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Let’s Discuss: Horse Camping

Or, spending a small fortune to live like a bum.

Photo by Maria Wachter.

Photo by Maria Wachter.

I’m a horse camping addict. My whole life revolves around the next time I can go camping. I even bought a property in Arizona that consists of 2.5 acres of cactus, mesquite trees and sand just to set up some horse corrals and turn in into a permanent horse camping spot for myself, my boyfriend and my friends. I mean, I love the property, but the Ritz Carlton it is not.

Thankfully the truck and living quarters trailer are paid off, but every trip, and I mean every trip, something always breaks: appliances stop working, leaks spring up, tires go flat, axles break, trucks blow up. Between the truck and trailer, I feel like I’m constantly shelling out money for repairs. (Just as I am writing this article, I spent $155 on various shower and toilet parts). My sweet boyfriend is pretty handy (and loves to camp as much as I do), so that helps save on the cost of sending the trailer to a repair shop — but the parts alone are pretty pricey.

Why not sleep under the stars? Look, I’ve done the camping in the tent thing, roughing it, and it’s just not my cup of tea. I want a hot shower after a day in the saddle. I want to be able to brush my teeth with running water. I want a heater keeping me warm at night. And I SURE don’t want to sleep on the ground or poop in the bushes … ever again! So to get these luxuries, I have to pay the big bucks.

I decided to crunch some numbers, and our $32,000 living quarters over the past seven years, camping approximately 20 trips/annually, comes to approx $230 a camping trip just to use the trailer. I could go stay at a luxury 5-star resort for those prices, but no, I would rather camp in the desert, with manure under my finger nails and a campfire with marshmallows involved. I’m sure some people would rather go for the hotel, but I enjoy it. That $230 doesn’t even include the cost of tires, parts, registration, insurance, the $60,000 truck and the fuel it requires to get to the camp spot.

At the end of the day, even though it costs an arm and a leg just to live like a bum on horseback, it’s worth every penny and then some. It’s what keeps me sane and justifies why I shouldn’t quit my day job. It makes me happy and gives me something to look forward to. I know money can’t buy happiness, but money CAN buy trucks and trailers, and that’s basically the same thing.

And now, Horse Nation, we want to hear from you: are you an avid horse camper? Do you pitch a tent, or sleep in the trailer? Tell your horse camping adventures, show us pictures from your favorite spots and share your horse camping hacks in the comments section!

Photo by Maria Wachter

Photo by Maria Wachter

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