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Ultralight Dogs?
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Jesse McKinney
(jessemckinney) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
8 pound dog on 04/22/2010 03:02:53 MDT Print View

Here is my 8 pound dog south of Harpers Ferry on the AT. I have him on a harness so I can pick him up over obstacles.

Me and my dog on the AT, south of Harpers Ferry

Mike S
(MikeyLXT) - F

Locale: Maryland
My pups on 04/22/2010 08:40:39 MDT Print View

I believe the rule of thumb is that you don't want to see the ribs but if you lightly run your hand over his skin you want to feel them.

Here are my 2 pups. A yellow lab mix that is 6 years old (my boy) w/ a Granite Gear pack. He has been hiking with me for all 4 years we have had him. The chocolate/chessie mix is 2.5 years old and we got her about 6 months ago. She has the Ruff Wear Approach pack. It is much higher quality then the Granite Gear and I think we will soon get another Approach pack for the yellow lab.


Edited by MikeyLXT on 04/22/2010 08:41:24 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: My pups on 04/22/2010 18:25:42 MDT Print View

Sigh, we've just added another UL dog to our 'pack'. She struggles a bit more than our other dog as she has a defective front leg she can't use, so we find we really need to carry her a lot. I've made a front pack to carry her in (she's 4kg/9lbs). But she's a lot better in the natural insulation department than our other pooch :)


They both love to snuggle under my new cuben/down quilt :0

Edited by retropump on 04/22/2010 18:26:22 MDT.

Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
food weight on 04/23/2010 04:23:09 MDT Print View

Im not so lucky as alot of you guys, or maybe it is i am more lucky. My Dane, Murphy weighs 152lbs and eats 9 cups a day, so anything more than 3 days is more than fits in his pack and i get stuck carrying it.Murphy

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: food weight on 04/23/2010 11:58:52 MDT Print View

Scott, are you using a high caloric density food? Can he fit a larger pack? Either way, he's a beautiful creature.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: food weight on 04/23/2010 13:14:36 MDT Print View

Scott he's a good lookin' dog! I love his markings.

Yeah why 9 cups of food? If you go with something like Orijen you'll only have to feed him 4-6 cups a day. I just doubled your range and cut your clean up duty in half.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
food weight could be worse on 04/23/2010 14:34:07 MDT Print View


Quinn Nelson
(QNelson) - F
get a saddle on 04/23/2010 17:28:15 MDT Print View

^^^^I say just get a mini saddle at that point. Would you get in trouble for going on trails that didn't allow horse and pack mule traffic?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: food weight on 04/23/2010 20:49:11 MDT Print View

Here's a biscuit him...

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
GSP on 04/27/2010 01:18:51 MDT Print View

I <3 this thread =)

I had a Dachshund back in Germany, a Pharaoh Hound with the ex (she took it :/ ) and now I have the fiancée almost so far that she's OK with getting a dog. I'll likely get a German Shorthaired Pointer, not really UL though I love their looks & character. He will be accompanying me then on my adventures in the future, and when he's old enough he likely will learn to carry his own food and gear.

All lovely dogs, you really put my dog fever one up!

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
GSP on 04/27/2010 09:34:49 MDT Print View

Mine isn't lightweight at all, but he sure is high energy. They are a bit hard headed and like to run off, but can go for ever!

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
My dog's setup on 04/27/2010 10:34:05 MDT Print View

My dog, Kaylee, is a female GSD and weighs in around 85 lbs. She's been hiking and backpacking with me on the Long Trail in Vermont since Fall 2002. I couldn't tell you how many miles she's logged or how many nights she's spent camping out with me, but it's been a lot.

She carries a Granite Gear pack (medium) with a bowl, extra leash, tie-out, trowel, and some food and water. She seems to love carrying her own gear. Whenever I put the pack on her, she gets so excited. On overnights, she sleeps at the bottom of my sleeping pad, but I've been thinking about getting her a little blue pad this year and lashing it to her pack.

Actually, this morning I just posted a short video of her hiking the LT at various times of the year. I should mention that I usually drop or take off her leash for pictures, but otherwise she's leashed 95% of the time. Honestly, I've seen too many big porcupines on the LT to ever let her off leash for long. Enjoy.

Hiking the LT with Kaylee Dog

Vino Vampire!

Edited by vinovampire on 04/27/2010 10:41:15 MDT.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Re: My dog's setup on 04/27/2010 14:41:28 MDT Print View

Awesome video. She looks like a fantastic trail dog. Was that four walled shelter the one on Killington? I was there several years ago, so I can only vaguely recall it, but it looks familiar.

My dog's wonderful on the trail, but he's only camped with me three nights so far and doesn't seem to like it too much. Hopefully that'll change.

