dog pack recommendation?

6:58 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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i have two labs.

1 beefy english lab that is 8 and comfortable with his kelty backpack when camping/hiking.

1 scrawny but deep chested "english" lab - that i swear is half grey-hound or something. he is 3 and has only borrowed his brother's pack.

any recommendations for a dog pack? the kelty seems fine - but i'm open for suggestions before i start getting him his own gear.


9:00 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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Ruff Wear Palisades or Approach.

Both are available from

7:15 a.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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If you haven't read them already, there are reviews of dog packs (including one by f_klock) here:

Have fun hiking with your dogs!

10:02 a.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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Ruff wear or Mountainsmith.

I prefer the Ruff Wear Pallisades for my dog, its' hydration bladder is a good solution to carrying water for my dog.

11:10 a.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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I have Rottweilers and my male is just under 120 lbs. at 29 mos. and I am starting to get him ready for a pack. His 21 mo. old half-brother is arriving later today and is a little smaller and I will get him ready as well.

My champion bitch is too spoiled and is only about 80-85 lbs., so, she can stay home and keep my wife company. I expect to be able to pack some 60 lbs. between the two boys as Rotts. are unbelievably strong and tough as a boiled boot.

Has anyone here used the Mountainsmith III packs?

12:19 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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I have an older Mountainsmith dog pack, I bought it used.

After visiting the Mountainsmith site I'm not sure which one is the Mountainsmith III.

The one I have does not look like the sport line series they offer, but more like the less expensive double bag types.

I have been happy with the Mountainsmith pack I have, my dog weighs 117 lbs and he used to carry all his stuff and some of mine. He is now 14 yrs old and so I have just been doing day hikes with him this past year. I'm gonna hate it when I loose him, but he has had a great life.

6:51 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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thank you for your responses! i like hearing from those who have hands on experiences.

Klock ... so you have the one without the bladder, Approach? would you prefer to have the bladder? what do you do without one? i've always used water bottles - but are there other choices?

so what do the rest of you do for water?

while on the subject ... i've always used their regular kibble to carry and place in bear canister but it takes up space. anyone try anything else? i know they're dehydrated dog foods out there. anyone try?

7:09 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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For water I used to let the dog carry a couple plastic bottles and would refill as needed. Most all places I go are covered with streams and creeks, some people say not to let the dog drink untreated water, but I've never been able to stop him, and at some point quit trying.

My newest dog pack has a hydration bladder, I was skeptical at first, but it works pretty good for him, the dog.

6:54 p.m. on February 4, 2010 (EST)
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trouthunter wrote: "some people say not to let the dog drink untreated water"

Do these people have dogs? Have they ever even been around dogs? Do they even know what a dog looks like? They can't possibly have paid any attention to what dogs do, lick, eat, and so forth. Don't let dogs drink untreated water? Puh-leeze!

Maybe they take their dogs snipe hunting, though. I'll admit that snipe hunting might be the one activity where it's inappropriate to allow your dog to drink untreated water.....

10:08 a.m. on February 7, 2010 (EST)
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I don't know if these people have dogs or not, my feeling on the subject is that it is well intentioned thinking taken to an extreme where it does not apply, nor does it seem practical.

My dog has drank ditch water, toilet water, puddle water on roads, etc. and I've never noticed any sickness, discomfort, or other ill effects.

I'm not a vet, but based on owning dogs all my life, and what I've learned from reading, and people who work with dogs, I tend to think we underestimate what a dogs system can handle. The hardier breeds are much tougher than we are, I think.

I've also heard not to feed a dog anything but dog food (kibble or canned) and I couldn't disagree more.

My vet once told me not to feed my dog leftover meats (table food) because " ....the dogs stomach does not know what that new food is...".

While it is true you should not alter a dogs diet abruptly, slowly introducing different healthy foods into their diet is good for them, my dogs have always seemed happier when fed this way. The old notion that a dog only needs kibble, and doesn't care what it eats is not true in my opinion.

I believe a happy dog is a healthier, friendlier, and harder working dog.

What do you guys think?

11:20 a.m. on February 7, 2010 (EST)
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Couldn't agree more TH :) I used to have Huskies who would have stomach problems if they ate too much 'normal' dog food. Vet said to give them real chicken and rice to help with the problems along with the lamb and rice dog foods and it works. On the other hand I had a mixed mutt growing up who had every leftover scrap of food our family didn't eat and that dog lived forever with no problems. My current dog gets treats of human food all the time but we make sure it isn't anything that is going to be unhealthy for him and he is happy as could be. Unfortunatly he is a bit to small and excited to hit the trails with me for anything more than the occasional walk in the park. :)

10:26 p.m. on February 7, 2010 (EST)
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There are some good reviews of the Ruffwear pack TH posted at AltRec:

Also, I'm sure you guys know but for anyone unaware, there are certain foods dogs should not eat like chocolate and grapes. You can find a good list here:

It's quite a list.



10:22 a.m. on February 8, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks flannery, and welcome to Trailspace!

4:05 p.m. on February 8, 2010 (EST)
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as for the packs i'm a little curious myself because i too have a 92lb lab. and for the food, i know that my vet has said that puttine yogurt, bananas, chicken, and rice in with my dog's food is good for them and should be done once or twice a month. and thanks for the help with the dog packs too.

10:41 p.m. on February 8, 2010 (EST)
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Yes thanks for the dog pack recommendations! I have placed an order for the palisades. Looks quite nice! I can't wait to try it out!



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