The biggest space-saving tip is to ride in short boots (riding, hiking, walking boots) and wear them through the airport, saving precious space in your bag.
Pack in advance! Part of the stress of packing is due to the urgency involved. Packing a few days before you go allows you time to remember things you’ve forgotten.
Check the weather at your destination and the packing list we will have sent you. If you are doing a trail which includes camping you’ll usually need to bring some extras. There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination and realising you were meant to pack a sleeping bag!
To save space, pack your riding equipment, toiletries and electrical items first and clothes (that can be squashed down) on top. You can save a lot of space by rolling your clothes.
Short riding/hiking boots and half chaps take up the least space if you wear the boots through the airport
Riding hat: if worried about space, check if you can borrow one at your destination.
Gloves: even in hot weather these are useful to protect your fingers from blisters from the reins. Waterproof ones are great if expecting wet weather.
Jodhpurs/riding tights: Lightweight riding tights can be good in hot climates and waterproof jodhpurs are great in changeable weather. At the US ranches many people ride in jeans. Bring several pairs as you will be likely be riding for 5 or 6 days depending on the trip
In hot climates it is much more comfortable to ride in tops designed for exercise/running (H&M Sport have a great and affordable collection) rather than cotton t-shirts which can be unbearably hot.
For all trips it’s a good idea to bring a couple of long-sleeved shirts to protect your arms either from the sun or wind.
In changeable weather conditions the best things to pack are a base layer (we like merino wool as it’s thin and packs down small while being warm and cosy) and a mid layer (fleece or woollen sweatshirts/jumpers). Bring a few and add extra layers until you reach your desired warmth. Bear in mind you will get warmer as you ride
Sport socks are great for preventing rubbing and blisters from riding boots especially if you are not used to riding all day.
Waterproof jacket. Special care should be taken to ensure your jacket is completely waterproof. Showerproof and water resistant are unfortunately not the same thing.
Casual clothes for evening. Don’t be the person forced to spend their evenings in jodhpurs and boots because they forgot to pack trainers/sandals/casual wear!
Swimwear – depending on the trail there may be opportunities to swim or a pool at some hotels or even an unexpected waterfall on the trail so it’s usually a good idea to pack something to swim in
Travel adaptor and charger: with most people using their phone as their camera a travel adaptor and charger is essential and can be difficult to pick up in more remote locations.
Headphones – For listening to radio/music when on the plane or in the evenings if you are room-sharing.
Book/Kindle – Using a Kindle is a fantastic space saver
Local currency – Always try to carry a small amount in local currency ready for any impromptu stop-offs at bars or cafes.
Power bank – An extremely useful piece of kit if staying in remote regions without electricity or when camping.
Torch – Essential when camping and useful if sharing a room and you need to find something in the middle of the night!
Snacks – Not an essential but a couple of cereal bars can make all the difference if a day’s riding stretches on longer than anticipated.
Reusable water bottle that will fit in a saddlebag