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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I'm planning on a week long hiking trip at the end of July and would really like to bring my Golden Retriever. The only issue is that she would need to carry her own things and will not fit in the backpacking tent with my friend and I (it's a ridiculously tiny tent because it only weighs two pounds). At night, it should get around 40 degrees and no less than 30 degrees for sure. My issues are bringing her enough food and finding a way to keep her warm at night. If I bring Sojos dehydrated food, then she would need four pounds of it (which would last 10 days). She would need to carry her own crate which would be a pop up crate that weighs about a pound. Then I'd need a way to keep her warm at night. I was thinking a good quality dog coat (the Hurtta Ultimate Warmer coat?) and a blanket--would that be enough? She'd also need to carry a tarp I could drape over her crate to make sure that condensation didn't leak through or if it happened to rain she would stay dry. This is my list of things she'd need:
Food
Blanket
Crate
Tarp
Coat
Collapsible bowls
Plastic spoon (for mixing the food with water)

My emergency kit for her would include:
Muzzle
Gauze
Self cling bandage wrap
Benadryl
Styptic powder
Saline
Doggy aspirin
Multitool
Tick nipper
Extra leash

Since she is 60lbs, she could carry up to 12 pounds going by the 20% of the dog's body weight recommendation. She'll be two in October. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! If there is a lighter alternative to dog food, that would be great and if there are any suggestions as far as items I need to bring for her and things I need to add to the first aid kit that would be fantastic. Also, if anyone has suggestions for a backpack brand that has pouches which are at least 12 x 12 inches, that would be great. I need pouches large enough to hold the crate which collapses into a flat circle.

However, before I get ahead of myself, is this even possible? Would it be impossible to keep her warm enough? Is having her hike with four pounds of dog food plus the other stuff too much?
 

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Your puppy is still a growing pup to consider the full work you will be asking for 10 days,, and If the pup is (not conditioned) for the work load you expect him to accomplish I would not take the pup on this trip... People have left their dogs on the higher hiking trails because the dogs could not make it and became warn out injured unable to walk and the owners could not carry them back down. That is another consideration to think about is can you and how far could you carry your dog back to camp if you pup can not handle the physical demands you will be asking of them in the 10 days. You can always consider starting your pups training on shorter outings first so the pup will be ready for the bigger trips.
 

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Eh, I disagree. A golden who will be 2 in October is old enough to carry 12 pounds by the end of July IF you start acclimating/conditioning her now. With a decent coat, those temperatures will be fine. I tent camp with my dogs in those kinds of temperatures a couple of times a year and they're fine - two with less coat than yours.

Another thing to make sure is that she's able/willing to sleep in her crate/tent separately from you. I'd try a couple of times in the yard if you can and take maybe a short overnight some time to make sure. Actually being on your hike is a terrible time to find out that she won't.
 

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Sassy staggered around for a couple minutes when we put her full 10 pound pack on, she was 42 pounds. Then she was back to chasing the gophers. We started her packing when she was 1.5 years old. You must condition your dog to that weight. A week with nothing in, put in a couple empty water bottles and gradually fill them up and so on. Just putting crumpled paper in the bags was quite a difference for Sassy, Ginger hasn't noticed the extra inches on either side though.

Use a cut down sleeping bag rather than a blanket. Sassy still wanted inside my sleeping bag but it worked a lot better than a blanket. I had a cheap rectangular one and simply zipped it down, cut off the top and sewed the fabric around the stuffing and did enough stitches at the top of each side of the zipper to stop the closer from running off the top of the zipper. Super cute having it on her pack as well. I just took a human sweater, put it on and sewed it to fit her for her first trip that was cold enough it snowed higher up on the mountains. She was fine as she was in our tent on her little foam bed. She didn't have it on during the day.

I hate the idea she isn't going to be in the tent with you. Really hate it. I would get a different tent instead. We were on a short trip and Sassy growled and bristled up when tied outside the good tent where we were playing cards, there was a bear nearby. No way a pop up crate is going to keep your pup in if she wants out and she will want out if there are critters around. If that is the pop up I have Max got out of it and rolled it around even though he wasn't stressed out as I was right there. They are poorly made and very insecure.

Sassy got plate and pot washing duty plus 1.5x her usual rations and came out of a 3 day low mileage trip looking like a scarecrow. Take a whole lot more food than you think she needs. Any food with less veggies would be better. Ziwi Peak or Real Meat which are meat and organ and ground bone would be your best bet. Costly and you must transition her or things could get messy but less weight for sure.

Agree about the possibility of having to carry her out. You might want to figure out a way to carry her. Perhaps a couple of sticks with jackets or sleeping bag inserted for a stretcher? Figure this out before hand and you might even want to try it on for size by having her lay down on the contraption. See if it would hold a human of similar weight of course and even practice carrying weight on it to see if this is feasible.
 

