Trail Savvy: The Timeless Joy of Horse Camping

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Embracing Nature’s Clock

Most people experience time as a linear construct with every second tracked by our devices, rushing through life until nature demands that we stop. But I feel a shift when I’m on the trail, slowly making my way into the wilderness; time slows down and stretches in every direction. When I’m in wilderness areas, history feels alive, not just in the rocks beneath me but also in the rushing rivers and soaring through the sky. 

Horse camping is my preferred way to experience this transformation, connecting me with the timeless essence of nature. For me, horse camping provides an escape from the relentless pace of modern life. It fosters a deeper connection with nature and allows me space to savor the present moment.

Time is often regarded as a precious and finite resource, constantly slipping through our fingers in today’s fast-paced world. However, time takes on a different dimension when one goes on a horse camping adventure. Slowly making one’s way into the wilderness on horseback forces us to decelerate, disconnect from the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, and embrace the unhurried pace of the natural world.

Horse camping offers a respite from the constant demands of our technological devices. No longer are we slaves to the clock, constantly checking our phones for notifications and messages. Instead, we become attuned to the rhythms of nature—the gentle sway of the trees, the rhythmic clip-clop of our horses’ hooves, and the soft melodies of birds overhead. Time, which once seemed to slip unnoticed, now stretches before us, inviting us to savor each passing moment.

Horse Camping
Photo Courtesy Robert Eversole

Horse camping is not just about escaping the relentless pace of modern life; it’s also an opportunity to forge a deeper connection with the natural world. As we venture into natural areas, we become acutely aware of the interconnectedness of everything around us. The earth beneath our horse’s hooves, the air we breathe, and the sky above become more than abstract concepts—they are tangible and ever-present forces in our journey.

In wilderness areas, the past comes alive in a way that is rarely experienced in our day-to-day lives. Ancient geological formations, weathered by eons of time, tell the story of the earth’s history. Riding through towering forests, you can sense the wisdom of centuries held within the rugged trunks of ancient trees. The very air we inhale carries echoes of generations past.

Moreover, horse camping encourages us to be mindful of the impact we have on the environment. We are reminded that we are guests in the wilderness and must tread lightly, leaving as little trace of our passage as possible. This heightened awareness of our footprint fosters a sense of responsibility for preserving these natural wonders, ensuring they will endure for future generations.

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending quest for more success and more possessions. However, horse camping invites us to shift our focus from pursuing the future to appreciating the present. As we navigate each bend in the trail, each moment becomes a unique and irreplaceable part of our journey.

The simple act of setting up camp, gathering ‘round a crackling campfire, and sharing stories with fellow riders becomes a precious ritual. Time spent in the company of our horses, grooming and caring for them, deepens our bond with them. Each sunrise and sunset takes on a new significance as we watch the colors of the sky transform, painting the landscape with ever-changing hues.

Horse camping teaches us the art of mindfulness—the practice of being fully present in the here and now. It encourages us to let go of past anxieties and future uncertainties and allows us to find solace and contentment in the natural world’s beauty.

In a world where time is often seen as a scarce commodity, horse camping offers a unique and gratifying escape. It enables us to disentangle ourselves from the relentless pace of modern life, fostering a profound connection with nature and affording us the luxury of fully immersing ourselves in the present moment. As we venture into the wilderness atop our trusty steeds, time stretches and bends, affording us a fleeting glimpse into the timeless heart of the natural world. Horse camping is more than a leisurely activity; it is a profound odyssey that reminds us of the enduring beauty and wonders that envelop us when we step outside the confines of our busy lives and surrender ourselves to the embrace of the wild.

For more musings on camping with horses and the world’s largest guide to horse trails, visit

See this article in the January 2024 online edition:

February 2024

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