For RIDERS on Trail Rides, All Expense , Spot or Base Camp trips
We supply horses, saddles, food, kitchen and eating utensils, and camping equipment. Dormitory tents will be provided for men and women. Private tents for couples or singles will be reserved by request. Food will be plentiful and deluxe in quality. We provide the preparation of meals; any help is appreciated but not mandatory. Those desiring to learn how to pack may participate in making up loads and packing the mules.
- We provide a small saddle bag for trail necessities. Please do not bring your own saddle bags or day packs unless they are pocket size. Participants may not carry large camera cases with extra lenses on the saddle. If you have extra camera equipment, it can be packed in your duffel or in a safe place on mules.
- You will be limited to 3 lbs. in the saddle bag, which includes your lunch. Your jacket and rain gear are not included in the 3 lbs. and may be tied on the back of the saddle. No day packs allowed on riders' backs.
- Each person is assigned a horse for the duration of the trip with regard to the guest's weight, height, and ability.
- Dunnage limit is 30 lbs. per person (this includes sleeping bags, fishing equipment, liquor, etc.). There will be a surcharge of $3 to $10 per pound on dunnage in excess of the 30 lbs. You may bring your own tent if under 10 lbs. which will not be included in 30 lb. weight limit.
- Trip fee does not include alcoholic beverages or lodging night before and after trip.
- Gratuities are optional and a personal choice.
- Trip will terminate in the late afternoon of last day.
- Free shuttle back to Virginia Lakes Pack Outfit for trips terminating at other road heads.
- Reservation form must be accurately completed. The information on age, height, weight and riding ability is used to assign riding animals. Failure to provide accurate information may result in the participant being denied going on the trip with loss of trip fee.
- We advise guests to purchase cancellation and trip travel insurance.
- Participants will be sent an assumption of risk and a liability release form. All guests must assume the risk and sign the forms before using Virginia Lakes Pack Outfit's service. Our forms have excellent guidelines for riding safety that we ask you to study.
- The pack station does not boil or treat water. Campsites are remote enough that we feel safe in using the water. It you want to purify water bring your own filter pump or purification tablets.
PERSONAL CHECK LIST
Bring belongings in stout canvas or nylon duffels; side zipper recommended, ideal size approximately 14" x 32". It is a good idea to use a large plastic bag INSIDE of the duffle to protect contents from external moisture.
Sleeping bags can be in separate duffels --again, line the inside of the duffle against rain.
Place all cosmetics, soaps, medications, etc into small plastic containers with close-fitting caps, THEN into sturdy resealable plastic storage bags. If anything breaks or bursts from altitude changes, the plastic bag contains the spill.
When possible, it is a good idea to transfer alcoholic beverages to sturdy plastic bottles with well fitting caps - it will save weight and protect against breakage.
Check in fishing worms and bottle goods separately; don't put in duffel. Place fishing rods in metal or plastic cases.
You will be given a small saddle bag that goes on your saddle horn to carry your lunch and a few personal items. (Weight limit 3 lbs - including lunch).
Remember - try to minimize the weight of your dunnage by packaging only the amount of any item you will need (like soaps, lotions and medications).
- Sleeping bag with a comfort range of 20 to 60 degrees and a moisture proof ground cloth.
- Air mattress or small 1/4"-1/2" foam hip pad recommended - your night's rest will affect your next days enjoyment. Bring the best sleeping pad you can manage.
- Broad-brimmed hat is essential for protection from sun at high altitude. It must have strings to keep from blowing off.
- Sunglasses (RX glasses) - high altitude sun is BRIGHT!
- Coffee mug (plastic for camp)
- Pint water bottle for your horn bag
- Pocket knife or small multi-tool
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Camera and film (sturdy strap)-- if using digital - don't forget an extra battery and card
- Rain jackets and pants or slicker (rolled up you can tie them to the back of your saddle)
- Hat protector (to keep your hat dry)
- Light jacket (windbreaker)
- Wool or fleece pullover/sweater (layers will keep you comfortable)
- Heavy jacket
- Woolen cap (evenings can be cold)
- Gloves (recommend gloves for riding, may want warm gloves for evenings)
- Riding boots
- Shoes for camp (moccasins, athletic shoes, etc)
- Shirts and pants (long sleeved shirts offer sun, bug and branch protection)
- Bathing suit
- Bath towel/wash cloth/soap (try a multi-use bar or liquid for use on hair, body and laundry. Biodegradable choices are available.)
