Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ultralight Backpacking Dog Tackles LA Trails

Mt. Wilson, CA -- Andy is a 14-pound chiweenie (dachshund and chihuahua mix). This little dog loves to hike. For a small "designer dog," he knows how to put on the miles.

An average backpack for us, like the one above, we will hike up to 20-miles or more a day. He does great and never complains. The secrete is in pacing and obedience; my wife and I taught Andy to walk behind us and not run ahead. By doing this, we estimate he saves more than twice the energy than most off-leash dogs, chasing squirrels, sniffing out holes and sprinting after deer. As for the leash violation: I take my chances with the authorities, but only remove the leash once we are well into the wilderness and away from people. Plus, being an ultralight backpacker, every gram counts. The same goes for the dog, a leash actually weighs a few ounces and pulls on his neck. I even made an ultralight collar my little buddy!

This photo was approximately mile 10 on a 17-mile day with about 3,000 vertical feet of climbing.I estimate he has at least 300 miles logged. Not bad for a wiener dog.

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