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Dog Beds in the backcountry
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Johnny Duke
(jd1987) - F
Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 13:29:15 MDT Print View

Hey everyone - Im looking for a dog bed that my lab can carry. I know ruff wear makes a 14ounce bed that packs down to a 12x5, but its a little on the pricey side. I was also thinking about getting a gossamer gear thin light pad and cut it down, but I'm afraid it might not fit in his pack when rolled (it may, I'm not sure. I haven't received the pack yet).

Any suggestions? Anyone hike with their 4 legged buds? hes an 80 lb lab so something around 30 long and 25 wide.

Thanks everyone

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
dog on 10/02/2011 13:32:36 MDT Print View

Not to rain on your thought-train, but carrying a dog bed never was on my list to bring when I backpacked with my dog. He always found a place to curl up and sleep on his own---and not inside the tent. They evolved outdoors for the last tens of millions of years.

Antti Peltola
(anttipeltola) - F
Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 13:32:49 MDT Print View

My 4 legged friends are sleeping on a piece of closed cell foam mattress. I'm sitting on it during the day if the ground is too wet.

Johnny Duke
(jd1987) - F
re bed on 10/02/2011 13:43:07 MDT Print View

I enjoy having my dog next to me in my tent though. I just think that having a little insulation on cold nights and a "spot" is good. Especially if hes carrying it himself. I'm sure he would be happy either way.

I like the idea of using a pad as a seat during the day and his bed at night. Thanks antti. Do you put yours in his pack? i see his/her picture there. Definitely carrying its own weight haha.

Antti Peltola
(anttipeltola) - F
Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 13:54:23 MDT Print View

The pad is there if there is space (cheap and thin 3mm CCF is enough for this use). In the pic she was carrying a raincoat, food cup, lots of kibble and oil for 12 day unsupported trip - It was in the beginning so I had to carry the pad myself since there was no space for it. I use the handle on top of her pack if we need to cross deeper streams or rivers so I do not want to attach the pad on the outside.

And yes, I also use the dog as a part of my sleeping setup so no outside sleeps for her :)

Edited by anttipeltola on 10/02/2011 13:57:00 MDT.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 14:56:31 MDT Print View

Moxie's wilderness bed.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
dog bed on 10/02/2011 15:14:35 MDT Print View

Iditarod dogs sleep on a small bed of straw on snow.

if yours is sleeping inside i doubt you need much. maybe a sheet of tyvek to protect the floor. outside push a pile of leaves into a spot and they will be perfectly happy.

in the house my dogs are free to sleep where they want and half of the time they are plonked down on hardwood floor.

no reason to make the poor dog carry something they don't need.

Edited by JakeDatc on 10/02/2011 15:16:16 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: dog bed on 10/02/2011 15:28:51 MDT Print View

I take a section of Ridgerest. I use it to sit on, but he does seem to appreciate some padding. He'll get on my pad if his is not inside. I do use him as a external heat source when sleeping. Luckily he is very still through the night.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 15:53:16 MDT Print View

Depends a lot on the dog. Some dogs don't really need much.

I've got great danes, and they really really like to have some cushion, since they've got big joints, and 150lbs of weight to support. I imagine they're about as comfortable without a pad as we are. Also my male gets really cold, and likes to be fully covered up during the winter.

I strap a rolled up ~30" long section of walmart blue ccf foam ($6 a roll?) to the top of his dog pack, or to my pack, and it works great for him. I butt it to the side of my pad, and he'll either share my quilt, or I bring a small one that I made for him, which is a flat square panel with a draw cord that runs down all sides, so I can kind of cinch it up for him. It works ok, but I think I'm going to build him one that's secured around 3 sides of the pad, with one end open, which I think will work better.

If anybody wants me to make them something like this, feel free to contact me.

Johnny Duke
(jd1987) - F
bed on 10/02/2011 15:54:07 MDT Print View

I understand that he doesn't HAVE to have a bed for survival here, and that if I piled up a bunch of leaves that would do the trick, but I'm looking for recommendations or experiences with mats. I think the few ounces that a mat will weigh is irrelevant to a place that is "his" if he wants it.

My dog naps on the tile floor too. But his bed is his go to spot. right next to my bed.

But thanks for the input regardless - its just that I'm looking for what others have used as beds. (other than straw, pine needles, leaves or nothing)

Johnny Duke
(jd1987) - F
Re: Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 15:59:21 MDT Print View

Awesome - $6 a roll? is that in the camping section in walmart? Ill look into that for sure. And I may have to get back in contact with you later on for that quilt. My dog has some pins in his leg so I'm waiting to see how the deep cold affect him.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: bed on 10/02/2011 15:59:26 MDT Print View

Just get some closed cell foam pad cut to size. He'll appreciate it and it is not a burden for you to carry it for him.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 16:01:31 MDT Print View

Yep camping section. I've seen them as high as $10 a roll, depending on the store, but never higher personally. ;)

I use that stuff for many many things.

