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Camping out at the CDE?

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  • Camping out at the CDE?

    I am anxiously awaiting the commencement of the full-on CDE season here in the Pacific NW. For the first time ever, I have a full slate of CDEs scheduled: Happ's, Inavale, Beaver Creek, Lincoln Creek, and finishing up with a run at the VSE DT-T at Happ's in September.

    The financial situation being as it is in these days, I have decided to forego the luxurious stalls and hotel. I have a nice little pen for my mare and have purchased a canopy to go over the top of it. It even has screened walls, to help with the bugs!

    For myself, I bought a nice little camping tent that I am able to set up on my own, and is quite comfortable. Since this will be my first time camping at an event, I am wondering if anyone can share their favorite camping tips, checklists, must-haves, etc. I always travel on my own, and meet up with all my local friends at the event. I am really excited to begin my adventures for this season, but do not want to end up finding myself forgetting some essential!

    My most important question of the moment is...how the heck do you stay relatively clean at a 4-day, 3 night event??? Cowboy shower? How do you manage this sort of thing?

    What other important tips do you have to stay comfortable while camping at an event? Are there any web sites that I can reference also?

    Thanks so much for any assistance!

  • #2
    I'm on the other end of the US so maybe my info won't help but I do camp in my stock trailer.
    I like to have electricity. It makes it easier to cook, heat water to wash off with, make coffee, run a fan if it is really hot. I also have a propane stove I can use if I don't have electicity.
    Most of our event won't allow temporary pens so I only have to worry about me.
    I have a cot with an air mattress so I can sleep well.
    If it is warm enough (it sure is here in the South), I have showered in the wash rack with a swim suit on.
    I have a rubbermade tub that keeps all my stuff so I don't have to gather it every time and can just check it out to replentish supplies. Easy food is important but I always include some special stuff like artichokes or something so I don't feel bad about not eating out.


    • #3
      Wow, LMV-- I am impressed. We camp but in an 24 foot class C RV. If we have electric, we plug in, if not we start the generator. Did the tent thing for years before we moved up.

      As for your cleanliness needs--go to a camping store and look for a solar shower. They almost look like a hot water bottle. They are black, and you place them on the hood of your truck or back of your truck and they heat by the sun. You can hang it in your trailer and do a cowboy shower or at the very least, sit in your tent and do a sponge bath.

      Make a list on your computer of everything you think you need. Save the list and everytime you go to camp, print up that list so you never forget anything.

      They do make tent heaters should you run into cold nights. Go to your local auto parts store or home depot store and check out power invertors. They allow you to connect to your car battery and plug in a small electric appliance like a coffie maker or radio.

      Get an air mattress that can be pumped up quickly. Sleeping on the ground is cold, damp and lousy sleep. That 4 inches off of the ground will make a huge differnce,

      Have fun.


      • #4
        Camping is very big at the Western CDEs. You should check with your event organizer about the rules at each one. I am sure there are arrangements for the campers, but you may need to ask. The cowboy shower is a good possibility! I would make sure I had one to use in my equipment. They work alright when out trail riding! Others have mentioned just showering in the back end of the trailer with the warmed bag of water and hose. Sometimes a few folks with work together on their arragements for dinners, looking out for the horses. You can always wash your head under the hose at the barn, rinse the shampoo off. No screaming at the cold water though, not everyone has to get up early. Ha Ha!

        The pen would also be a question to ask of the organizer. I have heard some real horror stories about camping with pens and the electric fences by the trailer. Usually the horse in pen is not the problem, but the loose horse/s galloping thru camp, who wreak the havoc in destruction. They frighten penned animals into spooking thru the fences, solid or electric, so then the running horse is wearing fencing.

        Our State Parks do not allow the pens or tying horses on trailers, so our camping horses have to tie to picket lines. We still get some loose ones, but they are usually easy to catch. I heard that folks are buying blinker lights, for night picketing. You can sit up, look out, check to see your horse by his blinker light, go back to sleep. No outdoor lighting in the horse camps, only a pole light at the bathroom.

