Published: 11/7/2015 7:44:36 PM
A dude ranch, or a guest ranch, is a ranch that opens it’s doors to people for tourism purposes. Especially for first time visitors, many people have a little dilemma of what to pack. Well, here is a generalized list of items you should bring on your dude ranch vacation.
Riding boots are an absolute must They should have a short heel which makes it comfortable for you to walk on uneven and rough terrain. They can be cowboy boots or another low heeled boot. Some dude ranches sell them or offer a selection on site so ask beforehand. Some dude ranches have a formal dinner setting where you may need dressy shoes so confirm before you head out. Sneakers or runners are also recommended for other activities such as hiking or trail jogging. Some dude ranches have a pool or in the Summer months so flip-flops might be needed.
Casual attire is widely accepted and encouraged at most dude ranches. Jeans are a necessity for many dude ranch vacation activities so be sure to pack a few pairs. Padded pants, like cycling shorts, for riding are also advisable, especially for beginner riders. The other clothing you may pack will mostly depend on the weather and the season. If it’s Summer and the weather is bound to be hot and sunny, pack breathable light clothing. It will help to keep you cool but still protect you from the sun’s rays. Include light shirts, vests, shorts, jeans and light jackets. For protection from the hot elements bring a hat with a brim and sunglasses. If it is Fall or Winter and predicted to be cool, pack some heavier clothing for warmth and layering. Include wool or fleece jackets, long sleeve shirts, long pants, scarves, gloves, hats and socks. If you plan to be outdoors riding or on an excursion, bring a something to cover and protect your ears. Rain coats should be packed if it is going to be rainy at the ranch. Hats are essential to protect you against the heat from the sun. They should fit well to avoid being carried off in the wind, especially when riding. They don't necessarily have to be cowboy or cowgirl hats, baseball hats can also work. Most dude ranches sell hats as well so it's not necessary for you to carry one from home.
Gloves will be necessary if you plan to do a lot of riding or if you are attending a working ranch or cattle drive. Pick a pair that are made of flexible, but strong, leather. If you are planning to do any swimming or working out at the dude ranch, make sure you bring the proper attire for those activities as well.
Seeing as it is a dude ranch vacation, a camera/video camera should tag along with you. Make sure it isn't bulky because you may be carrying it with you on horseback and other excursions. Don’t forget to also bring the camera charger. If you are planning on doing any bird watching or wildlife viewing a pair of binoculars will come in handy. Other essentials include phone chargers, hair dryers. Some ranches supply hair dryers so ask first because If they do, that's one less bulky item to carry.
Sunscreen and insect repellent are absolute musts for a dude ranch vacation. After being out in the sun or cold, keep your skin smooth with some moisturizer and chapstick. Depending on the dude ranch, you may need to bring your own shower items. You should always try to stay hydrated at the ranch so also bring a water bottle that's suitable for carrying around. Lastly bring and open mind and your sense of adventure. You may be exposed to new things out of your comfort zone. Throw caution to the wind and try something new!