Johnny Duke
(jd1987) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 16:49:52 MDT Print View

That's great. I'm going to make a run to Walmart tomorrow and pick up a roll of that and a Campbells heat and eat soup so can see how it works as an insulated coffee mug (saw this in another thread, pretty excited)

Thanks to everyone that responded.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 17:31:36 MDT Print View

Closed cell foam here, too. My dog is getting old and needs the insulation and some padding underneath. Besides, he sleeps indoors on a nice cushy bed at home.

I've tried the GG Thinlight, but it is too flexible and wads up too easily. By the time my dog has changed position several times during the night (each time he turns around three times before lying down; I call him my Robert Benchley dog), the pad is wadded up in the corner of the tent. Its only advantage is that it can be rolled or folded tightly to fit into one of the bags of his pack.

I have used a blue foam pad cut to 20" x 30". (Dog is a 75-lb. mostly Lab, but he sleeps curled up in a ball, nose to tail.) More recently, I got a Gossamer Gear torso-length Nightlight pad at the same time I ordered some other stuff from GG. The one I got was the lighter type GG had for a while, weighing almost an ounce less. The current Nightlight, though, is about the same weight as the blue foam. In both cases, I folded it in thirds and carried it in the pad pocket of my pack. Since I use an insulated air pad, either the blue foam or Nightlight work a lot better in my pack to provide lots more support and padding for my back. I could roll it up and tie it to the top of my dog's pack, but it would keep getting caught on brush.

The last trip I was on, though, the dog moved to the foot of my grandaughter's sleeping bag. She has an adult-size REI SubKilo (on sale cheap, and at age 9 she's obviously not going to shrink in the future!). He loved the unused lower part of the bag and she enjoyed her extra-warm feet! Fortunately the shell material of the SubKilo is considerably less fragile than the shell of my WM bag!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/02/2011 17:35:39 MDT.

Johnny Duke
(jd1987) - F
Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 18:26:18 MDT Print View

Haha. I bet your dog is a great foot warmer.

Thanks for the info. Especially about the thinlight. I like that it can be folded tightly, but at the same time my dog likes to change positions frequently too. Wadding up wouldn't be good.

I was looking into the nightlight pad as well, but you say its about the same weight as a blue foam pad? I might have to pass on that for the $$.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: Dog Beds in the backcountry on 10/02/2011 19:39:56 MDT Print View

Thermarest makes a XS inflatable pad 20"x36" X 1" at 8oz (R=2.2).

Edited by DavidAdair on 10/02/2011 19:40:38 MDT.

Morgan Rucks
(rucksmtr) - F
Javan on 10/02/2011 20:45:25 MDT Print View

@ Javan Dempsey

I would be interested in you making me a dog sleeping bag. currently my pooch sleeps in a older synthetic vest or curled up in my sleeping bag , but something purpose built would be lighter and more effective. My dog Benny gets cold pretty easily he is a goldendoodle with no undercoat who only weighs 25 pounds and doesn't have much body fat.
contact me at
rucksmtr at msn dot com

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
Re: "Dog Beds in the backcountry" on 10/02/2011 21:25:31 MDT Print View

My siberian husky is always with me on the trail. Unless it is well below freezing I don't usually bother with a bed for her as she will rarely use it. She always uses it in the winter though. Yes, dogs evolved outside and many breeds will be just fine without one. But, I think of it as if I were going to be not using a sleeping pad/underquilt. Yes, I could probably survive but it wouldnt be as comfortable as possible. I try to keep her comfort in mind just as much as I do mine and so in the winter I always carry a bed for her.

I used to just bring a piece of ccf and a poncho liner for her to sleep on, which worked very well.




I now use the REI dog dream bed, they had themm on clearance a while back and I picked one up for a good price. It's basically a thermarest prolite sit pad in black with a cordura/fleece cover. Provides a little more insulation and packs much smaller. I aso use it as a sit pad when shes not sleeping on it.

Edited by TheRambler on 10/02/2011 21:26:39 MDT.

Elias L
(ewok1) - F
z-lite on 10/02/2011 21:33:26 MDT Print View

I use a thermarest z-lite, the yellow one that folds like an accordion. You can either cut a few portions off a full length pad, or buy the smaller one that is intended as a seat. It is perfect for my dog.