It seems to be the biggest concern when going horsecamping -- where to put everything IN THE TRAILER!! Space is a valuable item! Where to put it? How to pack it? What to pack? When it comes to actual packing, the important thing to remember is 'squares' and 'rectangles' plus I always follow my motto 'if I can't use something at least 2 ways, I won't take it with me'!
Regardless of what it is, items pack together easier, simpler and quicker if put into squares and rectangles. They just naturally fit together. So planning what to put where may take a couple trips to finalize but when done, one will be amazed at how much can be gotten into the tack compartment of even a 2-horse trailer where before there wasn't enough space for anything!
The biggest items to fit into a tack compartment are saddles. I've got a saddle rack that hold two saddles -- one above the other -- in the corner by the door. Heaviest and biggest saddle goes on the top. Smaller on the bottom. May not be the easiest way to put 'em. LIfting that heavy saddle up can be difficult but it keeps the muscles toned and after 15 or 20 times of lifting a 50 pound saddle up and onto a rack, it will be easier! I promise. Since the bigger saddle is the largest the space around the bottom saddle (smaller) will allow for more storage.
On top of saddles go saddle blankets, cinches, breast collars, bridles, saddle bags and every thing else that one uses, takes or needs when riding. It's all in one place!
Next, I went out and bought some plastic boxes. About 2 feet long, 18 inches high, 20 inches wide. Into these goes cooking gear. Pots, pans, dishes (use paper plates and when they get dirty, toss 'em in for first starter), silverware, salt, pepper and so on. One box holds all the cooking gear. Another groceries.
Next, either pack a square or rectangle suitcase for yourself or have another plastic box for clothing. This includes underwear, utility and personal items, so on. Personally, I like jeans and t-shirts. Both can be washed in a stream and hung over a highline for drying. No ironing!! I don't iron at home so I'm definitely NOT going to iron when camping! Everything is basically drip and dry!
Since I sleep in my tack compartment, bed is on top of the plastic boxes that hold storage, clothing, etc. I've got a 3 inch foam pad and it works great! If I need a box, pull it out from under the bed. Across the front of trailer inside tack compartment, 3 extra shelves hold other personal items. Along the front wall, 4 rectangle water cans. Horses water pails, buckets, my wash pan, etc. fit on top of cans. And when ever I'm in a grocery store, I check out the smaller square and rectangle boxes that canned goods come in. They're heavy duty and can be packed with items and shoved into small areas.
Probably next to saddles, horse blankets are the next biggest items. I put 2 heavy duty winter blankets, 2 sheets, 2 water proof blankets and a large box (biggest I can buy) of plastic garbage bags into a cardboard box or a plastic box. Fit in where ever it will go. You can put a lot of blankets in a box if you lay a blanket out on the ground, smooth flat, fold it over and over itself into a square and then squish it down. Walk on it to really squish it down! The horse may roll on it. To keep folded, tie with string. One can get all those blankets into one box!! Or one or two into smaller boxes. Stuffing loose blankets here and there takes up space and one tends to lose area to put other things in -- remember squares and rectangles!
Safe trails and camping,
Bonnie (and Nic)