        I think I would spring for the stall, assured safety for the horse. I could then use the trailer for myself like Pricestory. Tents are nice, just have a few drawbacks in rain or when thundering horses go by. I would tie my horse to trailer for harnessing and my clothes changing.

        I do understand that the Western coast campers have lively evenings, lots of great food, discussion while staying at the CDEs.


        • #5
          [/QUOTE]I do understand that the Western coast campers have lively evenings, lots of great food, discussion while staying at the CDEs.[/QUOTE]

          Oh boy, do we ever! Much fun is had!

          I am part of a group of friends that call ourselves Team Oregon. (I was going to say loose group, but, well, it didn't sound so good!) No comments from Leia!

          Most of us camp at events. The only event you will find a real challenge is Happ's, because it so frequently rains and can be chilly! Most of our group just sweep out their trailers and set up camp in there. If it is not sunny enough to heat your sun shower, just heat some water in a kettle and pour it in.

          We all have large ponies or horses and some have had bad luck with the hot fence pens, so all stable at the event. But it sounds like you have a good set up for your mini.
          Kanoe Godby
          See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone! Keep the suggestions coming!

            I have added cot and pad to my list. And the solar shower. Also a big pot to boil up some hot water if there is no sun (Happ's! How I know and love thy drizzling damp self! :-)

            My pen for Ally is a pipe corral, very safe. :-)

            I think every one of our venues here allow both self-stalling and camping. We are lucky!


            • #7
              Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
              I am part of a group of friends that call ourselves Team Oregon. (I was going to say loose group, but, well, it didn't sound so good!) No comments from Leia!
              Hey, my only comment is that I want to be an honorary member! I love you guys.

              Most of us camp at events. The only event you will find a real challenge is Happ's, because it so frequently rains and can be chilly! Most of our group just sweep out their trailers and set up camp in there. If it is not sunny enough to heat your sun shower, just heat some water in a kettle and pour it in.
              Oooor...there's that hot water shower Happ's has in the bathroom. The rest of the events aren't long enough to worry about except maybe Inavale. A quick scrub in the back of your trailer with a wash cloth and some hot water borrowed from a friend with an RV and you're all set!

              Definitely get an air mattress though and make a run through the local camping goods store as you'll be amazed by what you find. They've got so much neat stuff now! It's almost enough to make me want to skip the RV. Almost!

              Has anyone (CDEDriver?) heard if Lincoln Creek is going to be held this year? Merridy Hance told me it was questionable and I see it's not listed among the August events in the latest WheelHorse.

              Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.


              • #8
                Originally posted by hobbyhorse23 View Post

                Has anyone (CDEDriver?) heard if Lincoln Creek is going to be held this year? Merridy Hance told me it was questionable and I see it's not listed among the August events in the latest WheelHorse.


                Hi Leia, I am fairly certain there will be no Lincoln Creek this year. I think Lynn is tired of it being so much work and not even breaking even.

                Are you coming to Ram Tap?
                Kanoe Godby
                See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                • #9

                  Mickey Lofgren gave me the same answer last night by email. What a bummer! That means no CDE's here from the middle of July to the end of September. It was the only one I didn't have to take vacation for, too. Figures.

                  Sadly I couldn't afford the trip to Ram Tap this year and even my attendance at Happ's is questionable although I'm sending in my entry today. Kody's stifle surgery in October made things worse than before so I finally gave up in March and had the more dramatic procedure done. He's healing very well and it finally solved the problem but it's really going to be pushing him to do a 13km marathon three months afterwards. I may have to go HC or just volunteer and navigate. I'm hoping we'll at least make Inavale. That's why it's such a bummer that the August show is off the schedule...that's about the time I figure he'll be back on his game again.

                  On the plus side we've added two new CDE's to the NW roster and only lost one so we're actually coming out an event ahead. The only problem is that as it stands this year it's three CDE's in three weeks and none of them are less than seven hours travel from me! Maybe next year they'll be able to space them out a bit better so competitors can attend all of them instead of having to pick and choose.

                  Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.