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I'd love to hear how all this turns out.
I'm more of a day hiker so I'm no expert on major hikes like this.
It sounds to me it might be best to either get a second tent 2lb hiking tent or a 3 person tent. Seems like that would save weight compared to the crate and associated gear and keep your pup closer and safer.
I have a ruffwear approach bag for my 45lb fox terrier mix. Its been great. We've only been using it to add some weight for 3-4mi hikes. Typically 40oz of water and a bowl. Not sure how much you could really pack in it though.

I'd also warn that Indy seems to waste a lot of water on trip. Not sure if you need to bring your own but something to keep in mind.
 

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Our dogs always sorta went off their feed whenever we took them (like you 10 day camping trips into the wilderness where everthing is packed in and out)... they eat alot less and we used to pour extra warm water to the last bits of our insta meals and use that as "gravy" and also used dried beef liver cubes mingled into the kibble to entice them...

x2 on not having dog in tent- they are great foot warmers sleeping at your feet ontop of your sleeping bags (for a long time it was me and hubby and 2 boxers, they did fine no coats etc.. and one year 4th of july it started snowing when we hiked in, north of Yosemite in the emigrant wilderness)... if you can deal with carrying it even a finely spun wool blanket or shawl does great double duty as a light topper if you do think your dog needs a cover (like that it can handle some damp and stay warm). More than anything is water. They will need refreshment on dry parts of the trail.. Also dogs packing things in get hot, (those packs trap heat!) and also our guys would tend to lie down in streams to cool off, with their packs on, so double wrap in plastic anything you put into their pack)..

Umm if your dog is carrying her own crate, that and a pad and a wool blankie would be fine...
But really I would get a bigger tent and ditch the crate, its a more efficient way to keep everyone warm and its better to have dog next to you in case something goes Bump in the night you can control the dog...

(one time it was late and getting dark and we pitched tent in a hurry and all night long Munch Munch- we had picked a site full of manzanita and the deer ate berries (? or something) all night long luckily dog was in side with us and didnt figure it our)... that was our first dog alittle 50lb pittie mix... she was a great camp dog that one...
 

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i wouldn't let my dog carry 12 lbs of things. my dog weighs 85/88 lbs. you and whomever you're hiking
with carry most of the dog's share.

before you go hiking with your dog make sure your dog is in shape to hike. put a pack on your dog and
walk around with your dog carrying the pack. start slow and add weigh as necessary. make sure your dog
is in shape to hike.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We currently hike about once a week and she carries six pounds with no issue which is why I'm thinking she'll be able to carry more if I properly condition her. I worry about having her in the tent because the tent is made of thinner material than the pop up crate meaning that she could literally walk right through the side of the tent no issue--the crate would actually be a better deterrent I'd hope. If it were my tent I would keep her in it, but my friend said absolutely not (she paid over three hundred dollars for it...yikes!) because she doesn't want her to bust right through the side by sitting on it. If she were to lean on the side of the tent it would rip and she would fall through--that's the disadvantage to a 2lb tent...it offers absolutely no protection aside from the rain. Before I could wake up and grab her she'd be out and gone if she wanted to which is why I feel like the crate would be safer only because it's sturdier and made of thicker material than the tent. That's a good idea about camping out in the backyard, though--we will definitely have to do that a couple times because it would be pretty crappy to get up there and then figure out that doesn't work. I like that Sojos would last ten days when I only need 7 days worth of food, however it is very potato heavy so I'm also considering doing half kibble half dehydrated raw (Stella and Chewy's)--any thoughts on this? The cut up sleeping bag is a fantastic idea, Kathyy, I love it! We'll do a couple overnight hikes first to test her out. If she carries six pounds for 6-10 miles now, could I add a pound a week to her pack and train for the extra weight by walking a couple miles every day?
 

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Just be aware that depending on how bonded to you she is, and scared of being out in the wilderness in a cloth crate, she may easily tear out of the crate and INTO that flimsy tent....

( Your weight training idea sounds fine, honestly we did hearty walks maybe trained for a month or 2 prior and (sadly?) our 70/78 lb boxers did fine carrying 15 lbs (plus, maybe,) to start-- but thats the good thing about kibble it weighs less as it gets eaten down, then they carried our laundry, trash, etc..
 

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I have not done a long hike like this with a dog but I lived on the road (out of my car and campsites) with an old dog of mine. He did carry a pack some, mostly just his food, leash, treats, and dishes around camp. He always slept in the tent with me and while I'm sure he could have easily gone through the nylon he never did. What he did do was unzip the tent early in the morning to go pester at the camp kitchen (I lived on the Renn Circuit and camped with a group a lot, one of my friends always cooked at around 5AM). He would come back after getting his portion of breakfast to wake me for mine. If we were not camping in a group, or not with that particular group he would not leave me. I think most dogs will stay with you in a tent at night far better than in a pop up crate outside.
 

