"Secondly, don't use the boots all the time. Your dog actually vents a lot of heat through the pads of his feet, so when they are in boots in the heat they are at much higher risk for heat stroke than when their pads can touch cool ground. Obviously boots are necessary in some situations, just be careful about using them all the time. CharlieDog wore them once and overheated so badly I thought we were going to have to evacuate him. I removed the boots....doused him with water...he was totally fine after that. And he has never had issues with his feet...although he was just as sore as the rest of us on an 8-day trip the Winds! Nothing a little massage and a rest day couldn't handle....
And lastly...the e collar bit. I agree that sometimes an e collar is necessary, say for some working dogs and such, but an e collar is known as negative reinforcement training, whereas training without one is positive reinforcement training. I choose to train my dog in the positive reinforcement category - he wants to please me, so he does what I ask and he is rewarded for it. The e collar, while not at all painful, is a punishment based one. You do this behavior, I'll not shock you. You go over there, I'll shock you. Instead of the dog choosing to do the correct behavior because he knows that's what you want, he does it so you won't punish him."
Scent Hounds are very different than other breeds, save for maybe Huskies. A dog pack and an e collar made long backpacks doable with mine. My black and tan (think long legged beagle) needed both the positive reinforcement and the e collar. You do not want a scent hound learning they can EVER ignore you. If you use an e collar right, they don't know it is you controlling it, but rather think it is their own doing. The dog has to be well trained to recall before you start with an collar, and they are to wear a fake one for a couple of weeks prior to training with the real thing.
Homemade canvas booties with athletic tape to hold them on worked best for our dogs. They breath but stop wear on rocky or paved trails. Not for snow.
Our dog was 50 lbs and carried a tiny sleeping bag, square of 1/4" foam pad, dry food, pint of water. She lived till she was 17 and could come on our mountain bike trips till 16. No joint problems, but we kept her in training.
The pack seemed to settle her down on the trail, she seemed less likely to get excited at animals and other distractions.
Goggles were needed at altitude with snow or bright rocks. She had show blindness once.
Even made a simple climbing harness for canyoneering in the Inyo's. Learned how to rappel with a dog. Unlike the youtube video's by mall ninja's and seal wanabees, you attach the rappel device directly to the dog and hang below it like you would a haul bag or a litter lower.