Home › Forums › Administration & Support › Website: Bug Reports, Feature Requests, Known Issues, and Changelog › Feature request: Backpacking with Dogs (or animals if you prefer) forum
Jan 13, 2021 at 3:26 pm #3693623idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
There are a number of people who backpack with their pups, and regularly ask various questions about best practices, gear, etc. It would be nice to have these threads together in one forum instead of spread among forums, and I think would be a great addition to the site (because, you know, I just got a dog…. :-)Jan 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm #3693637Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Congrats Doug!Jan 13, 2021 at 5:49 pm #3693642
I second the request. I started looking for a pack for Baldy and don’t even know where to start beyond a Google search and shopping options. I am looking to plan a trip to the Alps with Baldy for 2 weeks so have lots of questions.Jan 13, 2021 at 6:23 pm #3693647
I’m on board. I have multiple dog questions, and few answers, so it would be nice to confer with others.
BTW, Katt: Groundbird Gear is a good start for a pack, but – be forewarned – get ready to pull out your wallet.Jan 13, 2021 at 6:41 pm #3693651
@ Bonzo . Thanks will look into that … at least he’s done growing so would be one purchase that lasts.Jan 13, 2021 at 7:18 pm #3693656StumphgesBPL Member
Great Idea! There is a dearth of good info about backpacking with dogs (let alone cats)!Jan 14, 2021 at 6:41 am #3693722
@ Bonzo . Thanks will look into that … at least he’s done growing so would be one purchase that lasts.
That’s the best way to do it; we’re having to wait on Leia to be done growing before we purchase anything nice for her…or for us, to be honest. I’m still looking for a dog-friendly tent that’s actually big enough for her; it’s hard to find one.Jan 14, 2021 at 9:13 am #3693745
I love taking my dogs backpacking. Miley is my 3rd heeler. I have a couple of old REI packs and have modified the straps so they fit properly, except when she finds a patch of snow to roll in :-)Jan 14, 2021 at 9:43 am #3693747
Miley is a lucky dog; look at that smile!Jan 14, 2021 at 9:57 am #3693748matthew kModerator
Did someone say heelers and backpacks?Jan 14, 2021 at 10:00 am #3693749
What a little beauty!!! Is that the “approach”?Jan 14, 2021 at 10:05 am #3693750
Nice looking heeler Matthew! How do you like the ruffwear pack?Jan 14, 2021 at 10:10 am #3693752
Is there a way to get them used to a pack before saddling them with something like the Approach? Like a training harness first and then go up in bulk ( and amount of straps)?Jan 14, 2021 at 10:26 am #3693755
Kattt, I start my dogs by having them wear the empty pack on runs/walks. The first few times getting them clipped in is a challange. After a few trips, bringing out the pack elicits the same excitment as the leash. A soon as they get comfortable, I start adding a little weight. I keep the weight she carries to 10-12% of her body weight – about 5 lbs total.Jan 14, 2021 at 10:30 am #3693756
One more thing to note is that weight distribution is really important. If the pack is heavier on one side it can cause chafing.Jan 14, 2021 at 10:32 am #3693757matthew kModerator
I think the approach fits her well. I will sag to one side if her load is not well balanced. She usually carries mostly water so it is easy to keep things weighted evenly.
Ruffwear’s next step up does have a separate harness that the pack attaches to. I think it adds another set of straps as well.
Her name is Sumi and she’s all Cattledog with a grandparent that was a beagle/bulldog mix. That’s what gives her the floppy ears and really beefy body. She’s STOUT.
She’s a wonderful dog, extremely obedient and perceptive. The only thing she is not great at is walking with a loose leash but she turns it down a notch when she has the pack on. She gets very purposeful. I think she enjoys the job of wearing the pack and carrying some water. She usually stays off lead in the backcountry and will stay on trail right between my son and I.Jan 14, 2021 at 10:33 am #3693758idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
“get ready to pull out your wallet.”
Wow, no kidding! They look fantastic though.Jan 14, 2021 at 10:37 am #3693759
@Kate and @matt thanks for the info. Baldy has not spent much time at all on a leash ( I know, I know..) but he is very good at coming when called- not 100% so there is some work to be done for sure. I can see him getting into the “purposeful” mode too; he takes catching a ball very very seriously, like a job. There is a used/cheap Approach on eBay that I might get just to get started .
Beautiful heelers you both have!Jan 14, 2021 at 11:17 am #3693763
Wow, no kidding! They look fantastic though.
I purchase and use the best gear I can afford – which is sometimes not the most expensive option – and I see no reason to do otherwise in regards to my dog.
Re: weight training. I tied a stuff sack across the back of Leia’s harness and threw a couple of small bags of rice in it. As time has passed, she’s started to carry more and more. She’s at 20-ish pounds, now.
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