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Old 01-31-2013, 08:24 AM
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xpaeanx xpaeanx is offline
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Smile A Personal Challenge, need some advice for Walsh

So, this summer I plan to hike the Appalachian trail for 2-3 weeks. Basically, I'm going to start at the NJ/NY border and just go.

Now, what I've been reading on thru/section hikes, you pack 4 days of food and then stop in town and restock otherwise the added weight will just become too much.

I plan to take Walsh with me... Which brings up some added issues. I need a way to bring shelf-stable(dry) food for him that can readily be bought in towns close to the trails. Initially, I was going to go with Orijen bc it is a nutrient dense food... But I can't start off w 3 weeks of food bc of the weight and I think that would be hard to find to restock. I'm going to look into that a little more, but can anyone think of a good food or mix of things for him that can easily be gotten at any grocery store along the way?

More questions for any other serious hikers, he's teeny tiny... Like 13lbs tiny. Do I even bother with the pipsqueak dog pack for him? Would the extra 2lbs of storage really be worth it?

I plan for him to sleep in the sack with me bc he's tiny, and I'm going to bring a small tie out with me... Anything else I really need to bring for him? It'll be 3 weeks in summer so the temps should be warm/hot and weather would be sunny/rainy.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:52 AM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Very cool!

As far as food, what about dehydrated, like Honest Kitchen or Sojos? That might allow you to carry the whole 3 weeks or at least half and then have the rest shipped to a PO Box in a town along the route.

I wouldn't rely on finding anything except the crappy Alpo/Purina/Gravy Train foods trailside and for an activity like this, high quality food is important to fuel the extreme demands on the body.

I don't even know if you can *find* a pack that's comfy enough for long hiking days for such a small dog!

Has he been conditioned to multi day hiking? I'd prob throw some booties into my pack even if he has, since you're talking probably 20 miles/day for 21 days, so 400+ miles.

For supplies, don't forget that you'll need a bowl for water and extra water for him, some first aid supplies that are dog safe just in case, an extra leash and collar, and some treats or extra food for mid-day refueling. A bear bell might also be worth a look. If there's any hunting going on about that time, a blaze orange vest might also be wise.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
Very cool!

As far as food, what about dehydrated, like Honest Kitchen or Sojos? That might allow you to carry the whole 3 weeks or at least half and then have the rest shipped to a PO Box in a town along the route.
You know, I didn't even think about freeze dried food. I know it *exists* but for whatever reason, it just didn't register. LOL. And part of what I was going to look into with Orijen was seeing if I could ship it somewhere pre-trip to be picked up along the way.

Quote:
I wouldn't rely on finding anything except the crappy Alpo/Purina/Gravy Train foods trailside and for an activity like this, high quality food is important to fuel the extreme demands on the body.
Yeah, I don't want to feed him any of that. I was thinking some sort of homemade concoction.... Vitamins mixed w like tuna or dried egg or something....

Quote:
I don't even know if you can *find* a pack that's comfy enough for long hiking days for such a small dog!
I actually found one at rei I think will fit him perfectly, but it's expensive. I'm not sure if the extra 2lbs of storage is worth not upgrading a different piece of equipment.

Quote:
Has he been conditioned to multi day hiking? I'd prob throw some booties into my pack even if he has, since you're talking probably 20 miles/day for 21 days, so 400+ miles.
I'm building up his conditioning now. We are both fairly active, but I'm progressively bring up his activity and shortening the "rest" between. I have a few overnights and multidays planned as well. I need to not only see how he does but test our set ups. I've been looking at booties, I'm leaning towards the rei brand unless something game changing comes up.

Quote:
For supplies, don't forget that you'll need a bowl for water and extra water for him, some first aid supplies that are dog safe just in case, an extra leash and collar, and some treats or extra food for mid-day refueling. A bear bell might also be worth a look. If there's any hunting going on about that time, a blaze orange vest might also be wise.
The supplies in the first sentence I already have in my day pack for our regular hikes. I've never heard of a bear bell?

And I was thinking about getting him a water-resistant raincoat type thing. Maybe I'll see if I can find an orange one, kill two birds w one stone for future hikes.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:31 AM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Sounds like you're on the right track then!

Bear bells are just big bells that dogs or people can wear so they make more noise to potentially scare off wildlife. (I also use bear bells on my crew if we hike off leash because I can hear them easily, but that's not really a concern for you I'm guessing.)
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:37 AM
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Yeah, he doesn't go off leash unless I am confident it's a dog free area. He's very dog aggressive, so I need to have him under control at all times.

Hmm, I wonder about the bell. One the one hand, I want the larger animals to stay away... But I'd like to see the smaller ones. LOL.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:47 AM
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My very initial thought was freeze dried food as well (just make sure you go for the all-inclusive) - a lot of freeze dried pre-mixes are meant for raw feeders who don't want to balance out the other feedstuff, so the food mix doesn't actually have any meat in it. I feed Grandma Lucy's Artisan Chicken as part of Boo's diet (it is all inclusive, I just can't afford it exclusively) and it works well. A 3 pound bag will make ~17 cups of food with 468 kcal/cup. Just guesstimating on the "how much", but if your little guy was working hard and eating a cup and a half a day, you'd have almost 2 weeks of food right there.

I haven't done any more than an overnight with Boo, but I've looked into it because I love to hike and am planning to get into backpacking this spring, so the following is more of a "what I'd hypothetically do."

Personally, I'd go ahead and get the little pack. Two pounds is two pounds. If he can carry even half of his own food (or the weight equivalent - freeze dried is light but bulky, so you might end up carrying the bulk while he carried something smaller, but denser of yours), that's two pounds extra for your own supplies. Of course, I've heard that you need to work a dog up to the point that they can comfortably carry a weighted pack, so you'd have to make sure you did that.

Also, whenever I bring Boo hiking, I bring those fabric collapsable bowls and they work well. They're light and can be squished into any array of shapes to fit in your pack.
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