The weight penalty of hiking with a dog
Now I wouldn’t even think about going on a walk without my dog, let alone a trip like this – but I had not really thought about the implications, in terms of weight to carry, that having my dog with me would have.
To give you an idea, here is a list of equipment I currently have to hike and camp with for a, well certainly my, dog, and their weights (yes I have just spent half an hour with my kitchen scales weighing everything!):
The “small” stuff
- Poo bags (100g) – being a responsible dog owner, I will of course have poo bags with me. There particular ones are quite heavy duty ones, so I might have to make do with lighter, thinner ones.
- Clip (120g) – rather than the usual, and heavy, screw-in dog attacher (it probably has another name!) I take camping with me, I will just have a large multi purpose clip.
- First aid kit (50g) – in additional to my own small first aid kit, I will also have a range of wipes and some tick removers (is there any other dog-specific first aid equipment I need, especially for her pads?)
Aqua Sorb towel (300g) – this is ideal for cleaning and drying the dog after a day of walking (and much lighter than the alternative – old towels!).
- Bowl (450g) – at the moment I just have one of those funky non-spill water bowls (the one that was on Dragon’s Den). It is ideal for having in the tent, but it is slightly heavier and slightly bulkier than a usual bowl. I probably need to find something lighter that folds away.
- Extendible lead (500g) – not something I can do much about, although at least it is in my hand not on my back!
- Small lead and Halti (250g) – again something I need when walking through busy areas (and the Halti stops her pulling me down steep hills / mountains!!)
- Water (1.5 kg) – my dog is pretty well “trained” at jumping into anything wet and trying to drink it, but I always take a 1.5l bottle of fresh water with me for stops and in case there isn’t running water.
However the dog does need to sleep on something (other than cold ground!) – usually I have a great sleeping matt which is fleece one side and rubber the other, but this is far too heavy and bulky to take on this trip.
The solution I have come up with so far is to buy a cheap roll matt and cut it in half – it shouldn’t be too heavy and I can just roll up in my roll matt. She doesn’t need a cover – anything I try and put over her very quickly gets shaken off (and she has me to cuddle!).
Sub-total: 200g (based on half the weight of my roll matt)
Her usual daily diet (a third of her daily requirement in tinned meat, and two thirds of her daily requirement in biscuits) weights just under 1kg.
However these won’t be standard days – I usually give her an extra tin of meat and plenty of treats when we do a long walk, which increases the weight to 1.5kg (per day).
Looking at the route so far, I think I need to carry at least 2 or 3 days worth of food…. that’s going to be a whopping 6 kg!!
If anyone can suggest light weight, but very nutritious food, dog food – I would love to hear from you. I have seen a few (predominately American) websites which mention freeze dried raw dog food – light and nutritious. I will need to do some more research!
Sub-total: upto 6 kg
So as it stands, I have to carry about 3.5kg of weight for my dog on this trip… and with her usual diet upto 6 kg of dog food!
To put that into perspective the tent, the heaviest item, is just 2.3kg.
I am going to have to find a solution to the dog food problem, and try and scale down some of the other smaller items!
I could of course get her to carry her own kit……