Following the advice of one Trevor Thomas (a sponsored blind hiker who now hikes with guide dog Tennille), I have tweaked Whoopi’s gear list that she carries on the trail. One of the biggest things Trevor shared that I need to consider when taking Whoopi on the trail is how much gear is she going to carry on the trail. Typically dogs can carry up to 30% of their weight, but since she’s an assistance dog – it’s important for me to consider her health and comfort to keep her hiking and working as long as possible. Once I am able to weigh everything – I’ll include the weight values in ounces of her gear.
Whoopi will be carrying the following on the trail this year as we iron things out;
- Ruffwear Palisades pack (17 oz) and harness (9 oz), and saddlebag cover (4 oz) (total 30 oz)
- Ruffwear booties (attached to her pack)
- 1 Serving of food (1 to 2 cups)
- Ruffwear raincoat
- 1 Small elk bone
- Small first aid kit (includes vitamins/supplements for duration of trip or section)
- Leash & collar stays on at all times except when in tent, and vest stays packed away in backpack until we’re back in town.
- 1 collapsible dog bowl
- 1 roll of poop bags or enough for 3 poop bags per day of trip
I plan on carrying;
- (Once completed) Whoopi’s modified sleeping bag stuffed with my sleeping bag or her Ruffwear Highlands bed.
- Food bag carried in opsak odorproof bag within stuff sack (2 to 4 cups of food per day for trip or section)
- Sleeping pad (Thermarest Z-rest pad that is also functioning as my trail seat
As you can tell – I am a big fan of the Ruffwear gear line for Whoopi as they make quality products and they stand behind it. I hope to be able to acquire a few more things this year to try out before thru-hiking the AT. I’ll update the blog if the gear list changes! Thank you to you all!