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Adventures of Life


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How my dog survived a thru hike with me: Keeping them healthy

I’ve been off the trail for over a year now and nothing I do connects me to the trail more than sharing my experiences with others.
I just spent a weekend in Damascus VA celebrating Trail Days with past, present, and future hikers and the one thing which caught my attention was the number of dogs on trail this year.  Some of them seemed happy and enthusiastic about this endeavor, others not so much, I saw dogs who were lame, and others who were going through emotional struggles.  The trail is not for every dog, it is a place of uncertainty with constantly changing rules and boundaries.  I had been working on this post but realized just how important it was to get it out there.
Here’s some stuff to think about when considering a thru hike with a dog!
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Looking north from Saddleback Mountain outside of Rangely ME

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Buried in trail preparation!

I’m floundering!  First off I’m living in NH which means I’m under more than three feet of snow after this past “storm”!  Yesterday was day 50 in my count down and there are still so many things to do!  It seems like each time I dig myself out I just get buried again.  Fire hydrant

To give you an idea of what is still ahead of me for my trip planning.
Need to finish purchasing my gear.

Big ticket items:  Tent ($450) and Backpack ($250)
Smaller items but still necessary: Stove ($35), Sleeping bag liner ($60), footwear ($150), base layers ($110).

The price of my gear is up there.  But I am also doing my best to buy light weight.  I want my pack weight to remain under 35 pounds once food and water are added.  This is a challenging game, every item adds up.  You don’t realize just how much you’re carrying until you have no where left in your pack to squeeze that one last item.  35 pounds may not sound like much, and for a day it’s not, but imagine carrying a small child for 2,189 miles through snow, rain, heat, and bugs.  Doesn’t sound like much fun does it!  Bonus for me, my 35 pound “child” will not squirm or complain, they’ll leave that up to me.  The weight of my pack is a REALLY big deal for me.  I need to do everything in my power to protect my knee so I can enjoy my hike and reduce the chance of reinjuring myself.

My life for the next 5-7 months will be lived out of this pack, it will include only what I need (or deem a serious treat).

What my pack will weigh: 19 lbs 14.3oz. (Not including a full water bladder and food for 3-5 days) 343_847_lg

Gear: 5 lbs 9.9 oz.
-Pack:  4 lbs. 15 oz.
-Pack cover:  4 oz.
-Water Bladder: 2 oz.
-Stuff sacks:  4 oz.
-Bear Bag:  0.9 oz.

Base: 4 lbs 15.1 oz.
-Tent: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
-Footprint: 3.8 oz.
-Sleeping bag:  2 lbs. 4 oz.
-Sleeping pad:  1 lbs. 1 oz.
-Sleeping bag liner:  4.6 oz.
-Pillow:  5.8 oz.
-Knee cushion:  2.9 oz.

Kitchen: 1 lbs. 5 oz.
-Stove:  3 oz.
-Fuel:  6 oz.
-Pots:  9.5 oz.
-Spoon: 0.8 oz.
-Cozy: 1.7 oz.
-Mug/cup:  ?

Star trying out new gear!  Not even a blizzard keeps us from our hot chocolate!

Star trying out new gear! Not even a blizzard keeps us from our hot chocolate!

Necessities: 1 lbs. 13.5 oz. 
-Water Filter:  7.8 oz.
-Headlamp:  3 oz.
-Batteries:  5 oz.
-First aid: 4 oz.
-Inhaler: 1 oz.
-Cord:  4 oz.
-Trowel: 0.6 oz.
-TP:  2 oz.
-Lady Cup: 1.5 oz.
-Pstyle: 0.6 oz.

Clothing:  5 lbs. 5 oz.
-Bra:  7.8 oz.
-Shorts: 5 oz.
-Socks (3 pair):  6.9 oz.
-Base bottom: 7 oz.
-Base top:  8 oz.
-Shirt:  4.2 oz.
-Pants: 1 lbs
-Warm layer: 13.5 oz.
-Down jacket:  11.2 oz.
-Buff: 2.9 oz.
-Hat: 3 oz.
-Camp shoes:  3.7 oz.
-Hiking Shoes:  11.8 oz.

Spoilers: 13.8oz
-iPhone:  4.6 oz.
-iPod:  0.8 oz.
-Paperwhite:  7.8 oz.
-Chargers:  0.5 oz.
This long list of items is only part of the planning!  I still have Star’s pack to figure out and all the logistics of package drops and meal planning.  This is a huge undertaking – only made more challenging by my stubbornness to provide my dog with the best!

We have snow mountains in my back yard! Summit is 6; above sea level and 7' wide!

We have snow mountains in my back yard! Summit is 6; above sea level and 7′ wide!

I am so thrilled to have SPONSORSHIP and SUPPORT from some amazing companies, THE HONEST KITCHEN, RUFFWEAR, GOOD TO GO, and CROSSFIT BONA FIDE!

If YOU would like to support my journey (click the blue links) you can do so either through Amazon where you can pick out specific items from my “wish list” (remember last time we learned the links don’t work from phones)
OR  feel free to send MONETORY support via PayPal!  You are able to send money directly to me with just my email – this makes life easier!  Feel free to attach a note with your address so I can send you a note from my journey!
email:      erin.tuveson@gmail.com

NO POST WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT SOME PICTURES!!!

Rod iron fence from our snowshoe trek into town!

Rod iron fence from our snowshoe trek into town!

I keep hearing we have roads somewhere under the snow!

I keep hearing we have roads somewhere under the snow!