Winter is like a giant chess game for my summer activities and adventures. It's quiet, nothing moves fast, and every move is calculated out. It was minus 18 when I fed this morning and it is only supposed to get colder over the next week. So, as I go out and feed every morning I look over the horses and mules. What do I need to add to the string, who's stepping up to riding stock this spring, do i need to look into another riding saddle? At times I feel like an NFL coach, watching the players guessing who will retire and then who will that replacement will be. This is the time of year you clean and oil tack while enjoying the warmth of a fire in the wood stove. Now's the time to repair and replace, take a good look at your gear. Probably the most over looked piece of tack is our pack saddle cinches. We oil, clean, and handle all the leather, but who cares about that old dried out, deer chewed, mud packed pissed on mohair cinch?... It will work another yea. It's hands down the cheapest part of a pack rig to replace and without it we go nowhere...so, take 30 seconds and at least look at it. Then we all have that one pack saddle we just hate, for whatever reason.....Normally it's the one that was given to us or we bought dirt cheap because it was well used, no really well used, or was never used and was in great shape because the guy you got it from hated it too, and never used it. Its the one we got for an extra saddle that became a full time saddle or a full time pain in your ass, every time you use it. Get rid of it....Packing is supposed to be fun!!! Every time Chuck or I are having a bad day on the trail the other says "hey remember this is supposed to be fun!!!" Winter is a time to study the maps and start working out the logistics for summer trips. Never been there...now's the time to make a phone call to who has, or visit the land managers office. they have time to talk now while snow is three feet deep, not at peak season when they are out in the field. Winter is also the time to tryout new meals to take with you on the trail or show off you culinary skills at the trail head. Seems like everyone lives large on the trail, chow time should be no exception. So, as old man winter keeps trying to make moves to depress you and give you a case of cabin fever make a counter move preparing for great days ahead on the trail. Feel free to use Trailhead Supply as a resource as you prep for that next big adventure.
Keep Warm and pour another cup.