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Monday, March 9, 2009

Crew Bags

I did buy a new container for a crewbag yesterday....

I have a crew bag from Sportack that I bought used ( I really like it. I tried using garment bags and duffel bags for crew bags and they just don't work as well as something made for that specific purpose. At 20MT 65 I started thinking about my crew bag set up and realized that it would be very useful to have a second crew bag so that I could send bags to different checks. I also discovered that the longer the race, the more stuff I pack! While the Sportack bag works fine for a 50, more things can go wrong in a 65, 75, 100 etc. and I wanted more "spare tires". For example - a spare stirrup, stirrup leather, reins. A spare set of shoes (last set pulled that still had some wear left) and the farrier equipment to nail it on. I didn't have room for a extra pieces of clothing or my running shoes. If I had been able to trade in my ariats for running shoes at the vet check, I would have gotten off and ran more in the afternoon.

With the above in mind I went to Sears and bought myself a rolling tool box. It's the perfect size, and comes with a tote inside. With the tote organizer removed, I should be able to use it as a saddle stand. The box is sturdy enough I can use it as a chair at the vetchecks. I should also be able to use it to haul water containers in camp. It was also reasonably priced. I sold my level one parelli kit (old old old with VHS) to someone in Canada, so I used those funds for this.

I'll post pictures of what and how I pack my crew bags. I LOVE being organized. Now that I have 2 options, I will have to think what is the best system for packing the bags. A 50, 100, LD, multi day, lots of vet checks, or just one vet check all affect how the crew bag is packed! The crew bag system, in turn, affects which saddle bags I use, and what I carry with me.

In the meantime, go to Karen Chaton's blog and search for "crew bag". She has a great system that I referenced when I was trying to develop what worked for me.

A well packed crew bag and can make or break your ride (or at least, make the ride decidedly unpleasant if you are missing something essential....).

Thought of the day:

Until I post some pictures and (my favorite) LISTS (I make a list for everything), what are your essentials for a crew bag? What do you use for a crewbag?

One of my essentials is (besides the obvious rump rug etc.) something to put my saddle on. Some vet checks are "tack off" and I hate putting the sweaty blanket and saddle in the dirt. I always manage to forget this though and end up trying to find a rock/tree/fence/creative propping.....AND where my tack ends up is always REALLY far away from the vet check.


  1. Get a vinyl rain poncho. They are small and spread out great to throw tack on. Plus can actually be used if you get caught in some rain unprepared. I'll have to post my list on my blog in the next few days. =)

  2. Great idea! I've found that, since my father and I ride together, two bags is essential. One bag I have is a Sportack crew bag, and the other is a waterproof duffle bad from Cabelas. The Cabelas bag works well for holding bulky things like fleece blankets and our food cooler, and the Sportack bag for everything else, but I'm thinking that for longer rides, I'm going to get a smaller hard-sided cooler and have more space for extra "me" stuff in the duffle. I have a small tarp, about 3x4, that I use in case I have to pull tack, which I haven't had to at any ride yet. I think I'll do a similar post to my blog in the next few days, next time I can get down to the barn and take pictures.

  3. Waterproof duffel bag sounds great (I've added to my Cabela's wishlist). I used a duffel bag last year and then was disenchanted when it was VERY rainy and all my stuff got soaked. That duffel was never the same and it's currently used for my horse first aid stuff.

    For my ground cloth (at least when I remember it) is a picnic blanket. Fuzzy on one side and tarp like on the other. It's a little big and bulky, but really nice to put tack on, lay on, take a nap, etc.


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