Home
Activities & Sports
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Backpacking with Dogs
Pages:

Pages

Backpacking with Dogs - Kenzie
Remember, you

In camp, before you turn in for the night, secure all food, trash and toiletries from bears and rodents in a bearresistant canister stashed at least 100 feet away or stuff sacks suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet from a tree trunk.

Dogs can pick up a giardia infection from contaminated water. Symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. Some dogs show no obvious symptoms, but they can still infect other dogs, so when you get home, collect a stool sample and take it to your vet; if your dog needs medication, it’s best to get it started right away.

Backcountry Etiquette
When you backpack with your dog, you’re a guest in someone else’s home, so practice “Leave No Trace” principles (read more about them at lnt.org). Before leaving on your trip, groom your dog, removing seedheads or other plant material from his coat to avoid spreading invasive plant species. Wild areas, even tough-looking deserts, take years to recover from disturbance, which is reason enough to keep your dog on the trail and leashed at all times. Good trail etiquette requires it, too. A sudden encounter with a loose dog can be alarming to other hikers. Because I like to hike hands-free, I use a 16-foot retractable lead attached by its handle with a carabineer to an eye-loop on the front of my pack.

Once you’ve made camp, no matter how much you want to, don’t unleash your dog. The “solid” recall that never fails at the dog park may easily fail in the outdoors, where there are so many new distractions. A 25-foot cable will allow him some freedom without giving him an opportunity to chase wildlife, and if you’ve set up well away from the trail, he can’t run at unsuspecting hikers. Remember, you’re an ambassador for dog owners everywhere, and we want to maintain our dogs’ welcome in the backcountry.

All of your preparations will pay off in the companionship you’ll enjoy with your dog on the trail — and what a pleasure to see the great time he’s having! After all, you’re sharing a special partnership that harks back thousands of years, to a time when our nomad ancestors carried everything they needed on their backs, a loyal dog at their side.

Pages:

Pages

Print|Email
This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 70: Jun/Jul/Aug 2012

Photograph by Daniel Holz/TandemStock.com (Women & Dog)
Photograph by David Mathies (Mountain)
Photograph by Terrance Emerson (Golden Hill)
Photograph by Darcy Binder (Kenzie)

CommentsPost a Comment
Please note comments are moderated. After being approved your comment will appear below.
Submitted by marty | July 1 2013 |

In regards to snake bites. Do NOT use one of those kits, apply, pressure or suction of any kind and do not make cuts through the punctures. Basically ignore all the wive's tales you've ever heard. And whatever you do, do NOT administer antivenin! Very dangerous stuff and should only be used by a vet in a hospital setting. Keep the dog calm and hydrated and get him medical cars as soon as possible. Luckily dogs handle viper bites much better yhan humans do.

More From The Bark

Freestyle champions Diane Kowalski and her dog Wes
By
Julia Kamysz Lane
By
Jennifer Blood
Paddling with your dog
By
Andi Marie Cantele
More in Activities & Sports:
Indoor Athletics
How much exercise does your dog need?
Snow Play
7 Activities for a Bad-Weather Day
Canine Yoga
Dog Paddling
Working Out With Your Dog
K9 Nose Work
Doga: Yoga for You and Your Dog
Geocaching and Your Dog