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Old 01-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Anyone ever been backpacking with their dogs?

One of my new year's resolutions is to get myself into better shape and to prepare/plan for a backpacking trip with one of two of my dogs... Something I've been wanting to do forever!

We are looking into either the Oregon coast or Montana(though that will be iffy since we have to drive).

Anywho, anyone ever been and have any advise or any good books/website links for doing this with dog/s? Right now I'm in the planning stages so just trying to gather as much info as possible so anything would be greatly appreciated!

Too bad they don't allow dogs in national parks, Yosemite or Glacier National park would be amazing!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I miss living on the AT (Appalachian Trail)! We used to do 3-4 days on the AT regularly, so much fun. I wish it was more than that, but... we lived 5 minutes away, lol.

One word about Montana with the dog, is be VERY aware of wildlife. Not so familiar with the Oregon coast, other than that it's gorgeous

I don't have any books/websites, per se, but from experience I would recommend:
-Making sure you have enough water for the dog.... know how much he drinks. We always purified our own water, but when we couldn't I planned to pack enough for two people for the dog.

-Make sure you have a dog-friendly first-aid kit.. including gas-x strips..


-Depending on the terrain...booties are your friend. Get them used to wearing them far in advance.

-Also, reflective gear beyond a backpack is key!

-Pack a long line. Even if your dog's recall is solid, it's hard to say for sure in a very foreign area with a lot of wildlife scents, distractions, etc. It's a pain in the neck while you're actually walking, but invaluable for potty time, camp time, etc.

I'm sure there's much more than this, these are just what I can think of off the top of my head
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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True! I will admit that Grizzly bears and Moose make a bit nervous especially with dogs. I think there are Black bears in Oregon but didn't see any when I was there in June.

I think this trip will only be about 3 days total of hiking and camping because my husband can't leave his job for too long but do you think they would still need booties on a short trip? The trip I'm looking at in Oregon would mostly just be dirt trails and along the beach.

And I just bought some 50ft lines so good to go there! We have a dog first aid kit but do not have gas strips in it, that is a great suggestion thank you!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We backpacked the Bob Marshall Wilderness pretty extensively when I was a kid, with our various GSD's. At the time the grizzly bear population wasn't what it is now and we didn't worry about bears too much since we were very careful with how we handled food etc.

--booties, definitely if you're going to be on shale, schist or granite rock. The rock slides mean rough walking and in most cases dogs put on at least twice the miles we do (at least ours did because they went from the front of the strung out line of family members to the back and then back the front, making sure we were all there). The first time we went my dad's GSD ended up with raw feet and a few of us sacrificed our around the camp shoes (moccasins) to cut them up for booties for her--she didn't much like them at first, but did eventually.

--good recall is imperative. Between squirrels, bears, and all the other animals, the smells, sights and sounds can be pretty exciting for them. My current GSD would NOT be turned loose like we did with ours when I was a kid.

And I would ditto the previous poster too! First aid, a pannier/pack for your dog to carry his/her food and gear, extra food for all that calorie burning etc.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you end up going to Montana, PM Rocket dog. I think she is originally from western Montana. She posted this thread about hiking the cabinet mountain area. Rock Lake Backpacking trip, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh! Good thought on the extra food! Calorie-rich treats are a good option... throw in some recall training I brought jerky for all of us and the dog loved that, lol.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i live minutes from the AT trail and i never hiked any distance farther than i could carry my dog if need be. "food for thought". i have yet to run into long distance hikers with dogs. must be a reason.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntergreen View Post
i live minutes from the AT trail and i never hiked any distance farther than i could carry my dog if need be. "food for thought". i have yet to run into long distance hikers with dogs. must be a reason.
Oh definitely, like I said above this is going to be a short trip... The main place I'm looking into now is basically a half day/day hike and then we'd be setting up camp for a couple days and then heading back. Basically I just don't want to camp in a crowded campground!

I do know of one guy who hiked the entire Appalachian trail with his dog though I would never attempt that(would probably kill me lol).
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The longest trip we made was from Augusta Montana to Kalispell Montana, through the Bob Marshall Wilderness and across Montana's Continental Divide.....it was about 70 miles and we did it in 10 days or thereabouts.

Our dogs were always active dogs, and these trips were a joy to them. We did worry about injury, but tried to be well prepared. Critical was clean water and plenty of food.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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>>> make sure you get use to carrying a loaded
pack.
>>> make sure your dogs are in shape.
>>> find out what's a safe weight for
your dogs to carry.
>>> let the dogs wear the packs.
gradually adding more weight.
>>> let the dogs wear the loaded
packs a lot before the trip.
>>> enjoy the trip.

Last edited by doggiedad; 01-03-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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