Advice Please-Horse Show Camping

We’re camping at the VA Horse Center for the show the first weekend of September. It will be much cheaper than getting a hotel room and we’ll be close enough to the barn to check on the horses frequently. You get what you pay for as far as hotels in the area go, and, when I haven’t had my own horse along, I’ve been known to drive the 2+ hours back and forth from home in order to avoid staying at an area hotel.


I should just set up a cot in the stall with him. He’d be down for a sleepover.

Camping seems to be a reasonable alternative to staying in a hotel, but it is something I’ve never done before, at a horse show or otherwise. I’m not a very outdoorsy person outside of horses/farm work, and I really like my sleep. This camping endeavor is K’s idea since she has an 8 person tent that she’s only used once and is eager to use again. I think we’re both bringing air mattresses, so I bought one of these in order to avoid a) buying a hand pump, and b) using a hand pump. A coworker inspired that purchase, so kudos to her. Using the electric air pump I already have is much preferred.


Horses will be stalled in the Southern States barn, we’ll be showing in the Anderson Coliseum.

I pulled my sleeping bag out of the closet of doom upstairs (note to self: clean closet of doom) and took it to the laundromat to wash it. It has sat unused for nearly ten years, five of those in the closet of doom, so I figured a good hot bath would do it well. I was pleased to see that it lacked evidence of a mouse colony since I’ve seen signs of mice in the closet of eternal doom on the opposite side of the upstairs. (Yes…our closet situation is unique upstairs…) So it is clean, ready, and already in the back of my car.

Luckily the VA Horse Center has showers on site, so we’ll be able to make use of those during the weekend (I wouldn’t be as agreeable to this camping alternative if there were no showers…) I feel weird putting flip flops on a packing list for a horse show, but I’ll be wanting those while using a public shower.

I have no idea if we’ll have electric at the campsite, so I’m planning on keeping my phone on a charger whenever in the car or at the stalls. Speaking of my car, I did detail it in case some rogue storm pops up, blows our tent away and requires us to sleep in it.

So my list of items needed for camping so far is this:

  • Tent (K)
  • Air mattress
  • Pump for said air mattress
  • Sleeping bag/pillow/light sheet/blanket in case sleeping bag is excessive
  • Towels/washclothes/flip flops to wear in the showers
  • Some sort of light source?
  • Cooler(s) for food/beverages

So what am I missing? I’m sure there is something obvious…