Hiking with Dogs

July 1, 2018

The most common questions Chi and I get are: “Do you really sleep out of a tent-no cabin, no walls, no roof?”, “How did you find out it was something you would enjoy?”, “Why bring your dogs?” or my favorite, “HOW?!”

I don’t have a definitive answer as to “how” our mountain adventures have become a recurring event on our weekends but yes, in 2017 we upgraded from a 2P (person) tent to a 4P in order to accommodate Ollie and Alfie. Prior to our meeting, Chi and I already had our own individual love for the mountains. Chi grew up next to the beautiful rolling mountains of the Blue Ridge and I grew up visiting the Shenandoah Valley. In May 2013, Chi and I went on our first mountain trip. We drove up to the Blue Ridge mountains and spent an entire afternoon staring out at a seemingly endless, rolling sea of at least 4 different shades of blue.

We love our mountain sunsets. We love the majestic, unrivaled sunrises. It feels like we wake up with the sun and go to bed once the moon is hung high up in the sky. We love the slow transition from a quiet, still morning to a chirping, buzzing symphony of an afternoon. We love the winding mountain trails and vast, open mountain-tops.

We bring our dogs for a few different reasons; They love free-roaming, exploring along the trails we travel on and most importantly, i’m able to let them be dogs. I love watching them learn about the world around them, I love watching Ollie roll around in the tall grass, I love watching Alfie dash up and down trails chasing after every bird’s shadow as they fly overhead.

I’m not a vet, my opinion is not professional opinion so please check with your vet first before you decide to bring your pup along on a hiking weekend.

This most recent trip, we found ticks all over our tent and a few on the pups. Prevention is key, we give both dogs a monthly dose of Nexgard + Heartgard. Immediately coming off the trail, we checked both dogs for ticks and then again once we arrived home. Alfie carried both his and Ollie’s food for the weekend in a 6-7 lb. dog pack which is a huge help for us as it frees up space in our packs for more essentials.

In the essential bag I carry for Ollie and Alfie, I always have: paw protector made from wax, their first aid kit, Benadryl, tick comb, dog-friendly bug spray and all-weather boots just in case we come across a trail where it’s necessary.

Our mountain adventures help us recharge from our work week and give us time to focus on each other. Being literally alone is such a rare commodity for us, we welcome it on our mountain weekends. Our time away from what is familiar gives us a chance to refocus and evaluate where we are in our life and plan out the next few months. No, the plans we make are not set in stone nor are they definite guidelines we live by for the next few years but instead more of a vision board of what we want to work towards. Chi and I both have different identities as we are our own individuals but together, we are able to help each other achieve our goals as we make up for what the other lacks.

I love our weekend mountain adventures and always have…but now, I have so much more reason to look forward to our mountain trips because Ollie and Alfie add so much to our trips. To answer the question of why we bring the dogs along, my response is “why not?” Of course, keep in mind not all dog breeds are meant to travel up and down mountain trails let alone have paws conditioned for the terrain but for Ollie and Alfie, mountain adventures can’t be beat.

currently watching: Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown

Love Always,