Why worry about Weight


You may be wondering why I’m worried about weight. Weight will make or break a trip. Horses can carry 20% of their weight. So basically a 1000 lb horse should carry at max 200 lb. So if you have a saddle that weighs 30 lb, camping gear that weighs 20 lbs, you should not weigh more then 150 lbs. This doesn’t even include water, horse feed and your food. That is why most travelers use a pack animal, or travel no more then 10 to 15 miles a day. If you want to travel 20 to 25 miles a day again use of a pack horse would be required. A pack horse can carry no more then 100 lbs because dead weight is harder to balance and carry. So if you are horse traveling weight is extremely important.

Now I plan on using wagon so my weight can be more. A horse can pull its own weight easily all day everyday with two rest days out of seven. Or a horse can pull three times its weight for a day or two but then must rest for the same amount of time or you’ll exhaust him. Since I’m planning on a very long trip I must keep the weight of my fully loaded wagon around the weight of my horse. The average weight of my horses is 1100 lbs. So I’m looking to buy/ build a wagon that at max weight weighs in at 800 lbs. Preferably lighter. My plan is to carry 30 gallons of water which will weigh 240lb, 200 lbs of grain, so that by itself is 440 lbs. So if the wagon weight 800lbs then I’m already up to 1240 lb. I’m figuring that my camp gear, horse necessaries, and wagon tools will weight in at about 130 lbs. My clothes, food, maps and first aid kit another 30 lbs. So now my wagon fully loaded weighs 1400 lbs. Of course if I can find a lighter wagon this will go down. Plus the water and horse feed won’t always be fully topped off so that will lighten it some to.

But when planning a trip like this always plan for the heaviest amount. But this is why I’m stressing weight. All this is estimated right now but once I have my wagon then I’ll know if I have to cut corners some how to lighten the weight. I also plan on my wagon being versatile in that it can be pull by one horse or a team. I planning on teaming my boys if I hit a steep hill or when I’m fully loaded. So that will help also. Remember please all this information is gathered through research and study. I have not done a trip yet so have no first hand experience. But all the autobiographies I’ve read stresses weight must be kept down.

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