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BCHW Our Rendezvous

THNmar2015Our Rendezvous

As published in the March 2015 Trailhead News

Rendezvous time is nearly here. It seems that it was just last week that BCHW members from around the state (and beyond for some!) were gathered together for our annual shindig filled with fun, food, and fraternity. I’m looking forward to seeing old and dear friends again in just a short number of days and trading stories and tall tales of rides past and discussing grand plans for future trips.

If you haven’t been to a BCHW Rendezvous in the past few years you’re really missing a good time. I’m very fortunate to be invited, as a featured speaker and clinician, to a good number of equine events each year. Of the many expos that I’ll be speaking at in 2015 from the western seaboard to the Midwest and the east coast there’s one event that I’m looking forward to more than the others. It’s the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington Rendezvous. It’s not because Washington is home, or that I’m a member of BCHW. While those reasons are certainly true the bottom line is that our Rendezvous is a first class event, filled with wonderful people that all have a common interest in riding the trails we’ve worked so hard to preserve.

You’ll have your own favorite parts of Rendezvous but I’d like to share a few of mine.

The Food. Backcountry horsemen are known for eating well and for my money the fine camp cooks of BCH Washington make other Backcountry chapters up and down the west coast look like short order cooks. Yes, the BCHW dutch oven mavens are that good. If you miss the Dutch oven demonstrations you’ve really missed something. On the other hand maybe you should pass by the cooking areas. If you do, I’ll have more to feast upon!

The Seminars. Rendezvous is so much more than food and meeting old friends. Those that have “Been There and Done That” will be on hand to share their knowledge. Packing clinics and demonstrations will help to get your mule train on the trail. Saw demonstrations will set you right for clearing down trees. Whatever your discipline, front country day rider or backcountry wilderness traveler you’ll find a seminar at Rendezvous that will make your trip more enjoyable and safer.

The Vendors. If you’re looking for anything equine related chances are you’ll find it here. From good new and used tack and pack equipment, to art, the Rendezvous has it. You may want to have a trusted someone hold on to your wallet so that you don’t cause trouble with your better half like I did last year. The campstools I got from Andy at Trailhead Supply were well worth the dressing down when I got home!

THNmar20151What’s on the TrailMeister Docket for this Year?
You already know that navigation is a topic dear to me. So we’ll continue our talks about visualizing in three dimensions the info that the tattered topo map holds and how that knowledge can help you make it back to camp in time for dinner. We’ll also chat about the compass that lives in the depths of your saddlebags and how to use this important tool. If you don’t know how to use the silly thing, might as well leave it at home and take an extra candy bar.

We’ll also be continuing our conversations about lightweight camping without pack stock. For those of us that don’t have an extra pack animal the techniques we’ll go into will let you experience the majesty of the backcountry for a day or two.

New for this Year: Let’s talk about high tech navigation tools. From GPS units to smart phone apps to SPOT devices and locator beacons we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the various devices. You’ll leave with an understanding of the tools and better able to decide for yourself if they are appropriate for you.

Well there you have it the TrailMeister’s take on Rendezvous, I hope to see you there!

As always for the largest index of trails to ride and places to camp in the world, equine events, and more visit – the official directory of BCHW.