I'm big on leashes too, for the same reason. I'd hate to cut a trip short because Katahdin finds a porcupine, skunk, or copperhead. He's also hit or miss with other dogs. Supposedly that's the bull terrier in him, but he's coming around, so I'm not too worried about it. He's awesome with people he meets on the trail.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Re: My dog's setup on 04/28/2010 07:00:57 MDT Print View

Thanks Nate. She has been a great trail buddy, but this year I can tell she's really slowing down. I wanted to make sure that I captured some good shots of her before she gets too old to travel with me anymore.

The cabin in the video is Butler Cabin on Mt Mansfield. At the time, a friend of mine was the caretaker, so my dog and I went up to visit a couple nights a week. In my opinion, it's the nicest cabin on the LT.

I've found that the two biggest issues with getting a dog to like overnight, wilderness camping out are (a) not letting them get too cold and (b) helping the calm down at night. First, I think that most people assume that dogs don't get cold at night, but that seems like a big mistake to me. Unless a person wants to give their dog free range to find a nice bed spot, they had better bring/share a sleeping pad and blanket. Second, my dog is very alert, so it takes some work relaxing her in the woods at night. She's hearing and smelling all sorts of things that I'm not even aware of outside.

Finally, I'm a big supporter of the leash, and not just for safety. I like hiking WITH my dog. I have a friend who's dog just orbits around her in the woods. You can hear the dog, but it's kind of off doing it's own thing. I like being right with my dog.


Mike S
(MikeyLXT) - F

Locale: Maryland
Re: Ultralight Dogs? on 04/28/2010 07:33:17 MDT Print View

People do need to realize that dogs need insulation as well. Mine settle down very easily in camp and will sleep through the night.

Normally I have a section of Z-rest and an old fleece vest that my dog caries. On cold nights I will also put my fleece vest or rain jacket over him.

Here he is staying toasty on a night that I believe was in the 30s.

Indy Sleep

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
dog sleeping pad on 04/28/2010 09:10:38 MDT Print View

I always throw a jacket or two over my boy when he sleeps, but inevitably he "kicks" it off after like 30minutes and sleeps the rest of the night without it. I would however like to get him a pad to sleep on. I was thinking of taking an old-school (read:cheap) therm-a-rest or similar and cutting it down to his size, and hopefully enough that it can also fit in his bag.

what have others done for dog sleeping pads? anyone use inflatables or just the foam ones like someone in this thread posted a pic of their pooch with?

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Ultralight dog goes kayaking on 04/28/2010 09:27:17 MDT Print View

Last week was the Mighty Angus' first overnight backpacking trip and this past weekend his first overnight kayak trip.

Julie, Mighty Angus and Steve

Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
9 cups a day on 04/28/2010 10:07:47 MDT Print View

Most of the giant breeds have different diet requirements than standard breeds. An example would be that when following the guidelines on a bag of food for quantity to feed, the actual breed of the dog make a difference, not just their weight. Great Danes, Mastiffs, St. Bernards, and other giant breeds need a low protien food for their first year or two of life to help keep them from growing so fast. Fast growth equals weaker bones and increases hip and elbow problems later in life. So its better to feed a larger quantity of a lower protien (not low quality) food than to give them less "Large Breed Puppy Formula" with much much higher protien. Its not uncommon to find many of the top quality breeders double and even triple the recommended amount of food on the bag. As a good rule of thumb, pay attention to how ofter your dog goes poo, 3 to 4 times a day is normal for most breeds.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
The Outdoors are Better With Dogs on 04/28/2010 12:24:10 MDT Print View

This is Stella - one of the best dang dogs ever. Normally we'd let her off leash when in the wilderness. This was taken while hiking at the crowded Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the gentle leader was so my son could lead her. She went on several trips, and loved being in the woods and sleeping with us in the tent, but unfortunately she had to be put down earlier this year as she succumbed to lymphoma.
Stella the wunderdog

This is Lucy, our new lab/shar pei mix from the local aspca shelter. She's in training, and will be joining us in the BWCA this summer for her first extended trip. She's turning out to be quite the dog, and following in Stella's paw prints quite well (we attribute it to her sleeping on Stella's bed every night).
Lucy asleep

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Regarding dog beds on 04/28/2010 13:52:49 MDT Print View

Don't assume your dog will sleep on any thing you bring. I found that mine won't have anything to do with closed cell foam. I suspect the same would be true of ThermoRests or air mattresses, unless of course your sleeping bag is on top of it.

They seem to prefer something that has a surface that they roughen up, or will conform to their body. I bought a very thin Yoga mat and laid it out in the livingroom. Sure enough they laid down it. So I'll cut it into pieces just big enough for them for use this summer. The nice thing is that it will fold up to fit in their packs, not mine :)