I am going backpacking in a few weeks in North Georgia, and am trying to figure out what I do with my dogs at night if I take them along? Any suggestions? Not so sure I want to cram them into the tent with us.
I don't have a dog, so can't answer this. But I was just thinking you might get more of a response in the Trailhead Register, since this is about kids (are dogs kids?) (plus: not too much traffic in this area these days).
Mine always stays in the tent with me. It is irresponsible, IMHO, to just leave a dog outside unsecured, unfair to wildlife, other campers, and the dog. And I would not want to tie my dog up outside, though that seems like a reasonable approach, if your dog has the right temperament (mine would chew through the rope in minutes). Some keep their dogs in the tent's vestibule, also a good way to go. A lot has to do with the size and layout of your tent, the size and temperaments of your dogs, and what they are accustomed to. A calm, well-mannered dog who has been bathed and had his toenails clipped (to protect the tent floor) makes a fine tentmate. BTW, I agree with RebeccaD, you will probably get a much better response in the Trailhead Register.
I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. -Soren Kierkegaard
I suppose it would depend on the dog and where you're hiking but mine sleeps in the tent with me. I don't have a choice, really, he would whine all night and eventually claw his way in. Mine wouldn't consider the vestibule part of the tent.
I hammock most of the time so she just sleeps under me. I used to tie her up when she was young but don't anymore. If it's cold, I'll use a windsock that covers my hammock and she can get inside that and sleep on the ground under me.
Dogs like to be touching you. If they can touch you they aren't likely to run away at night. Hunting breeds might be the exception tho.
Tonight I'm howlin' at a foreign moon, might as well be a junkie's spoon
Post by almostthere on Oct 18, 2015 16:31:27 GMT -8
My dog is very attached to us, rarely strays, stays next to me, hikes behind or directly in front of me. And yet, I still keep her on leash as much as possible - for her own protection. Unleashed dogs of other hikers have often invaded camp or run up to be aggressive to us on the trail. She'll walk around camp digging holes or eating other people #### if she can find it. She's gone to other campsites before to mooch food, which is bad, since people food makes her very sick. She got very sick one trip because she refused to stay put and sleep - she kept leaving the vestibule of the tent and walking around in the wet grass, unknown to us, who were soundly asleep until she started whimpering at 2 am. Wet plus cold resulted in a lung infection, resulting in a huge vet bill and antibiotics. Previous trips she stayed put and slept where we told her to - so now we keep her tied up as well, with a short leash just long enough so she can get out and drink or pee. I don't put her inside the tent with me, because she will start to dig - no amount of claw trimming does anything to stop her from tearing nylon, and she will just pull off a booty if I leave it on her for hours. She wears the booties while hiking fine. If we stop for any period of time, off they come without our help. If I am in my hammock, she sleeps on her foam pad underneath, her leash attached to the end of the hammock.
If you have never taken them backpacking, perhaps you are thinking they will protect you. It's more likely that you will spend considerable time protecting them - from themselves. Paws on rocks for a couple miles, that are not accustomed to hiking on rocks, can result in sore paws and limping. Loud noises or unexpected animal encounters can result in dogs vanishing into the forest - a dog owner lost his dog in a local wilderness due to an afternoon thunderstorm that spooked the dog, and 20-some days later after spending each weekend looking for the dog, miraculously he found her - skinny, hungry, and oh-so-happy to find him again. There's considerable risk to domesticated animals separated from their people - they don't have a pack with them to help them survive, and they weren't raised out there to know what they should alert on. So my dog, the vigilant and careful watchdog she is, told us every time she saw or heard something -- every five minutes, all night, when the next deer walked by -- whether they were ten feet or a thousand feet from us. It took some convincing for her to get the picture that we were not concerned about deer. Meanwhile, we were very, very, very tired....
Then there is the fact that dogs get giardia, too. A friend of mine had to replace a carpet....
Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. Walt Whitman