The Long Riders' Guild


Armed with his trusty corkscrew, this Cossack Long Rider is preparing to open the world's largest bottle of Astrakhan beer in this 19th Century Russian advertisement!  Click on photo to enlarge.

Long Rider Comments

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Lucido Cool Light gives you up to 14 days of CONTINUAL light on one regular set of batteries!  (A conventional torch with a lightbulb during this time would need around 114 batteries!)  And the double seal makes the Lucido not just shower-proof, but waterproof to one metre.

Rosie Swale Pope

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The aquapure traveller bottle is an advanced portable water purification system.

The system is simple to use, you fill up the bottle from any fresh water source, river, pond or puddle, screw on the filter cap, shake the bottle then squeeze the water through the filter.

The filter is impregnated with absorbent medias, which remove many different chemicals (chlorine etc), heavy metals and waterborne pathogens (Cryptosporidium, Giardia).  There is an additional disinfection sleeve that simply fits over the filter killing bacteria and viruses, such as Polio, E.coli and Vibro Cholera

Rosie Swale Pope

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P20 sun filter

I swear by this stuff!  I used it when I ran in the Sahara Marathon!  It should be compulsory for all desert runners and Long Riders in hot climates. It certainly looked after me. 

Rosie Swale Pope

I love the Zipka torch from Petzl, really small and efficient.   

Saskia Machaczek

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Covers/rugs: I had a very light waterproof Weatherbeeta cover with a 'string vest' inner - this was brilliant as even if the horse was a bit damp, he could still dry off under the cover if it were wet, and the rug itself dried out quickly.   The one with a polycotton lining was a waste of time - cold and clammy.  

I also took A VERY CHEAP ($12!) duvet - no weight , and extra warmth for me or the horse if either of us was sick or sorry - used it under the waterproof  on a cold tired horse.  You could take that instead of a sleeping bag....

Map covers:  The ones I had didn't even start or last the course - the plastic broke.  Poly bags are easier and better, I decided.

In the pack bags put clothes, sleeping bag etc. in canoe dry bags, so even if you take a swim everything essential is still dry - much more reliable than plastic bags.

Electric Fence:  I had a portable unit made by Gallagher that took six 1.5 volt batteries.  It worked great.

Mary Pagnamenta

Spare parts and tools:  Needles, threads, awl, knife etc.  Brass clips.  String.  Leather boot laces.

Julian Ross

Picketing a horse at night can be nerve wracking. If you've read first-hand any accounts of the westward migration in the U.S. you know the pioneers spent most of their time chasing stray livestock. For those of us that don't consider our companions expendable, the thought of our animals getting loose in the night is frightening.  I really over-did it the first night of my first long ride.  I had my horse hobbled, tied, and belled - and I didn't sleep a wink. Within a few days I discovered I was comfortable just tying my horse during the night, and did this almost every night for both of my long rides featured on your website (one up the coast of California on Cacho, and the second across the U.S. on Shawnee). The hobbles were useful for Cacho at grazing time, but at night I wanted more security. Shawnee didn't accept the hobbles even at grazing time. I found my 30-foot, heavy-duty cotton rope indispensable for allowing her to graze while still keeping her within reach.  When tying Cacho to a massive California oak at night I sometimes needed the whole length!  (What an experience to camp by one of these awesome trees!)

Lisa Wood

Personal items 
Brushes: No
Soap: Yes
Pharmaceuticals: as needed.
Vaccinations: Yes
Phone numbers: Yes
ATM card: Yes
Deodorant: No
Anti-wrinkle cream: No
Eyelash curler: No
Mascara: No
Razor: No
Toe-nail clippers: Yes
Camera and film: Yes
You've already got your petroleum jelly if you or your horse have a problem with dryness.  For soap I recommend a trial-sized Neutragena, because regular soap will disintegrate in the packs and make a mess.  A tooth brush and small tube of tooth paste, of course, and a needle and thread for roadside repairs to sun-rotted clothing.  I carried a little travel-sized container of shampoo, but I also cut my hair short to avoid fuss.  A bandana makes a versatile towel, wash cloth, first aid bandage, sweat mop, and neck-protector.  Horses do not need to be brushed, just make sure they are clean, run you hands over them frequently, and rinse any sweat out. 
I kept the phone number for my vet and my insurance company handy.  I only carried about $100 at a time, plenty for a shoeing if I needed to get one for my horse, but no more.  I found having a phone and ATM card in my wallet helpful, along with my driver's licence.
I carried my heavy, all manual 1978 Pentax camera with me on both trips.  This tank of a device had the advantage of not suffering in the rain, or even when Cacho rolled on it.  I mailed my film home as I went along.