                  • Original Poster

                    OH I AM SO BUMMED ABOUT LINCOLN CREEK!!!! Wah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved, loved, LOVED that one! I loved the trip up through the woods on marathon. Last year was my first time at that one, it was so delightful I SWORE I would never miss it! Since I have only competed there and at Happ's, I guess I will get to experience some different venues this year, at Inavale and Beaver Creek.


                    • #11
                      PLENTY of wooded hills at Beavercreek Amy, you'll feel right at home. That's assuming Tish is allowing VSE's again which I actually haven't confirmed yet.

                      Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.


                      • #12
                        Its years since I've been camping and Sue and I used to go a lot when we were at university and just married and on a budget.

                        When I competed and my daughters were young we used to sleep in the living accommodation in the horse box and the girls used to camp in the tent outside as part of their "adventure"

                        Essentials include:

                        a really good sleeping bag
                        primus stove and spare gas cylinder
                        air bed or ground cover
                        pillow (unless your air bed has a raised one built in)
                        hammer for those tent pegs
                        toilet paper! flannel in a plastic bag and liquid soap
                        sharp knife
                        kettle and/or pan
                        thermos flask
                        cork screw (for the wine!)
                        paper towels
                        a rubbish bag
                        paper plates and plastic cutlery (unless you want to wash up!)
                        foldaway picnic chair/s
                        basic toolkit (screwdriver etc... which you'll probably have anyway if you're driving)
                        can opener
                        clothes pegs (in case you get rained on and need to dry your clothes in the tent)

                        Over here all the HDT's have toilet and shower facilities.

                        HINT: Don't have your horse right next to where you're sleeping. I well remember a night awake when one of ours spent the whole time munching hay or rubbing himself and licking the horse box side grrrr


                        • #13
                          Friends of ours camped one night in the front of their trailer with the horse LOOSE in a box-type stall in the back
                          clomp-clomp-clomp all night with the attendant movemwent of the whole trailer

                          Nobody got any sleep


                          • #14
                            Been meaning to throw in my 2 cents worth!
                            I have successfully camped twice, once for two nights, once for three, by sleeping in the back seat of my SuperCab PU. On the Lincoln County Pony Express ride, I made some BIG ice blocks ahead of time in tupperware, put them in my large ice chest along w/ soft drinks and other items that I needed/wanted to keep cold-I could just let the end of the chest hang out, and open the drain valve daily, and there were still good sized bricks of ice when I got home!(and this was in August, in NM!) Drawback: the ice chest was VERY heavy w/ all that was in it. I've since figured out how I could put it and other 'weatherproof' items into a LARGE,lidded, rolling plastic storage bin I have, and then just put that in the back of the truck, right under the sliding back window of the truck cab, so I could just open it and 'reach through' to get stuff out of it, making things MUCH easier inside the cab-where the other items I need could have been stored on the passenger seat without the ice chest there! Clothes and other supplies(towel, soap, personal hygiene items)were in a large duffel bag. I have a 4" foam, zip-off cover, cot-sized mattress--it went in back, w/ my warm(OLD AND HEAVY, but warm!)sleeping bag on top w/ my pillow! I just sat there to change clothes, etc,, morning and at bedtime. I am about 5'4"+, and was able to sleep w/o being curled up in a semi-circle, in my nice big truck-have a sliding back window, and the side windows of the rear seat slant open, so I could have a nice cross breeze at night, while having a bit of security by locking the PU doors(not that it was an issue on either of the two times I've done this so far...). i even took a small boombox tht has the option of batteries so I could listen to a music CD or two before going to sleep!
                            There was no need to cook on the ride, but I have a small square 'tabletop' grill I could have taken. A friend gave me a large 'coffeemug' type thing that plugs into the cig lighter, which could be used to heat soup and the like--and of course, with careful planning, there are plenty of prepacked foods on the market now to make sandwiches, etc. The ride provided a portable shower set up, complete with a standard water heater on a trailer--very cool!--and of course, portapotties at each night's camp. (When I had my household toilets replaced w/ lo-flow last summer, I saved one of the old seats, and have designed a way to bolt it onto the top of a tall 5 gal bucket. A liner bag and some kitty litter and/or shavings completes your very own 'portapotty' that you can carry in your trailer, just in case!!)
                            One of those lights that is mounted on a strap aroung your forehead is also a great idea-leaves both hands free, and it shines where you are looking, always!
                            On those trips, I had my "big" mare, who was a DREAM--she tied to the side of the trailer, NO problems. With a mini, I'd either set the trailer up as a box stall, or, I have some 10' X 4", 9 bar panels that are light enough so that I could haul 4 on the side w/o the escape door, resting on the fender and tied on, and make a pen outside, but with the trailer door tied open for access to shelter if needed--would depend on the weather! (Even with you in the truck, there is a strong possibility that you could be kept awake by a horse moving around in the trailer, so that'd be a consideration, also.
                            Gee, just writing about this makes me really WANT to go somewhere and camp this way again! Have FUN!!

