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dog + wet + cold
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A. B.
dog + wet + cold on 06/08/2009 18:29:52 MDT Print View

I'm just wondering how people deal with cold wet dogs while backpacking. My dog shivers and seeks warmth while not wet so I am wondering what to expect on those wet weekends (I live in Oregon). Even if I didn't let him in my bag he would probably end up on top of it in some sorts.

I think I want to go to a quilt since I usually have my bag unzipped for my dog.

What is a good solution? Bivy? Good towel? Just let him in the bag?

My dog is a beagle/westie mix and hasn't done so hot in cold weather. He was nice on a -5 degree F night in my bag :)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: dog + wet + cold on 06/08/2009 19:51:42 MDT Print View

We towel our pooch off, then put him on a small square of closed cell faom with a MontBell UL jacket over the top of him. If he's seriously hyothermic, I'll put him inside my own bag for a while until he warms up...but he's a very small dog so fits OK inside.

Here we are pre- warming him after he fell in a tarn just on sunset. The wind was howlingly cold!

wet pooch

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
dog + wet + cold on 06/08/2009 22:36:44 MDT Print View

I towel Hysson off, mostly to remove mud (he carries a couple of Handi-Wipes in his pack for the purpose), and then put on his jacket, made of an old polypro base layer top that used to be mine but that I cut down to fit the dog. This keeps him a bit warmer (being mostly Lab, he's pretty furry), lets his body heat dry his fur without chilling him and keeps his wet fur from rubbing against my sleeping bag. (Of course it allows the evaporating moisture from his fur to condense on the inside of the tent!) He sleeps on a 1/8" Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad which insulates him from underneath.

With a short-haired dog, you will want a heavier jacket and a thicker pad. There are dog jackets for sale from a number of manufacturers. You can also get or make sleeping bags for dogs, but the jacket stays with the dog when he moves around. Consider a waterproof rain jacket for rain and a fleece jacket (breathable like Hysson's polypro, but quite a bit warmer) for in the tent.

Like you, I've found that happiness is a warm puppy footwarmer! I consider Hysson part of my sleep system!

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: dog + wet + cold on 06/09/2009 10:05:01 MDT Print View

Best thing I've found is a person's vest. My dogs are big enough to wear hand-me-down down and synthetic insulated vests from my closet. They work great! For your pup, you might consider checking ebay for something like a Patagonia kids micropuff or something. Another option would require minimal sewing skills; order up some Climashield and ripstop nylon from thru-hiker (maybe the 1.9oz?) and sew up a "horse blanket" for your dog. Put a strap across the chest and one under the ribs (I try to get that one just at the bottom of the ribcage so it has something to catch on a little.) Until one of my dogs got cranky and "hungry" on a trip I used these blanket/jacs extensively.

I keep the dogs out of my bag, no point in getting my insulation all wet and me cold. However, each dog gets its own cut-off piece of ridge rest deluxe. If I'm with someone else and it's particularly cold, the dogs sleep between us and I might even drape a down parka over them. I know I'll get yelled at for saying this, but I believe that a sleeping bag is much preferable to a quilt in cold weather... sealing out all that cold air can really make a difference. If you were using a quilt specifically so you could unseal it and let your dog in, well, you'd probably both be cold.

Hope this helps-

EDIT: This is sorta recycled from another thread, but it just goes to illustrate the point... windstopper type vest works well, too.

dog in vest

Edited by 4quietwoods on 06/09/2009 16:12:22 MDT.

Matthew Steingass
(Steingass) - F

Locale: Washington
XP Horse blanket on 06/09/2009 15:53:11 MDT Print View

Thats what I was going to try to make for Oakley when he's older. He did sleep under my quilt with me for 8 hours straight but when he's older that would never work. I put my wind jacket on him just for fun and it stayed on long enough for me to get this picture. PS this was a short easy walk for him just a little cold.


Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re:dog + wet + cold on 06/10/2009 17:12:30 MDT Print View

Hey Evan,
These are the steps we go thru with our 3.5 year old-60 lb Lab, Rot, Australlian Shepard Nox to keep him warm=)
>We usually wipe him down for starters with a pack towel.
>Then we lay down his 1/2 section of ZLite so he can stay off the ground
>If it's real cold he will jump in our double bivy and sleep down by our feet on his pad.
> and Add a insulated vest

Just ordered my JRB NO Sniveller;Im sure he is gonna try and get all cudly now=)


Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
:) on 06/12/2009 02:53:47 MDT Print View

Those are some cute pics, of your pups! the pic with the two (happily) tired dogs is great! (although one is a pad hog!:)

what kind of dog is that? I have a yorkie (molly) and really want to get her trail-side. how does your pup do? any UL gear for her/him

I see your pup is on leash, is he/she always on leash when you hike?

I know molly can go as far as I can hike wise, but I haven't been able to find a pack to fit her, and... she is a leash dog, I just cant trust her to run free... which really sucks, but I'll just keep training, and trying... terriers... LOL

and another question... have you guys had any issues with your dog tearing up your gear... the 30d nylon on my serenity, and the material on my brand new WM caribou, is delicate. Any issues with damage? i see her little claws, slashing up all this new UL gear, LOL

Edited by tacedeous on 06/12/2009 03:04:20 MDT.

Matthew Steingass
(Steingass) - F

Locale: Washington
Leash while hiking on 06/12/2009 07:27:24 MDT Print View

Yes Jesse, I keep him on a leash while hiking with very little slack. For now he's stuck to my left side or behind me when theirs obstacles. Until I can completely trust him around people and wildlife, he will only be let off lead during secluded breaks and at private camps. The reason he is on a leash in he picture is because he didn't know STAY at that time and I had just finished cooking. I do believe a dog can hike off leash with the proper training but most of the time a leash is required on the trail.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: :) on 06/12/2009 08:52:41 MDT Print View

Jesse, hey- Yeah, the dogs sometimes take turns being pad hogs. Right now the black one hogs the big pad at home and the other (older) one seems to plop down on anything that's not soft. Weird. FWIW, the red sleeping bag in that pic is a WM SummerLite, no issues with durability w/dogs. I also use a MityLite with them around, no problems. No holes in my Thermarest or Downmat yet, either--though I am pretty particular about trying to keep them off those, they don't always listen. I take pains to not cut their claws just before a trip, because they're always sharper then...

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: :) on 06/14/2009 14:03:51 MDT Print View

Jesse, our pooch is half sydney silky and half bichon. He is not much bigger than a yorkie, but he is certainly not a Paris Hilton accessory dog. He has great stamina and determintaion, but was raised that way. By the time he was old enough for his first agility classes, he was like "you want me to jump over THAT? Is that all???? We don't have any special UL gear for him, just a towel, a piece of closed cell foam and a UL down jacket. He doesn't wear a pack or anything. He is not at all destructive, but I wonder if that wasn't just good luck???

Keep at the training-she'll get there with patience and repetition.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Re: :) on 06/16/2009 23:18:05 MDT Print View

Thanks lynn, yea just gotta keep the training up, got her used to running safely next to me on a bike, so thats good :)