Trailhead Supply Blog
So, the other day as I was sitting at the computer drinking my morning cup of coffee a post popped up. A question was asked… What three thing do you always carry in your saddle bags? First thing that came to my mind was toilet paper. I’ve never seen toilet paper for sale in the back country …and when you need it, you need it. Only two other folks besides myself had said toilet paper as an answer. But before I could type my response there must have been a hundred responses. I was shocked how popular this post was. As I read down through everyone’s top three items it seemed that like 90 plus percent of everyone posting said that they carried a Leatherman type tool. Have any of you ever used one? I bought one when they first came out, I gave it away when Gerber came out with their version. I don’t care what brand you carry, all they are good for is pinching your finger and teaching you knew adult adjectives. So, my question is what do you use them for while on the trail ??? The knife blade is too small to cut about anything. I guess you can tighten a Chicago screw, if you had something to hold the other end. Here is what I carry… a pair of fencing pliers. They are bigger and stronger. They can cut that random wire before or after you get tangled up in it. Put a shoe back on, pound in a tent stake, hammer in a nail use, them as a hoof pick, options are endless. And yes, they are bigger, but they do fit into a saddle bag and they will open that adult beverage at the end of a long hot day on the trail. Get out on the trail and enjoy this beautiful summer weather.
See you on the trail
P.S. Post in the comments your top 3 items you take on the trail, we would love to see everyone’s answer!
Last weekend I was supposed to go and pack gravel for the Forest Service with a couple of my buddies. Packing gravel is a great way to break in those new mules to the whole packing thing and it’s a great tune up for the whole string. There are all kinds of funny sounds along with the loads kinda swinging, but….if something goes not as planned its only fifty cents worth of gravel and it still gets spread just maybe not where planned. At the last minute, I wasn’t able to go on this adventure, so they took off without me. This scared me because as scary as this sounds there is now no adult supervision!!! Not that I’m the best supervisor or act adult a lot of the time, but they lost their wingman. As they ran down the Swan highway hunger set in and a need to fill their Trailhead Supply coffee cups. They pulled into the Swan Valley Mercantile. Just by luck they were having a sale on pepperoni sticks. After a swap of cash for refill of coffee and two bags of the finest pepperoni one can find on sale my first friend headed back to the truck, while the other continued to shop. Kicking back in the truck he tore open the first bag and chowed down the first stick. He said it was the worst pepperoni he had ever had, so he ate another, then another, they were all bad!!! So, he read the label, Original Flavor….His thought was Original flavor of what? He grabbed the second bag, it was sausage flavor, he opened and tried it….it was just as bad as the first, in fact it tasted just like the Original Flavor. Back into the store he went. He found his traveling partner quizzing the poor store clerk on why he didn’t sell phone chargers. They both looked up to see him standing there holding two open bags of pepperoni sticks…..
The clerk said “Can I help you??”
“These are the worse pepperoni sticks I’ve ever ate.”
The clerk said, “You ate those? Those are dog treats.”
My friend said, “It doesn’t say that.”
The clerk said laughing, “Yes, it does right next to the cartoon picture of the dog opening the bag on the label.”
Packers… you can’t take them anywhere!!!
See you on the Trail.
There are only so many days a year I can embrace my passion of packing here in Northwest Montana. Mostly due to snow pack in the high mountain passes. This year Mother Nature got off her meds and didn’t play fair and there isn’t just snow pack lingering in the high passes, but all the way down in the lowlands. The topic of conversation around the world-famous coffee pot at Trailhead Supply is trail conditions and when is the snow leaving. The issue is when the snow does melt, and the trails start opening up, the water is running so high and fast you can’t safely cross. Last weekend I headed down to my favorite trailhead, Owl Packer Camp, to pack in a short string loaded with jack hammers and tools for a Forest Service trail crew to do some prep work for an upcoming blasting project. As we rolled into our normal parking spot at the trailhead there were three horse trailers parked in my spot. After parking, else where, I walked over to see some good friends camped there. I asked where were their horses and mules. They laughed and said we can’t get anywhere so we left them at home, but it’s time. We are tired of waiting one said, so we came down to just camp, smell the clean air, and have a cup of coffee with you by the fire. Well we probably stayed up to late… (who keeps time in the back country) The next morning I was up at 5 saddled, had one, well 2 more cups of coffee, swung up in the saddle, and headed down the trail like a big dog. We made it three whole miles from the trailhead and dropped off my load right at snow line. It felt good …No it felt great!!! Felt like we cruised 30 miles not three. God did it feel good to get out on the trail. Its Time!!! If you haven’t got out yet, saddle up, hit the trail, it’s good for the soul….
See you on the Trail
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Summer is just around the corner; the days are getting longer and hotter. We do whatever we can to stay cool out in that hot sun, but what about the stock? They are the real work horses here (no pun intended) Carrying my fat butt up and down those long grades along with all those hard-working mules, packing who knows what today, it’s just plain hard work. My horses and mules are in shape, they are used daily, not like most of the trail users who only get out when they can escape from the day to day responsibilities of life. How do we prepare them for the hot journey ahead? First get them in shape. We all do the same thing. Quick ride after work, you grab your favorite ride, and in the trailer, he or she goes off to the trail head leaving the rest at home waiting for a big adventure when they all need to go. I always take one or two extras. Pony them along for the exercise, it’s good for them. Plan your big trips for early morning riding before it gets to hot out. Slow the pace down a little. Even with all the pre-trip preparation the heat may still get to your beloved steed. That’s why I carry a tube of electrolytes in the first aid kit I carry in my saddlebags. There are two forms of electrolytes. First, the powder or pelleted type that you add to water; this is like what the football players are drinking on the sidelines between plays. Second, the paste form, in a tube, this is for the player who is collapsing and can’t make it to the side lines. I’ve had to use my electrolyte paste a couple of times, I cannot believe how well and how fast it works. Now it’s going to make them thirsty which is a good thing, so, don’t skip a creek crossing without giving them a chance to drink. So, remember start the day off letting the stock drink all the water they want and this would be a great time to have another cup of coffee…
See you on the trail.
See you on the trail.