BCHU Education Page

table test
National Horse Safety Video

Know Before You Go I Trail Advice I Got Trash?

Packing I Knots I LNT

Overcoming Fear on the Trail
By John Lyons
click here

Back Country Horsemen Commandments

  1. The horseman shall not keep horses longer than it takes to unpack or pack them in any campsite normally used by hikers. (We suggest horsemen stay away from such camps if possible).
  2. The horseman shall not tie his stock, for more than a short period of time, directly to a tree.
  3. The horseman shall not cut switchbacks.
  4. The horseman shall not leave a campfire unattended.
  5. The horseman shall properly dispose of all manure, bailing twine, wire and waste hay in camp areas, trailheads, or loading areas.
  6. The horseman shall abide by the administrative rules and regulations affecting the area he/she is in.
  7. The horseman shall recognize the fragility of the back country environment and practice minimum impact techniques at all times.


What You Need To Know Before You Go

BCHA Pamphlet Page  I  BCHA Handbook  I  What to Do in Bear Country
All About Campfires  I  Mountain Manners  I  Low Impact Horse Camping
Rules For Visitors To Utah  I  The High Line  I  Traveling With Horses in Utah
Use Weed-Free Hay  I  Where to Get Weed-Free Hay  I  Using Horses on Utah's Public Land (The Entire Booklet)

How To Train Your Horse To Hobble


English Horse Packing Video Part I English Horse Packing Video Part II English Horse Packing PDF
Western saddle Pack horse  

Over the saddle bags  Decker Packing Cross Buck Packing


Trail Advice

Minimize Impact
As a rule stay on trails, impact on wildlife, soil and vegetation can be minimized by traveling on constructed trails that, in many cases, have been designed to accommodate heavy use. Do not shortcut trails or switch backs. Muddy stretches and most snow banks should be crossed, rather than skirted. If you carry a saw, you can help local land managers by cutting and removing deadfall in the trail. Rerouting trails around obstacles causes vegetation damage, erosion and development of multiple paths.

Things to consider when you break for Lunch
When taking rest breaks, choose a site well off the trail so that others are not forced to leave the trail to go around you. When possible, pull off on a durable surface such as dry grass or sand. For short breaks, you may be able to hand - hold your horses; however, if you must tie up, choose live trees at least 8" in diameter and wrap the lead rope around the truck twice before you tie the knot. For extended breaks, use hobbles, high lines or pickets. Tend the horses often. Nervous horses which trample or paw the ground while tied can be hobbled to prevent damage to the tree roots. Manure piles should be kicked apart and scattered, and any pawed ground should be filled in.

Contraining your Stock
There are several ways to restain your animal in the back country. Above are examples of the picket line and the high line. Hobbles work fine if your animal is accustomed to them. The picket line is good for short time grazing, be sure to move the animal regularly so as not to damage the area. The high line is the best for long tie times and over night stay's. High lines should be stretched over hard durable ground. Keep picketed, high lined and hobbled horses well away from camp, lakes and streams.

Always use tree saver straps with your high line. They will keep the tree healthy for your next pack trip.

Both rider and hiker should communicate while passing on the trail. It's good for you and it makes the horse/mule feel more comfortable with the person you are approaching.

Trail Etiquette Information
Trail Etiquette Slide Show

What to Do with your Trash in the Back Country

Pack it in, Pack it out
And on the way out, when the panniers are light, try to pick up litter left by others.

Reduce litter at the source
When preparing for your trip, repackage food into reusable containers or remove excess unnecessary packaging. This makes less to pack in and less to haul out.

Trash is the non-food waste brought into the backcountry, usually from packaged products. The best bet is to carry out all trash. Some paper items can be burned in a campfire, but much of the pager packaging used today is lined with non-burnable foil or plastic. These paper products should be packed out with the cans, plastic, foil and glass.

Garbage is the food waste left over from cooking. Careful meal planning can easily reduce this waste and minimize the amount of leftovers. In the event you do have leftovers, they should be eaten later or put into a plastic bag or other container and packed out. Burning food waste requires a very hot fire and burying this type of waste is inappropriate because animals will dig it up if it is buried (see special considerations for bear country). Animals, from squirrels to bear, habituated to humans as a source of food can become a nuisance or even a threat to humans. Always pack out everything you brought into the backcountry when you leave.


LNT is Everyones Responsibility

Knots Every Horseman should Know

Knots Slide Show | Great Knot Videos


Back to Top
Return to Home Page