Lisa Wood

One other product that we use from Outfitters Supply that is well worth considering is the “Oregon Saw”.  This superb saw comes in a scabbard and can be easily snapped on your saddle and out of your way until it is needed.  This saw has come in handy more times than we had ever thought it would be.  It is extremely easy to use, (as much as a saw can be), and saws through downed timber better than any other that we have ever used before. 

Water bottles: How many times have you been out riding and you have run out of water, or perhaps it is warm and you would just love to have a nice cold drink? Well, we found the answer! That is if there is a nice cool stream around. Well, actually you can even drink from a mud hole. No kidding! We have found water bottles that we can carry with us… pumps, tubes, etc. Just a normal size water bottle which contains a filter. This bottle will filter out 99.999 percent of the virus, bugs, etc. (not all filters will do this, so make sure it will filter out all the germs). We purchased these and tried them out! They are fantastic! We took water from a cool mountain stream each time we wanted a cool drink.
Janine and Jim Wilder

An extremely useful implement is the WW2 Australian Army machete.  Mine has been modified by a hook cut into the toe of the blade, which can be used to lift a billy can from a fire or chop thorn bushes out of the way.  It has cut through brush, chopped wood and dug holes.  I have even cooked fish filets on the blade.  

A roll of aluminium foil is ideal for cooking food in the coals - it saves you having to pick the charcoal out of your teeth.

I carry a comprehensive repair kit for leather and clothes, which includes needles, awl, thread, copper rivets, press-studs and scrap leather.  You will need at least two needles, one for leather and one for cotton.  The one for cotton can be carried through your hatband with a foot or two of thread tucked inside your hatband.  This is great for that emergency repair and saves embarrassment from torn clothing!

I had a couple of canvas nosebags made up.  These not only hold feed for the horses but double as buckets to bail water from a deep hole, or give the horses a drink from a tap.

The decision to take a firearm is a personal one.  In the north of Australia I sometimes needed one because of the danger both from crocodiles and wild brumbies.  There is also the very real possibility of a horse breaking a leg far from any vet.  In this case, a bullet is the most humane course of action available.  However, bear in mind some national parks ban firearms, certain land-owners may be put off if they see you are armed, not to mention the constabulary.  I now carry a small collapsible .22.  It is kept safely out of sight in the pack-saddle when I am near towns, or easily reassembled when I am back in the bush.  Finally, check state laws and only consider carrying a firearm if you are competent and can use it safely.

Steve Nott

Everest "Fahrenheit Extreme Ultra Lites" Horse Blankets
When I was riding down through Chile I had to choose the wettest year for many years. In the southern part of Chile my horses were suffering form the combination of rain, cold and wind. I was, more often than not, unable to tether them in sheltered places as all the best places had houses on them and of course they had to graze as well. My horses were northern horses who are more used to a dry, desert-like environment. I tried to get some waterproof blankets in Chile but here they don't exist. After a lot of looking on the internet I found what seemed to be ideal. Uninsulated, waterproof blankets made by a company called Everest. I didn't think that it would help getting insulated blankets. I think that a dry, wind protected horse is well on its way to being a warm horse. They have proven to be ideal and it's nice to know that when I'm tucked up in my warm sleeping bag that the horses outside aren't suffering. People say to me that Criollos are tough and don't need pampering. But even Criollos use energy to keep warm and dry off. That energy has to come from somewhere and it is hard enough to keep horses in good condition whilst travelling as it is. I'd rather carry the blankets than carry oats.

Keith Clark

Items of interest

We thought this emergency space blanket would be a very useful on a Long Ride.

Axe.jpg (4213 bytes) "Trekking axe Mini" - can be worn on a belt.  Weighs 0.5 kg. (about a pound) without the handle.  Recommended by a former French Foreign Legionnaire as "a good axe with many uses."  Made in Sweden by Hultafors.
Saddles, saddle-pads & saddle-bags Pack saddles Horse-shoes & hoof care

Bridles, bits & head collars

Feeding & Grooming

Horse training Tents Solar power & laptops Clothing Camping equipment

  Helpful hints




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