Friday, August 04, 2006

Wendy Copp sends word

We received another email from Wendy Copp. We had asked her a while back to tell us what she packs in her saddlebags because we knew many of you out there following her travels would be curious about what she carries. She has obliged us in her most recent email.

Wow, it's been a long time since I've even seen a computer. Most of the folks I've stayed with have ones that are so slow and ancient that they don't bother trying to use them.
I'm taking a break during this excruciatingly hot weather. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't ride in it anyway because it's too humid, the bugs are atrocious and the air never cools off. So Jolie and I are going to take a rest for a while.
Let’s see. My saddle is a custom made endurance saddle made by a fellow named Fred Pokrinchak. It weighs only 14 pounds and has a flexible panel tree, which seems to be working beautifully. I replaced the fenders with ones made by Torsion, and also exchanged the nylon billets with leather ones. I use two pads – a wool felt one and a wool blanket. They've worked well, except that they don't stay in place when I'm off my horse walking down steep hills. I use a mohair string girth.

I'm carrying about 42 pounds in my saddle bags-12 pounds in front, when my water bottles are full- and 30 pounds in back. I've packed a tent, sleeping bag, airflow mattress, D-cell battery fence charger, 4 fence poles cut into 3 pieces with connectors attached, 4 insulators and enough hot tape to make a small 25 x 25 paddock, first aid equipment for both Jolie and I, toiletries, leatherman, headlamp, pepper spray, rain poncho, really good rain pants and jacket, portable water bucket, tape recorder and notebook, about 5 pounds of grain, combination curry/brush, hoofpick, mane comb, insect repellent for horse and human, food for me (jerky, nuts, fruit, bread, cheese yogurt, etc. I've been able to replenish my food at the occasional little store I come across, or at the various farms where people have invited me in), 2 pairs of socks, 3 underwear, extra t-shirt and long sleeved shirt, 1 pair of pants and 1 extra horseshoe. I think that's everything. I didn't bring a stove because I just didn't have any more room. The leatherman and headlamp have been
particularly indispensable.
You might notice that my hat looks a bit’s because I'm wearing a detachable sun visor which has been great in both bright sun and pouring rain. People have told me I look like a traveling gardener, a pic (?) or a samurai. The thing seems to be a Rorschach test of sorts. All I know is that it works really well!
I've attached a recent photo and will tell you of my travels in my next installment...tomorrow, I think. Hope all is well with you,
Best, Wendy

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