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Backpacking with dogsEveryone has their own preference when it comes to backpacking, some people love to go ultralight, some are more in it for comfort, and others want practical. For backpacking with a dog, being prepared without over packing is my main goal. Below, I have my list of items I consider essentials and would never leave the house without when backpacking with my dog Goose. 1.) Dog backpack I am aware not all dogs can carry a backpack either for size or age of the dog, but if your dog is healthy enough then I say take advantage of it! If you don’t know if your dog is ready for a backpack I recommend taking them to your vet and asking your vet to conduct a physical exam to determine if they are physically ready to wear a backpack. Ok so your dog can wear a backpack that’s great, just remember to not dive right into a backpack full of dog gear remember training is key to keep your dog happy and healthy. Start with short hikes and lightweight in the backpack and slowly increase the weight to the target weight. A maximum of 25 percent of your dog’s body weight is a rough estimate. But...
As my summer vacation came to a close and I flew back out to Gunnison, Colorado to begin my sophomore year as a Recreation and Outdoor Education student, I couldn’t resist reminiscing about the wild adventures that my first year of college had brought me. From rock climbing in Indian Creek, Utah, to canyoneering in the North Wash of Utah, to local expeditions of backpacking and backcountry skiing— I had had quite the year. As I made the journey west and moved into my on-campus apartment, my excitement grew about what this year would hold for me. Syllabus week came and went, and my friends and I started brainstorming for our first trip. Nothing big, as none of us were acclimated to the 8,000 ft. elevation yet, but something memorable and something to properly kick off our year at Western State Colorado University. We ultimately settled on a 4.5 mile hike up to Green Lake, located in Crested Butte— just a 35 minute drive from our campus. The night before, I packed my backpack with my sleeping bag, warm layers for the night, random (but essential) foods, and finally, my DoubleNest ENO hammock accompanied by Atlas Straps to ensure a...
Hiking Half Dome had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I grew up visiting Yosemite National Park, staring at half dome, and wondering what the view would be like staring back from the top. I am beyond thankful that I got to finally conquer Half Dome and see this view with my brother Trevor and now sister-in-law Cheyenne by my side.
Find a Trail That Has Water Find a trail with water I just can’t stress this enough when backpacking with your dog, It’s not only a great way for your dog to cool off but also to catch a drink or for you to refill waters.
Northern New England is home to countless hiking trails, many of which are popular destinations for day hikers from all over the region. A typical summer day on Mt. Washington, Katahdin or anywhere in Acadia National Park will be teeming with fellow hikers and tourists.
When preparing yourself for a few weeks or even months on the road, oftentimes the hardest part, even more than planning the details of where you’ll go, is what to take. Certainly for me, I kept finding new and essential items to have in my bag. Each time I walked into REI, I’d walk out with another few hundred dollars’ worth of stuff I just HAD to have. Each article I’d read on the subject would list endlessly new ‘must haves’. So what really are the key elements to deciding what to take? First, determine what your trip intends to accomplish. Are you blogging? Are you a photographer? Is it a spiritual journey? Is it just for fun? Once you’ve established your intended purpose, consider where you’re going and what climate you can expect. These analyses will help you focus on what’s meaningful, and what’s excess. Our goal? Pack as lightly as possible. Let’s start by creating a list of categories: Clothing Toiletries Gear Electronics Accessories Now we’ll look into each category. Trust me, you’ll list out more than you need. The best advice I’ve heard is this: Lay out what you’re going to take. Take half of it. Then double how much money...
Everyone knows that one friend who claims they just LOVE traveling; but you and I both know that the all-inclusive, resort-style vacation they are referring to is a far cry from the down and dirty experience of traveling. While traveling is an amazing adventure in and of itself, backpacking seems to add another level of extremity. Not only do you get to experience the food, the locals, and the secret hotspots first hand, but you also get to bask in the glory of only showering when you can physically feel the dirt flaking off of your skin. Believe it or not, being filthy is exhilarating. Backpackers are notorious for being young, wild, and free, but in my opinion, backpackers are so much more. They are ultimately their own breed of humans. They are daring, wild, grungy, usually friendly, and often fall into one of the following eight categories.   1. The Party Animal The Party Animal is the person who is traveling solely to get wasted every night. “Oh, marijuana is legal in Uruguay? I guess I’ll have to try it…There is an underground cocaine bar in La Paz, Bolivia? Well, I’m only here once, right?” These people are crazy....
When you begin looking into bags to fit your adventure, you will quickly find out how many options are on the market and how many variations of nearly the same bag there are. While each has some unique quality that makes it different, there are multiple classes of packs that can be categorized together to make your search slightly easier.
When backpacking, it may not be essential to create a fire each day if you are equipped with a Jetboil or quick stove, but quite often you might want to for either for warmth or to mix up your cooking. There are many options for starting a fire that range from very primitive to high tech, but with any method you’ll need something to initiate the initial spark or flame. Each time I go camping I always give myself a few choices for my flame/spark creation. For my first option, I currently have a Gerber edition fire starter, but there are many kinds on the market to accomplish a quick spark. These are reliable and lightweight but can prove to be a real challenge if the materials you are trying to light are damp with moisture. Don’t be fooled, starting a fire with one or two strikes is harder than they make it look in the movies. Also, don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t work and you have to fall back on another option. Keep practicing! I also carry with me a trusty BIC mini lighter for an instant flame. If those two options are not working, I travel with one...

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