                            Margo AKA olehossgal


                            • #15
                              I've camped for CTR's, ER's and in the barns at the State Fair. Trust me, get a nice camping cot w/ the thin foam mattress on it- seems like they run about $40 and are well worth it. Unlike a traditonal cloth sling cot which is strapped directly onto the cot frame, these have little springs so there is some give when you plop down to snooze. They fit in tents and in the back of horse trailers. There is no sleep worse than the sleep you try to get as the air seeps out of your air mattress all night.

                              Tarps- get a couple of them and heavy duty magnets (if your trailer is steel) and you can cover up the slides or any openings of the trailer to keep out rain, or to take a shower.

                              As for getting tidy in a jiffy the stuff which cleans your hand, it is a gel in a bottle, is your friend along w/ baby wipes. Heck, I keep those in my truck and trailer year round. Double ditto the black bag camp shower, those do a heck of job for when you have time to do a complete clean up.

                              And never leave home to camp overnight without Tylenol PM. Better than a glass of wine at bedtime because you don't overload your bladder.

                              Good luck and have fun!


                              • #16
                                We "wimp camp" in our van...best thing since sliced bread. If you have a full-sized van with a tow package, you're really set.

                                Amy -- don't forget a good mosquito repellent!
                                They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                                Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                                • #17
                                  I haven't done this camping, but have done it in pretty primitive circumstances.

                                  To wash yourself, you need:
                                  a reasonably private place
                                  2 buckets, one of them metal
                                  A basin
                                  A heat source -- this could be a boiling coil for tea
                                  A water source
                                  Washcloth/sponge + probably, a potholder or two.
                                  soap and shampoo

                                  Depending on the length of your hair, you want to ensure that you have enough water to wash it. That's the goal.

                                  Fill two buckets of water. Boil the water in the metal bucket. Pour a little hot water into the basin. Add cold/cool water to dilute it to a comfortable temp to sponge bath yourself, from top down. Soap up your wash cloth but not too much. You don't really need alot of soap to clean yourself and you don't want to waste water rinsing. Focus on the dirty smelly place. That may be TMI but that's what we're talking about here.

                                  If your hair is short, you probably don't need a whole bucket of hot water. If it's anywhere near your shoulders, you'll probably need a whole bucket for the entire cleaning ritual . In the case of hair, you want to preserve as much H2O for rinsing. Your teeth shoudn't take more than half a cup of lukewarm water

                                  With what's left from body washing, judiciously use what's left for hair. YOu may want to try it at home before the cde. It can be done. I've done it a zillion times.

                                  good luck


                                  • #18
                                    Dizzy, what if your hair is like mine and currently down to your rump?? I'm thinking "scissors," personally. Or the same hose we use to wash off the marathon wagons.

                                    Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.


                                    • #19

                                      Are you camping at the National Drive? We are too and there are public showers but I do remember 'showing' in the back of a horse trailer when MY hair was that long. Just carries several buckets of water along and dunked my head in
                                      Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                                      PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


                                      • #20
                                        Heh, no, luckily I think I'll be staying with the same friend as last year. She was awesome! Invited me and my friend Maggie to stay in her home, use her truck and trailer and drive her horse and all his equipment. I couldn't have asked for better in a million years.

                                        Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.