: Nothing went wrong but I was totally prepared and had my crew haul 2 extra tack boxes to every check!!!!!!! Since I don’t have a story, let me tell you how prepared and organized I was!
Stage 3: OMG you would never believe the wacky thing that went wrong!!!! I totally used baling twine that I found on my neighbors trailer to fashion a breast collar so that I could finish the ride! Maybe I should throw a stirrup leather back into my crew box – that particular piece of equipment can double as a breast collar, stirrup leather, rein, girth……multiuseful!
This remainder of this post is now available in “Go Ride Far.”
“Go Ride Far” is a collection of revised and updated posts, as well as new content that focuses on what I wish I had known prior to my first endurance ride. (original release details here)
For the price of the fru-fru coffee ($3.99) the ebook covers:
- How to easily and intuitively back a trailer
- Take control of your conditioning and training
- Recognize and fix a “bonk”
- The never before told story of Dr. Mel’s first endurance ride
…and more from the running, riding, writing veterinarian and Singletrack Press!
Paperback versions ($9.99) are available from Amazon, or if you are in the US and want a signed copy directly from me ($10+$2 shipping) contact me at [email protected].
If you REALLY want a copy of this post and you are McDonald’s coffee broke (seriously, any size for a $1?) and fru-fru coffee is not in the budget, contact me at [email protected] with the title of this post and I’ll send you a pdf copy of the post/chapter. Please consider putting a dollar in my PayPal ([email protected]) or Venmo account, or donating through facebook messenger (facebook.com/drmelnewton) to help cover the cost of this site.
It is impossible for me to be a minimalist. (As I sit here taking a break from packing for this weekend’s 3-day ride, completely surrounded by bags of stuff.) I tend to plan for the worst case scenario of weather and/or gear malfunctions.
That’s definitely the short story version, but the longer examination of everything I bring and why will make for a good blog post…
1: zipties : Great for almost everything. I have used them to : replace broken bit hangers, make extra d rings, attach breastcollar/ crupper to saddle, attach extra hoof boots to saddle and other things I can’t think of at the moment.
2: Camping stove/backpacking stove- I used to bring it to every ride, but I never used it except at very cold rides, where I only used it to heat up hot water for my horse’s mash.
3. Raingear- I live in Humboldt County- I have now learned that even if its nice and sunny, carry raingear and spare clothes everywhere. You might not use them 9 time out of ten, but the one time you do, its worth it.
Oh I had forgotten about zipties!
I am a consistent #2 sort of guy. Bring everything you or your companions might potentially need (which is why my truck tool box is an appendage and not an accessory). But, your article really, really resonated when it came to reenacting because I went through all of those stages; full kit with tent, ice chest, candle lantern, sleeping bag, great coat, pistol, saber, spare clothing, etc, etc.
Now I show up with a pad, pillow, 2 wool blankets, uniform, haversack, cup, plate, spoon, and an ice chest.
Ack! My carefully and profound comment disappeared!
Your article reminded me of reenactors and all the crap you think you need (great coat, pistol, saber, sleeping bag, and etc).
Now I just show up in uniform with a pad, pillow, 2 wools, haversack, plate, cup, and spoon. And my ice chest!
Comment moderation :). Your glorious previous comment wasn’t deleted!
I always bring a longe line. They have been used as replacement (very long) lead ropes, to tie stuff, in front of or behind a difficult to load horse.
I used to take everuthing, and I do litterely mean all horse gear everu time I went anywhere. After tripping over everything in my tack room I have severely cut back.
I have added extra hay to every outing. One time we had to leave my friend’s gelding as he would not load, and another trip an entire bale went “missing” overnight.
Fun post Mel!
This comment has been removed by the author.
#1. extra underwear and socks. I try to bring double what I think I’ll need. Also, electrical tape. And a sturdy knife.
#2. workout clothes. Who is kidding who? And it takes up precious space in the bags.
#3. Bathing suit. Never know when there’s a hot tub or hot spring around!
Love the zip ties and trash bags. Good suggestions.
Love your number two….so very (unfortunately) true.
I live in New Zeland – we can go from 20 degrees Celsius to below freezing in a couple of hours in the hiking country.
We carry for overnight/2-3 day trips ull thermals, including gloves, spare top and shorts, full wet weathers (2-3 layer goretex) mid/heavy weight fleece, water proof gloves, warm hat, good sleeping bag, thermarest type pad if not staying in hut/cabin, billy/pot and cooker + gas (again unless staying in a hut with gas provided – even then, normally carry our own in case of emergency). The emergency/first aid kit has 2 foil blankets, steri-strips (means we don’t have to carry suture kit) and tape/dressings. This year and emergency locator beacon is being added to the mix.
So far we haven’t required anything more then the blister dressing for ourselves, however we have had to assist in the treatment/re warming of other people, unfortunately most of them have been american tourists with hypothermia. It’s mainly due to underestimating the speed at which the weather can change and not being equipped for it.
Please, if you come to New Zealand, and want to go hiking/tramping, please talk to DOC (department of conservation) and follow the gear guidelines. Even if you want to do the Tongarario Alpine Crossing – a day hike, you really need to be equipped to handle 4 seasons in one day. I have started the morning in a running singlet and shorts, due to no wind and sunshine) and at the top of the mountain (3 hours later) been in fleece and waterproof/wind proof trousers as there were passing mist clouds and high winds, so the wind chill factor had the temp below freezing.
Good point. I know what the weather norms are for my area and what extremes I might encounter (for example, there will never be a freak snow storm in the valley, where I live that would catch my unaware), but it would be very very dangerous to assume that that applies to other areas! Good reminder
Sorry, mines for hiking as I’m not currently riding 🙂
I think there is a lot of similarities between hiking, backpacking, and endurance!
I hope my AR ignorance is bliss (though I ride those trails all the time). But will love to hear about camping!
I love that saying. I am a #2, I have a lot, and haven’t needed it(knock wood!). One thing I always have is a knife (saddle bag, hiking, key chain). Use it all the time. And baling twine. And multiple caribiners.