- Insect repellent such as Cutters
- comb/brush clips/pins/ponytail holders
- Shaving kit (a small mirror is helpful)
- Sun Screen (lotion, cream or stick)- use liberally for sunburn and chapping prevention.
- Chapstick with sun protection SPF 15 or better
- Moisturizer (cream or lotion - altitude and sun can be dry and chap skin)
- Prescription medicine (if required - if you have any allergies, remember to bring appropriate medication)
- Band-aids, aspirin, ibuprofen, eye drops, moleskin for any blisters
- Baby powder/Talcum powder (helps to relieve any raw or irritated areas from boots, clothes or saddles)
- Jogging suit (sweats are comfortable for after-swim and campfire lounging)
- Small notepad and pencil
- Collapsible plastic wash basin (optional)
- Solar shower (optional)
- Water filtering pump (optional)
- Liquor (be sure to check in with the packers to see that your liquor is packed safely)
- Fishing equipment (optional)
- CALIFORNIA FISHING LICENSE. Please note that fishing licenses are NOT available at or near the pack station. Be sure to get one BEFORE you arrive for your adventure. You can find information on California fishing licenses and online purchase at TakeMeFishing.org.
- Rod/reel/line (a rod that breaks down into 3 or more pieces is recommended)
- Compact metal rod case to carry on saddle
- Canvas creel (no tackle boxes)
- Leader material (1-3 lb.)
- Flies: black gnat, mosquito, grey hackle, brown hackle, & royal coachman (No. 12-14 hooks)
- Bait: worms & Pautzke red eggs
- Egg hooks, worm hooks (No. 10-14)
- Split shot
- Lures (personal choice)
LOW-IMPACT GUIDE FOR THE WILDERNESS USER
We are dedicated to conducting our trips so that others following us will find the country unspoiled. Livestock is a natural part of the wilderness and when properly managed enhances man's enjoyment of our unmechanized wilderness area. Today, just as it was when the entire west was mostly wilderness, the horse and mule remain our companions and servants in wilderness travel. We practice and expect you to observe the following during your trip.
- Keep horses on trail; do not cut switchbacks (corners).
- Tie horses 200 feet away from streams, trails and campsites. At camps, horses and mules are tied to picket lines, stretched between trees on granitic soil.
- If you can't tie animal to picket line use a tree greater than 8" in diameter, not on grass. Tie high and short (2-3 ft.) so horse doesn't get foot caught in rope.
- Choose a tent site at least 100 ft. from water (THE LAW) where drainage will not be a problem, avoiding the need to trench. No tents or camp area allowed on grass or meadowlands.
- Utilize pre-existing fire rings where possible. Don't surround fires with rocks! Dig a hole in sand and cover when finished. When you leave camp, bury ashes from fire rings. Leave existing fire rings clean for the next user.
- When breaking camp, return the spot to its natural state and broadcast a covering of needles and cones. Scout the area to make sure nothing will be left behind. Remove the smallest pieces of aluminum foil and trash.
- Pack out all trash. Don't bury garbage, scatter organic wastes or leave foil in campfire pit. Burn cans and flatten. On our group trips we have a bag for cans and aluminum foil.
- Don't use soap (even biodegradable) in streams or lakes, Wash yourself, clothes and dishes away from water sources.
- Bury human waste 200 ft. from water, campsites and trails. Dig a hole 4-6" deep and after use tamp with sod.
- Don't pick flowers or cut branches from live trees. Use only downed wood for fires.
- You are required to keep bears from getting to your food at all times. Please ask for current regulations and suggestions on how to prepare for your trip.