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And, I bet if you left your packs etc outside, the dog would fit fine between you (and keep you warm)- we have done TONs of camping with all different dogs and not one ever put a hole into the tent getting out-- we do have a hole in our current tent (land shark great pyr pup ) trying to get INto the tent though (this was our backyard week long camp experiment )...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I know, I really would like her in the tent, but my friend is really insistent that she stay out. Since it's her tent, I feel like I should respect that. Plus, she's bringing her two Papillons who will be in the tent with us, so that could cause further issues. I'm really worried she'd bust through the tent--she's not wild, but she definitely has no body awareness and is a huge klutz! Our packs will be outside since there is no room for them in the tent and there's only about ten inches of space between my friend and I when we lie down in it and almost no foot room--I'm not sure if she could fit there comfortably which is why I think she'd rip through the tent. I wonder if I could do some training beforehand to get her used to the crate--she's crate trained, however she does sleep with me every night so it might be confusing for her to sleep outside. Mind you, when my family used to go camping we had big dogs that always slept in an ex-pen outside the tent and didn't get too cold or worried. Then again, there were two of them.
 

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I think it's probably doable as long as you put some time into training her to sleep in the crate out of your sight. You might have to do some overnight campouts in the backyard. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Definitely will do the backyard camping several times! I think it'd be fun lol. Does anyone have ideas as far as pre-made dog first aid kits?
 

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i wouldn't let my dog carry 12 lbs of things. my dog weighs 85/88 lbs. you and whomever you're hiking
with carry most of the dog's share.

.
WHY? 12 pounds is only 20 percent of the dog's weight. Your dog at 85 pounds, if conditioned and has no physical issues could handle 30 pounds. Dogs have been used as draft animals since well.... forever.... They are GOOD at it.
 

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Do not forget to get the dogs feet conditioned to the conditions. If the dog walks only on soft surfaces and you end up rocky ground, the dog could get sore feet.


I do have to say I do not love the soft crate idea. If the dog gets scared it could tear right through it. Or if it got excited about a wild animal and tear out to chase it. There are some other factors depending on what type of country you are hiking in.

I never used a crate. Dogs always stayed in the tent with me.

If it was me.... I spring for my own tent and have the dog sleep with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do not forget to get the dogs feet conditioned to the conditions. If the dog walks only on soft surfaces and you end up rocky ground, the dog could get sore feet.
If it was me.... I spring for my own tent and have the dog sleep with me.
I feel like I just got slapped in the face with a fantastic idea lol! I don't know why I didn't think of getting my own tent...Then I'd have my own tent, too, in case I went with someone other than this particular friend. Do you have any ideas as far keeping her feet safe? Aside from booties, that is. Is Musher's Secret any good?
 

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If the dog is already hiking regularly then likely the feet are fine. Sassy was not used to hiking under pines and pine tar was a big problem for us. Smearing peanut butter on caked feet and rolling the tar off helped and she was able to chew off most of the rest of the goo and debris trapped within the goo.

I kept a leash on Sassy when in the tent. Usually dogs respect a barrier they cannot see through, Sassy never even had the opportunity to get through the zipper since she was leashed.

I really hate the crate thing but it sure sounds like the tent is full as is. Could you take your own shelter? A tarp or tube is cheap enough and if you are going where there are trees they are easy to set up. Are you going superlight or for a lot of mileage per day?
 

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I'd imagine that an adult Golden would be quite happy to sleep in 30 degree weather without a blanket, etc. However, I don't know how to calculate the extra water needed for the hike, especially if the air is drier or thinner.

If you've never camped with her overnight, then you might want to be vigilant about a little extra prey drive from all the new smells and sounds.... But, if you've already taken her hiking, I don't see a big issue.... As far as food, if you're a little low, I don't think it'll hurt her to lose a few pounds during the hike ... not uncommon for people to lose weight :)
 

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I feel like I just got slapped in the face with a fantastic idea lol! I don't know why I didn't think of getting my own tent...Then I'd have my own tent, too, in case I went with someone other than this particular friend. Do you have any ideas as far keeping her feet safe? Aside from booties, that is. Is Musher's Secret any good?
Yup JB is a genius - a tents a good investment but no need to go wild and spend 200 on your first tent- you can get a little 2 man tent for waaaay less than that (I check out REI outlet or Sierratradingpost.com... then if you want to buy a tent more suited to your specific needs later on, you wont feel wedded to your first tent (you can sell it on CL or have it as a backup tent).

x2 on the mushers secret.... we tried booties dogs not real thrilled with them... sore feet is just something pretty much everyone will end up with , as... none of us really do this regularily (its the pack weight and boulders I think)....

As to extra water, you carry a water filtering pump, and pump as you go/ encounter streams etc....for the people that is.... when we know that we will be going dry for several hours, we will fill the camp shower partially with water for the dogs and just carry that, they cannot go with out in the hot dry terrain we were camping in...
 
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