Keep it simple
|November 26, 2016||Posted by Melinda under Gear|
When I’ve vetted rides it is hard not to notice that the riders with the most simple tack set ups without a million things hanging off of them, their horse, and their saddle are the most relaxed riders who seem to be enjoying the ride the most.
It was part of some key 100 mile advice I got prior to my run from Jack M. Here it is in case you missed it in a previous post: “The biggest thing I see with first timers (and also one of the most difficult things to do): LIMIT YOUR GEAR!! You don’t need the blue and green coat along with 3 pairs of shoes, etc! If you only bring one jacket, you won’t spend time wondering if you chose the right one on the course! On top of that, you won’t waste time playing with all the crap you absolutely had to have!! I know that having all that gear is a safety net but walking the wire without a net will really help with your focus and execution!!”
And then this popped up in my reader: The Value of Minimalism.
Keeping it simple.
It feels like I wildly swing from one extreme to another. Being so prepared and having “just the right thing” even in the most unlikely of circumstance…Then bringing nothing and feeling free and focused on enjoying the trail without figuring out how to keep that one bag from rubbing the horse and banging into my knee.
This rest 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!
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I used to ride and travel with a “kitchen sinker” who routinely hauled so much stuff around it actually got dangerous (overloaded the rig so seriously the brakes were in danger of failing). When she and I took different trails, I went to the other extreme and would leave home with a water bottle and a flashlight and MAYBE a granola bar.
Now I’ve got systems more dialed in. If it’s just me and the pony, I take XYZ, which includes a cell phone. If it’s me and one buddy, I take a different set of stuff. If it’s the whole family in camp with horses for 9 days, we bring more food and that’s almost the only difference! Simple is better, especially when it’s time to break camp and head home!
One thing I nearly always take, though: camera. Because it makes me happy!
I’m not good at that yet – knowing what I need for different situations and being able to automatically pack it. Obviously I need more practice which means mor rides!
Loved the article! Useful and beautifully written. Your blog is my happy time during lunch while I slog through my Graveyard shifts!
Awwwwwww…. :3. Thank you so much!
Yes, I agree with the rest of your readers. This and past entries have all been eloquently written blogs. I need to keep it simple as well even though I was secretly thinking that I want to be part of your shoe discard recipients. Trail running shoes and related gear are expensive so I hope the recipients of your generous gifts are thankful and have expressed that to you. Happy Holidays Melinda and Family! ?
I was thinking about setting up a running and trail gear swap page on Facebook. People could sell or giveaway stuff like barely used shoes etc.
By the way what is your shoe size? If you’re somewhere between an eight and a nine women’s I’d be happy to email you when I have a pair of shoes that need a home!
Hey, the new blog format looks great!
Oh my gosh Melinda! Are you secretly my fairy Godmother? Yes, I do wear a size 8-9 in shoes. No wonder why your Altra trail shoes shown in your blog looked so attractive. We wear the same size! Yay! Hey so I was also noticing you wanting to sell your Nathan vest. Is it were you can put a water bottle in the front shoulder strap sleeve? I was thinking about buying one of those to try out as I hate having to clean my hydration straw tube all the time. How much would you like to get for Nathan? Have a wonderful week!
I’ll email you 🙂
Sometimes when I read what some riders carry with them, I am blown away! Where I ride endurance, riders seem to travel a lot lighter – I have had quite a few comments at endurance rides asking why I need saddlebags (many riders don’t carry anything!!!). I agree that simplifying let’s you focus on your horse and the trail, and that’s why we go do this 😀
One of the things that’s given me more confidence in deciding what to carry has been doing camping rides, where we ride for the whole day with packed lunch and a billy to boil, plus anything else we’ll need for the day. Mostly it’s pretty amazing how little you need for the whole day. The other great thing these rides have helped with is packing the camping gear. After doing these rides, when I packed for an endurance weekend I would feel like the list was really short – when you pack for an endurance ride and feel like the truck is mostly empty, it’s a strange feeling! (Only exception so far was a 5 day endurance ride).
The other thing that is possibly different where I ride is the water – you mentioned about the water filter. Mostly where I ride (I don’t really run), if you don’t carry water you don’t have water. But that comes back to keeping it simple. You end up very clear about the priority of carrying water! 😉
Love this post, thanks! 🙂
Whether there is water on the trail definitely makes a difference (sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t) and for rides I think a HUGE factor is how many loops out of camp there are. In my area most of the fifties are at most two loops out of camp and it’s common to not comeback to camp until you are done. I think that results in feeling like you have to take more stuff than if you see your rig every 15-20 miles.