Trailer Emergency Toolkit Checklist! A must-have.

I saw this article and thought it was a great checklist!

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What’s in your Emergency Toolkit?


Not planning ahead is planning to fail.

Things happen and being able to handle minor inconveniences on your own can keep you on the trail and your trip without having to call for help. Just about anything in your truck, trailer or tent that can snap, crack, rip loose, tear, bend, leak, spark, or fall off will do exactly that—and always when you’re out enjoying a trail ride 40 miles from nowhere and 10 miles from the nearest cell phone reception.

The whole trick to maintaining inner tranquility and not letting a mini disaster spoil your trip is to have a well-equipped emergency toolkit on hand. It should contain basic items that can help you deal with everyday problems and annoyances.

Sure, you could call your roadside assistance company and wait for an hour. Or, you could prepare for the worst, and be back on the road in 10 minutes.


What to Keep in Your Traveling Emergency Toolkit


No matter how well constructed your horse trailer is, eventually something will have to be tightened, loosened, pounded flat, pried or cut. Here are some mostly inexpensive yet important items that newcomers and veteran campers alike should pack for every trip, both big and small.



The 4 Essentials:
Fire extinguisher – for keeping a small fire from becoming unmanageable. –
Jumper cables – for saving the day if your leave your headlights on. –
Jump starter battery pack – for saving the day if your leave your headlights on, and you’re on your own. –
First Aid Kit – for being your own doc until a real one can arrive. –

The 10 Tools:
Phillips head and flat bladed screwdrivers – for tightening and loosening screws; also for prying items apart. –
Pliers – for holding machine nuts while installing or removing, or squeezing items together. –
Channel-lock pliers – for dealing with oversized machine nuts or turning pipes. –
Adjustable Crescent wrench – for tightening and loosening bolts and machine nuts. –
Claw hammer – for straightening what got bent, bending what got straightened, driving nails and stakes, and pulling them out again, and providing “persuasion” where needed. –
Pocket knife – for cutting rope and twine, stripping wire insulation, or just whittling if you’re so inclined. –
Wire cutters – for cutting electrical wire, or turning metal coat hangers into marshmallow skewers.-
Small tape measure – for determining how much ground clearance you’ll have while trying to get over that boulder embedded in the road. –
Mini hacksaw – for cutting away twisted bolts, damaged metal work, thicker plastics…anything where a knife won’t work. –
Folding tree saw – for cutting trees that have fallen across the only road out and you can’t back up. –

3 Things to Keep Stuff Together:
While glue won’t mend a broken heart, it’ll fix lots of other things and can keep a situation from going from bad to worse.

Glue – for high strength repairs of most anything. –
Zip ties – for bundling bits and bobs and keeping them out of the way. –
Duct tape – for a universal fix-it that’s good for practically any repair. –

5 Things to Help Keep the Lights On:
Nothing is more aggravating than trailer lights blinking on and off on their own. Or having a police officer pull you over because a brake light is out. That’s why having a few select electrical items in your well-equipped traveling toolbox can be unbelievably handy.

Electrical tape – for preventing sparks and keeping fuses from blowing. –
Spare Fuses in various amperage ratings – for replacing blown fuses on your power panel. –
Spare bulbs for brake, turn and running lights – for saving you from a traffic violation or worse.
Head-mounted LED flashlight – for working in the dark where you need both hands free. –
Multi-meter – for identifying electrical problems. –

9 Tire Changing Tools:
Roadside Triangles – for being seen if you have to change a tire on the side of the road. Get at least 3 of the DOT approved ones.
Reflective safety vest – for being seen if you have to change a tire on the side of the road. –
Wheel chocks – for keeping the vehicle from rolling when you don’t want it to. –
Trailer aid – for an easier way to lift a trailer for changing a tire. –
Lug wrench – for changing a tire –
Can of Fix a Flat – for a temporary tire fix until you can get into a repair shop. –
Gloves – for keeping your hands in one piece while you’re making repairs. –
Tire pressure gauge – for making sure your tires are ready to roll. –
Portable air compressor – for inflating a flat the easy way. –

3 Miscellaneous Items I Won’t Go Without:
Multi Tool – for solving a million and one everyday problems.
Permanent Maker – for marking your things, and keeping track of which wire is which. –
Communications Device other than cell phone – for getting help when there’s no bars on the phone –

My goal with all of these items is to be able to make a temporary fix to get me home if something were to break and have a reliable way to call for help if I cannot make the appropriate repairs.

So there you have it…the ultimate basic emergency toolkit. 34 must-have vacation savers, and they all fit in a standard tool bag.

As always for more practical information on trail riding and camping with horses give us a visit at, it’s also the world’s largest guide to horse trails and equine camps.

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5 Ways to Shape a Cowboy Hat!

I found this article on the Ranchlands Mercantile site.


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It was the spring of 1849 and John B. Stetson was on a hunting trip near Pikes Peak, just outside Colorado Springs (about 45 minutes from Chico Basin Ranch), when he came up with the original design of what is now considered the classic “cowboy hat.” Stetson, in an effort to impress his comrades, collected beaver pelts and, over the course of several weeks, made himself an exceptionally large hat. The basic construction of the hat consisted of a wide, flat brim, and tall, open crown; the wider brim provided more shade and, in harsh wind and rain, the taller crown could be pushed down farther on the head and secured. John was teased by his friends for wearing such a ridiculous hat until a stranger rode up on his horse and asked to buy it off his head for a five dollar silver coin. Stetson obliged and off went the stranger in the first American cowboy hat.

