Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Ultralight Dogs?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Ultralight Dogs? on 04/13/2010 18:55:34 MDT Print View

What do you do for lightweight dog gear? I'd like to get my dog's baseweight down a bit too. Right now he carries:

-Ruffwear pack
-An old orange fleece of mine modified to fit him.
-A small frisbee from a bank that serves as his water and food bowl and a toy. WAY lighter than those Ruffwear bowls.
-Tieout. It's heavy, but necessary. I'd like to find a lighter one.
-8 oz water bottle, usually empty.
-Light, cheap hair comb for ticks and excess dog hair before getting in the Tarptent.

I carry a 20 x 20 cut down foam pad for him.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/13/2010 21:13:42 MDT Print View

dog

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Re: Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/13/2010 21:22:40 MDT Print View

Wow! No base weight needed for that girl. She sleeps on your pot cozy, in a spare sock, and eats and drinks out of a platypus cap! When she's being unruly, simply tie her to your trekking pole with some spectra!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/13/2010 21:29:46 MDT Print View

Is that an eVent tu-tu?

Mike McHenry
(mtmche2) - F
Rain Skirts on 04/13/2010 22:28:47 MDT Print View

And who said rain skirts were uncool...?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Dogs? on 04/13/2010 22:36:44 MDT Print View

I think the biggest place to save weight and bulk is if you are using ordinary supermarket dog kibble, such as Purina or Alpo. By switching to a premium food (do the switch very gradually and weeks, maybe months, before any trips to make sure he tolerates the new food), the dog gets the same amount of calories with a lot less bulk/weight. I've seen studies of this--your cost ends up being about the same as the cheaper stuff because you feed much less of it. Best of all, using premium food also results in less residue to clean up at the other end of the dog's digestive system! Talk to your veterinarian about this the next time your dog goes in.

After watching my dog bash his pack into rocks and trees, I don't think I'd want a lighter pack for him. You can teach a kid to take care of a silnylon or dyneema pack, but a dog is another story!

I use a quart yogurt container for food and water. Far easier to keep clean than one of those nylon gizmos, as well as lighter and cheaper. My dog doesn't like to catch frisbees (he has an overbite) so no dual use as in your case!

There are lighter weight tie-outs and you might want to investigate in your pet store. It of course depends on how much stress your dog puts on them or whether he chews it! That being said, I never go off and leave my dog tied. Not only would he annoy everyone in the neighborhood with barking and whining, but he'd be too vulnerable to predators! If I leave camp, he goes with me on leash.

The dog in the picture wouldn't need a pad or a jacket; (s)he would fit nicely into the bottom of a human sleeping bag as a foot-warmer!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/13/2010 22:38:28 MDT.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/13/2010 22:46:22 MDT Print View

I didn't mean to give the impression that I leave my dog tied up. The reason I take a tieout is that I never let him off leash when we're out in the woods, simply because I don't feel like his "come" command is strong enough. When we're stopped for the day, the tieout gives him a bit of room to stretch his legs and explore without running off. It also lets me set up camp without holding onto the leash.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Dogs? on 04/14/2010 13:20:10 MDT Print View

Sorry, I wasn't trying to cast aspersions on you, just pointing out to the general reader about not leaving the dog alone when tied. My dog also regards the "come" command as optional, although "heel" seems to work 100% (so far). Since, like you, I'm with the dog while he's tied, I generally use a 40' length of lightweight cord. In the past I've used a polythelene tie-out, but the cord has multiple uses--I could use it to pull him (by his pack harness) across a creek, or attempt to hang my ursack higher if a persistent bear comes along. My dog doesn't either test the strength of the tie-out or try to chew it, so I don't need a strong one.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/14/2010 13:22:20 MDT.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
+1 Better Dog Food on 04/14/2010 14:26:11 MDT Print View

I feed my guy Orijen.
www.orijen.ca

Another good one is Evo
http://www.naturapet.com/brands/evo.asp

I'll save you months of research and just say get it. My dog prefers Orijen and loves the fish. This is a subject I'm really passionate about as I've researched it quite a bit.

I'll even go as far as to say if you're feeding your dog Iams, Pedigree type food you're either unaware or you're just an effin' jerk. (exception being they're on a BARF diet).

As for packing. Ruffwear has some great gear.
- Palisades is awesome and comes with 2 h20 bladders.
I am thinking of replacing it with this lower profile version for shorter trips
http://www.ruffwear.com/Singletrak-Pack?sc=2&category=24

I don't bring dog bowls with me. Pouring water in my hand works just fine. I taught my dog "drink" so any time I yell that out on the trail if he's thirsty he runs right up and I either pour water in my hand for him out of a bottle or just squirt water from my h20 bladder and he can drink it faucet style.

Being a Pit Bull my dog doesn't do well with cold as he doesn't have an undercoat. I swear by his Ruffwear Cloud Chaser and Sun Shower jackets.

At night even if it's warm I'll throw on his Sun Shower jacket with the hood tucked away as the reflective strips really help you see what he's up to.

Edited by Vertigo on 04/14/2010 14:29:48 MDT.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/14/2010 14:28:05 MDT Print View

My dog drinks straight out of his Nalgene bottles, my g/f's dog drinks out of the nalgene cap.

