We, the Crew, don’t really like you lot camping out, it just causes issues, so there’s the truth. However, we know some of you have this undying passion for sleeping under the stars with just your saddle for a pillow, and a horse by your side... so we understand that it happens but let’s have a reality check, and look at just some of the reasons for and against camping out:
You want to get ahead of the game and win
- You will need to ensure your horse stays close – I’ve seen a hobbled Mongolian travel a good 4 kph!
- He’ll need to be fed and watered before you start up in the morning, so if you aim to be out and on board for 7 am you will need to have found food and water for him by 6 am in order to have spent and hour feeding and watering and be ready to go
- Oh and there’s you … not an abundance of wood for a fire (it gets damned cold at night and burning down valuable local property will not go down well)
- Lack of food and water for you
You fancy sleeping under the stars. It's a rather romantic thought, and the Mongolian sky is amazing
Still fraught with reasons listed above and hey, the sky is the same from the Morin Urtuu, your horse will have been handed over, you’ll be fed and watered and can have friends around or wander off alone.
You want to get to know the locals and maybe stay in a Soum (settlement)
- They will be sharing their food and rations with you (our families will be paid for your food)
- They may look after your horse but it is still your responsibility and you will still have to ensure you have fed and watered before leaving
- Your horse may not have had the most comfortable night away from his herd
- We do not know them and hard as it is to say, you may not be safe
- Ladies especially, never think you should stay alone in a strange place
You love this horse so much you can’t face bringing him back home
Well, that’s fine maybe you can negotiate a sale with his owners and find a way of shipping him home but either way, he’s safer with his herd and his owners until such time as your negotiations are done.
You simply cannot be arsed to ride another millimetre let alone kilometre
You are simply better to get to a Station, plan before leaving the last of the afternoon, think about how you are feeling at that point.
You are sure as hell going to get more rest and motivation from having a hot meal and fellow competitors to compare exhaustion and pain with.
Here are some simple rules
If you’re staying out:
- Check in - If you don’t we have to find you and you won’t be popular, we like to sleep occasionally too!
- Your horse is the most important item you have as far as I am concerned, he is your responsibility
- You need to make sure he is looked after during the night
- Fed and watered before you leave
- And arrives at the next station in great condition
- Be Safe – if you don’t think you are, then leave and let us know.
We want you to love Mongolia from every aspect, we know you want to ride the race for various reasons and that may include winning, but we want you to be safe (well within reason when riding a wild Mongolian mount). Ladies, as with every single country on the planet – you are vulnerable. Sadly, we have had incidents of female riders being harassed in the past. Just beware, please don’t be alone especially around the Soum and definitely not if you choose to stay out at night.
Your Horse’s welfare must be considered above all, please. Remember, once you’re in a Horse Station and through the vetting, you can hand over that responsibility and just look after yourself. Even though you may think getting between stations ahead of your competitors is a great tactic, you may not find it quite so comfortable when you’ve not rested, not eaten or slept properly and as a consequence arrive at the next station knackered with a full day in front of you.