It took several formative years out West, of living among cowboys and settlers, to ignite Stetson’s entrepreneurial spirit. That serendipitous transaction was the catalyst Stetson needed — he would make more hats just like that one, for folks living out West — practical and designed to shield people from the elements and hold up to wear and tear. Stetson’s father was a hat maker, so Stetson had an understanding of the craft and the skills to market his new business idea. He returned home to Philadelphia after the Pike’s Peak hunting trip and got to work. Stetson toyed with different fur-felt combinations but settled on beaver pelts for their water-resistancy and pliability. By 1865, Stetson was manufacturing the cowboy hat and calling it the Boss of the Plains.

The Boss of the Plains is an iteration of the wide-brimmed straw sombrero that the vaqueros of central Mexico wore as early as the 18th century. As cattle ranching spread throughout the Southwestern United States, so too did the sombrero; a hat that provided shade and insulation. The Boss of the Plains is shaped a bit differently, with a flat brim and open crown. It’s the blueprint for all of today’s cowboy hats and the construction has remained relatively unchanged since its inception in 1865. Hats can be made from fur/felt combinations, straw or palm leaf (like the Sunbody hats we carry), and even leather. All hats have a sweatband on the inside base of the crown.

As people settled throughout the West, depending on their location and profession, they began to customize their Boss of the Plains hat, changing the shape of the crown and brim to fit their specific needs. If you lived in Montana, you didn’t need as wide a brim, but Texans preferred a wider brim to shield them from the sun. Certain styles emerged by accident, too, depending on how the owner handled their hat. If they grabbed their hat off the table by pinching the crown, over time it would create a crease. If they handled the hat by the brim when hanging it up, the sides would curve up or down.

Throughout the 20th century, different states, and even certain ranches, became associated with different styles of hats. Visit any one of our Ranchlands properties and you’ll see our staff wear a range of styles – everything from a modern day version of the Ten Gallon to a classic Cattleman’s Crease. Out West, a hat reveals much about the wearer’s identity; where they’re from, what kind of cowboy or horsemanship philosophy they adhere to, and, sometimes, what their socioeconomic status is. Other factors to consider are aesthetic preferences; what flatters a certain face shape or completes the outfit. The styles that originated at the turn of the 20th century are just as alive today, and below you’ll find a brief glossary of some classic Western styles worn by the Ranchlands staff.

In the early 1920’s, Texas became the home of the Ten Gallon hat. Legend has it that this hat could hold ten gallons of water, enough to quench the thirst of a cowboy and his horse. Stetson riffed on this idea and ran a very successful ad campaign in 1924.

Although the Ten Gallon hat had a tall crown, the origin of the name actually comes from an anglicized version of the Spanish word galon, meaning hat braid (Americans confused ‘galons’ with ‘gallons’ and thus the name was born).

One of the oldest American styles and the most ubiquitous cowboy hat in production today. Beginning in the late 19th century, ranchers started wearing this type of hat, characterized by a single crease down the center and two creases on the side. It’s a traditional look, a safe bet if you’re not wanting to make too much of a statement. Many of the Ranchlands staff members wear this style.

The Telescope Crease, sometimes called the Gambler or Bolero, has a round flat crown and medium length brim. Originally brought over by Mexican cowboys to Nevada and other parts of the Southwest, the Telescope Crease’s short crown prevents hot air from gathering and the wide brim gives ample sun protection. A version of this hat that’s popular among our ranch staff, particularly wranglers, is the Vaquero. It typically has a wider brim for longer days in the sun.

The Montana Peak is similar to the Cattleman’s Crease, but with a more pronounced  center pinch, causing the crown to slope downwards towards the center of the face. Tom Mix, the famous Western movie star of the 1920s and 1930s, popularized this style of hat. He and John Wayne inspired the next generation of cowboys, presidents, and cultural figures to wear similar styles.

The Pinch Front is exactly that, one pinch front and center; less audacious than a Tom Mix Montana Crease. It’s similar to the Fedora or an Outback-style hat and traditionally popular among women for its flattering silhouette.

A person can spend a lifetime trying on different hats and never settle on just one. Much of the appeal, and the fun, is in the plethora of choices available to you. Maybe it’s the historical context that attracts you to a certain style, or it’s simply an aesthetic preference, there is no right or wrong answer. We recommend starting a hat collection with a Sunbody hat from our shop, which comes in a Boss of the Plains style. By soaking it and molding it with your hands, you have the freedom to shape it as you wish, and test out some of the styles mentioned above at a fraction of the cost of a felt hat. Hats should be a vibrant form of self expression as much as a tool of the trade. Sweat stains, dirt, and dust are all points of pride to a rancher, a symbol of the work and of a life lived outdoors. As time passes there are variations on a theme, but the essence of the original “Boss” is always there.



I’m no genius. Just an average girl who has a passion to save horses in need. This is my idea going forward. If we have a constant fund going daily… we will have funds to give to those on the ground who are saving these horses in real time at the killing auctions.

Horse and Man Foundation, Inc has a new Fund button. KEEP THEM OFF THE TRUCK FUND. This fund will go on all day, all the time. It will always be here. If you want to save a horse from slaughter, you know we will do that here.

All donations are 100% tax deductible!

KEEP THEM OFF OF THE TRUCK donation fund!NOVEMBER BUCKET FUND HORSES!  Andre and Phoenix – BOTH with Massive Wounds and dumped at the auction!   Click here to read the story!

We are $320 from our goal!  Please help if you can… this is horrendous and will take a lot of expert care to heal them.




Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.

Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!