Mine is a Husky/Lab mix and her's is about the size of a large SiGG bottle (and yes, sleeps with her feet in her bag). He carries the gear for both, he hasn't complained about it yet, he's a trail dog, and I'm pretty sure his smile muscles are more sore than his legs at the end of the day when we're backpacking.

Here's what I pack in his REI Adventure Dog pack:
-1 or 2 Nalgene depending on conditions
-food in a zippy
-snacks in a zippy (including a couple "check-ups" which are teeth cleaning chewies)
-1 or 2 lightweight 6ft leashii
-tweezers
-vaccination papers in a zippy
-mushers paw, volume depending on condition
-poopie bags

+1 Alex's food recommendations, mine also likes "Taste of the Wild", here's a good link with caloric density values:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=grain_free

Edited by TinCanFury on 04/14/2010 14:35:43 MDT.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/14/2010 14:31:12 MDT Print View

Ooh Check Ups I never thought to bring those. That would be a nice thing to bring. Thanks for that.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
re: check-ups on 04/14/2010 14:39:56 MDT Print View

yea, they get a half Check-Up every evening on the trail (mine gets a whole one at home). they love them, they keep their teeth clean and it takes the little one at least 30mins to chew through which gives us time to cook/etc without her annoying us.

Costco has them for just under $12 a bag too.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: re: check-ups on 04/14/2010 14:47:29 MDT Print View

lol @ 30 minutes. I think if it lasts 20 seconds with my dog it would be a miracle. He loves those things and you're right Costco has a great deal on them.

Oh I forgot to add that since I don't bring a dog bowl. I just roll the sides down of the freezer bag and let him eat from the bag. When he's eaten what I believe to be his share for the day. Just give them a "leave it" roll it up and save for tomorrow.

Or just bring smaller freezer bags with predetermined portions.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
food bag on 04/14/2010 15:16:50 MDT Print View

haha yea, well like I said, she's the size of a large sigg bottle, so it takes her a long time to eat anything (and a cup a food lasts a few days).

my boy will take a whole checkup easily in under a minute, and he gets ~2-1/2 cups of food a day.

I do the same with the food, he doesn't care what he eats out of, as long as he gets food. The problem is the lab in him wants to eat it all at once, so I do the two-bag system, 1+ to store, 1 to eat out of.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Some first aid is good idea on 04/14/2010 16:29:51 MDT Print View

I bring a set of paw booties. I started that when I had a dog with tender feet who sometimes burned her pads. Once she realized the relief they provided she took them with aplomp. They are a good idea if the dog injures its paws. My dogs are too big to carry out. They also carry a 2" wide roll of stretchy self adhesive first aid tape and some enteretic aspirin. The rest of the stuff I carry in my own first kit.

For bowls they carry empty margerine tubs. The same kind I eat from myself.

I am still trying to find a decent sleeping pad for cold weather that they can carry and are willing to sleep on. I just bought a very thin high density yoga mat that I plan to cut into two sleeping pads. It is not the lightest but it can be folded to fit into their packs. For tie outs I have made up some leashes with nylon cord and about 2 feet of very thin steel cable at the dog end. Typically my dogs will try to chew through the part of the leash (tie out) within easy reach.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: UL dogs on 04/14/2010 16:44:00 MDT Print View

helix

This guy gets homemade, dehydrated doggy food, plus he gets some of ours. The only other extra weight he costs us is a MontBell sit pad ~2oz which we use in camp as a sitpad, then he uses it as his sleeping mat when we go to bed. If it's really cold he gets a MontBell UL inner jacket as a "sleeping bag" (mine usually coz I'm a hot sleeper).

Occasionally we need to carry him over tricky bits, like swing bridges and rock scrambles, or deep river crossings. He weighs 4kg which is not really UL, so we carry him as little as possible!!

Edited by retropump on 04/14/2010 18:55:11 MDT.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: Re: Some first aid is good idea on 04/14/2010 17:18:10 MDT Print View

That little guy is cute!

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Re: Some first aid is good idea on 04/15/2010 06:48:32 MDT Print View

I like the idea of a MYOG tieout with cord and a steel cable. That might do the trick. The cord will need to have a high test strength, though, because he's pretty strong and has broken both a collar and a leash in the past. The steel cable should prevent the chewing, unless he figures out that he can just chew through the cord a little further up. He is pretty smart...

Edited by Knaight on 04/15/2010 06:49:12 MDT.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
tie out on 04/15/2010 08:46:59 MDT Print View

I think if he is determined to chew his way free then he'll probably figure it out. My dogs seem to chew it out of some sort of compulsion. The one time I had to leave them tied up in camp for a couple hours my girl chewed herself free, or the male chewed her free and then they just stayed where I left them. After that I added the steel leader, though I haven't had to test it.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Roaming on 04/16/2010 01:17:45 MDT Print View

Try working a bit more on your recall. I don't ever tie my dog out. In fact I hate to admit this but as soon as we're out of the populated areas he's off leash all the time.

When we are in camp he just roams around marking and sniffing all within a 300 foot bubble. As soon as I whistle or call him you hear him bolting through the bushed to get front and center. At which point he gets a piece of jerkey or some other treat. ALWAYS reinforce the recall. It needs to be more interesting than what he's doing at the moment.