People ask all the time what to bring on a dude ranch vacation – and, when they don’t, we sometimes wish they would. It’s always good to be prepared and one of the main reasons that we have a “Packing List” list on our site.
What To Bring On A Dude Ranch Vacation
T-shirts, shorts, jeans, swimwear
Our hope is that you’re gonna be out in the sun having a good ol’ time and getting a bit sweaty. You want comfortable clothes for that and ones that can take little wear and tear without upsetting you. Leave the gold lamé dress home or at least save it for a fancy dinner.
Cap/Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen
A cowboy hat aint de-rigeur but, you know, there’s a reason we wear ’em. The primary focus here is sun; you’re gonna be outdoors and getting plenty of sun. A burn’ll put the kibosh on your hijinks quicker’n a thumb in the eye. A tan looks great but let’s keep the UV exposure to a safe minimum.
“If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.”
Those of us who make our lives in Colorado know this phrase well, as it is a pretty decent reflection of the state’s climate. Down in the plains it’s not so tricky but up here where 4UR Ranch is – at an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies – weather conditions can change rapidly and it’s no joke. You may start out hot in a t-shirt and jeans and end up halfway down the trail, shivering as you pull on your sweatshirt and windbreaker.
Boots – Western and Hiking
Like the cowboy hat, you don’t need a pair of Western boots just because you’re on the ranch. No one’s gonna make fun of your pink flip-flops unless you try to ride a horse, at which point we get a mite persnickety. Hollywood’s got everyone thinking the boots and hat are part of a costume when, in fact, what they are is specialized tools. While we do have some loaners, the supply is limited. If you plan to ride – and we hope you do – you should bring some Western boots.
At one point or another, you will probably find yourself on a trail of some kind while on the ranch. If so, you will want some hiking boots. People like to think tennis shoes are good for this. While comfortable, most tennis shoes tend not to be practical for the rough and tumble of hiking. Especially when it comes to ankle support. You wouldn’t wear hiking boots on the tennis court, would you?
Dinner Attire – Dressy/Casual
We don’t get too fancy here – but we don’t mind if you want to. By all means, bring the tux and gown if you want … or just stick to the jeans and t-shirt. Long as you’re washed up and fully dressed you probably wont offend anyone either way.
Fishing Gear – Hip Waders, Rod and Vest
I suspect you anglers out there couldn’t be separated from your gear any more than we wranglers are from ours but, just in case, we do have a limited supply of waders on hand and a large selection of fishing supplies, including a selection of top-quality flies that are proven performers on our waters. Colorado fishing licenses are available through the ranch office. Fish on!
Seems like, no matter how well you pack, you always forget something. Well, the ranch has a small store stocked with both fun souvenir items and those “just in case” things you might’ve forgotten at home, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, fleece, caps, toothbrushes, sunscreen and toiletries.
See you soon!