Backpacking with your dog?
I am an avid backpacker when I have the time. Recently, my parents adopted a dog, a wonderful six year old lab mutt. Since I live at home over the summer (college student am I), I really would like to begin conditioning him to go on trips. I know to start very easy, basically lots of long walks and getting him used to a dog pack without weight.
Anyhoo, does anyone have any tips for backpacking with a dog? He definitely won't be an out of control dog, like some irresponsible owners let them be. He'll be leashed up well and his waste either buried or packed out.
One thing specific I have to ask, if anyone has any experience on the matter, is will dogs take to the waste of iodine treated water? While I carry a pump, I prefer to treat water with iodine, as it is so much faster. I can easily see a dog not being too pleased with the smell or taste of the water.
Thanks for any info and tips you can provide! I am looking forward to getting Ben out on the trail for a healthy adventure!
Yay for typos, I meant to type the 'taste' of iodine treated water. Silly me.
I will once he is used to the pack, he will begin to carry a bit of weight, increasing gradually of course. He is a 75 pound dog, and his max carry weight (if I use the recommended 25% of his body weight) would be about 18 pounds. I hope to build him up to 10-15 pounds, but no more than that.
Those links are very helpful, I'll be sure to go through them! And in addition, do more research, since I have quite a few months to plan. I don't want to be a backpacker who gives hiking with dogs a bad rap. Apparently, a term out there is LNT=LDH, or leave no trace leave dogs at home.
We aren't in rattlesnake country (unless you count the elusive massasauga rattlesnake), but it is very much bear country. I always kept a bell on my backpack, and Ben will get on either on his collar or pack too. Plus, his food and treats will go in a tree just like mine. I've never seen a bear hiking yet, but I'd rather not take that chance. I just hope I never have to use my bear spray.