The List of Items I'd Take on a Half Year Mule Ramble

So you want to run away for a few months on a mule. What would you take?
Hell if I know. But Julia stepped in to the rescue. She hand wrote a list based on the items used on our last month and a half mule trip.

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

Here’s how Julia and I looked after 6 weeks on the road with our mules. I’m taking much the same gear with me on my next mule journey.

Here’s what Julia’s list looks like.

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

The list of mule ramble essentials. This is the first draft. The pruning comes next. The typed list is below.

Read through the list and you’ll see a lot of items. Remember that this is most of the stuff you’ll need to live on the road for half a year with your animals – your home, clothes, cooking equipment and all the stuff you need to take care of your mules with.

Much of this gear fits in to the 2-day Army rucksacks we use as saddle bags. All these items (plus the rider) can be carried by a mule and still stay within the 20% Rule. The 20% Rule says a horse or mule should only carry about 20% of its weight. Ideally, less.

Here’s what all this stuff looked like on our last mule ramble.

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

All our gear piled up at a Christmas tree farm Julia and I camped on during our ramble. From this would rise…..

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

…our camp. (Outside Whitetop, Virginia on the Creeper Trail)

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

Inside our tent. Here, Julia is planning our route on paper maps. We rely on paper maps and word of mouth over electronic routing.

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

Home at night.

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

Hey, you gotta have coffee – and the stove and pot to make it with. Add 6 more items to the list (coffee, cup, gas bottle, lighter, saucepan. No cream or sugar.)

Bernie Harberts, julia carpenter, mule, list

Mule Polly carrying our extra gear such as pickets, grain, clothes and cooking utensils. Fully loaded, she carried around 100 pounds. That’s well within her carrying capacity. Shown are staples of the road like pickets, saddle bags and water jugs (old cranberry juice bottles hung from a rope).

And now, with great gratitude to Julia, The List.

Horse Gear
saddle
bridle
pack saddle
wrench for pack saddle adjustment
pads x 2
girths x 4
girth fleeces x 2
pommel bags
saddle bags
2 packs + dry bags x 2 for packs
scale
britchen x 2
rope halters x 2
lead ropes x 2
pickets x 2
new hobbles with fleece covers x 2
tree slings
seatbelt covers for chafe protection
renegade hoofboots 4 sets + 4 spares
hoofboot extra straps
hoofboot repair stuff
chicago screws
rasp
spurs
water/feed bags x 2
horse feed (pellets)
health and Coggins papers
plastic bags for storage

Camping
ground cloth
tent
6 extra tent stakes
bivy bag
sleeping bag medium
sleeping bag light
maggie blanket
dry bag for sleeping gear
luci light
head lamp plus charge cord
cook set
utensils
mug & plate
salt/pepper/herbs
lighters x 2
stove
gas bottles x 2 plus gas
ponchos x 2
water jugs x 2
nalgene bottles x 2

Clothing
boots
socks x 3
shorts
pants 2
long sleeved shirt 1
t-shirt 1
coveralls 1
neckerchief 1
pile jacket 1
longjohn top 1
longjohn bottoms 1
belt 1
leatherman multitool 1
rain jacket 1
rain pants 1

Communication
charge cords (laptop, ipod, iphone, camera, razor, charger)
laptop + case
ear buds
external drive + cord
microphone + cord
thumb drive
ipod + cord
phone
extra charger + cord
camera + cord
tripod

Stationary
pocket notebooks x 3
notebook 1
paper
pens
colored pencils
business cards

Food
freezer bags
garlic
cliff bars
nuts
dried fruit
lentils
ramen
couscous
quinoa
instant rice
canned fish
our cereal mix
peanut butter
olive oil
coffee
tea
dried milk

Hygiene
tooth brush
toothpaste
floss
soap (Dr. Bronner)
deodorant
electric razor
towel
toilet paper
lavender oil

First Aid
antibiotic
first aid
banamine

Repairs
loctite
550 cord
needle
thread
rope & string
extra webbing + extra straps
bear hanging rope
duct tape

Navigation
compass
maps
reading glasses + case
warm hat

Daily Riding
sun hat
riding helmet + sun brim
sun glasses
sun glasses cord
sun block tube spf 30 stick spf 50
gloves
harrachis
wallet
credit card
driver’s license
some cash
blank checks for Ursula & Bernie
emergency contact info
orange vests x 2

Other
wedding ring!

Does all of this stuff absolutely come with me? Probably not. Lavender oil? I told you, Julia made this list.
But, on that last day when I look at Brick and Cracker wondering if I’ve got what I need, it’ll be a essential guide.


Bob Skelding
2019-03-25 13:33:56

Nice List. I agree, dump the lavender oil and replace it with a fifth of sipping whiskey and a couple of cigars!

Bob


Bernie Harberts
2019-03-27 17:57:50

Done. The Black Label travels in the 1950s era leather/duct tape covered flask. The cigars I’ll have to pick up on the road. State milestone markers….?


Jeff Woodcock
2019-05-07 11:33:46

Good list to get started. Travel safe!


Bernie Harberts
2019-05-09 18:24:47

Hi Jeff. Great to hear you found the list helpful. The next list will be the items I sent home. Weight kills. Keep me posted of your travels! Bernie

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