View Full Version : Leash & Bed Recommendation

05-18-2009, 09:57

I will be taking my 1 yr mix out for his first hike on the AT this summer. We are just doing an over-nighter to see how it goes with him.

Any recommendations on what type of leash to have him on while hiking? I was not sure if the retractable leashes worked better. Also do you usually just attach the leash to your pack?

Also what does your dog usually sleep on? I figured it might be better to give him something to lay on since the ground gets cold at night. He is a short hair dog and loves to be warm.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated! He is well adjusted to running 5 miles and should be fine with just hiking a 10 mile day. He is very friendly, well trained, can sleep anywhere, and does not bark. I'm really looking forward to backpacking with him!

05-18-2009, 10:00
I forgot to mention we typically hike the AT in PA/NJ, which is notorious for the jagged rocks. What do you usually use on their pads? Thank you so much!

05-18-2009, 10:11
I took my pup on her first trip 2 weekends ago. i used a retractable leash for trail walking, and i brought a 6' nylon leash for camp, so that she wouldnt bother anyone but me.

I also brought a cut down walmart blue pad for her to sleep on.

I didnt worry about pads as it was a short trip (except for checking them pre, during, and post walk) of about 8 1/2 miles total over 2 days. But for the future, i may pick up a pair of booties for her.

Also, since it was her first trip, i did not make her carry a pack. I am shopping around for one in the near future.

05-18-2009, 10:23
How did that retractable leash work out for you? Did you just hold it the whole time?

05-18-2009, 10:28
I found carrying the handle of a retractable lead tiring. I reverted to an old stand-by: the twenty-foot cotton web tracking lead. I also carry in my pack a six-foot traffic lead (with a ring that "shortens" it to three feet) for situations where I want Brad closer to me.

leeki pole
05-18-2009, 10:37
Six foot slip lead and blue Wal-Mart pad for me. I put a carabiner on my pack strap to attach the lead to give my hand a rest from time to time.

05-18-2009, 10:46
I use a retractable lead for Phoebe. I also carry hiking poles. I attach the lead to the waist belt of my pack, which frees my hands. If we meet someone on the trail, it's easy enough to hold both poles with one hand and reel her in with the other. She loves to sniff around, stop to smell whatever she smells on the side of the trail. The 16 foot lead gives her a few seconds to stop and sniff around. When the lead retracts all the way, a gentle tug with my pole as I bring it forward in my stride brings her running back to the front..... Pics are in my gallery.

I second the dual-use small section of 3/8" foam pad. We only bring it during cold weather. It serves as a butt pad for me during the day, and something for her to sleep on during the night should she choose to. (She's a Siberian Husky - I've only seen her sleep on it once or twice.....).

05-18-2009, 10:50
I just use a length of rope with a carabiner on the end, and most time i don't even use it. As for pads, I don't take him on all that many hikes, he is actually my parents dog, which as much time as he is with me you might think otherwise lol, but I keep a close eye on his paws for tenderfoot, and if I ever take him out for more than a 20 mile weekend, or on "ruff" terrain, I will invest in some boots. The boots and the bags wre on sale at Petsmart, I don't know if they still are, but it's worth a look.

mister krabs
05-18-2009, 10:54
Trixie the wonder feist is small, about 17 lbs. She's unlikely to pull me off balance. I put the handle of the retractable leash through my waist belt.

She sleeps in my sleeping bag, so no help on the bed.

05-18-2009, 15:59
depending on the dog i wouldn't use a retractable leash. larger dogs can screw up the mechanism. also they are long enough for her to get up to good speed and then hurt their necks. for this reason i keep mine on a 6 foot lead max.

Two Speed
05-18-2009, 19:56
Another vote against retractable leashes says the guy who usually lets his dog hike off leash.

I carry a sit-upon, a piece of blue closed cell foam. I lay that out for Barney. He usually doesn't stay on it. Prefers to fight with me for my sleeping bag. If it's cold enough I let him win.

05-18-2009, 20:34
I attatched the retractable to a strap with a buckle that I have on my pack. Tessa actually spent most of the trip at the end of it pulling me along. I also put a day glo orange harness on her so that no one thought she was a deer :D

05-18-2009, 21:54
I have NEVER liked retractables - I've seen too many dogs pull the leash right out of the owner's hand!:eek: I prefer to use a standard 6 ft. nylon leash, with the sewn loop around my wrist: this way, I can shorten up or lengthen the lead just by grabbing more/less of the line in my hand, and if the dog pulls the lead out of my hand, it's still wrapped around my wrist! (I have Siberians, and they love to pull.)

I never used a foam pad, but I always took a piece of wool fabric (about 3' by 3') and let the dog lay on that.

mister krabs
05-19-2009, 11:22
On my retractable leash comment, trixie is the only dog I use it for, she's little and doesn't pull. I do like that if she does stop short or jump at something it doesn't pull me off balance without notice. I would use a regular leash if she was bigger, the greyhounds can knock me over if they jump, so they get the nylon at least for walks. They don't hike.

05-19-2009, 12:34
my dogs stay at my side or behind me while walking, so standard leads works perfectly. I attach them to the waist belt via a carabiner in a way so that if I take the pack off they are still attached to it.
the bed may depend on the dog, a short haired dog that gets cold easily wont be happy with just a blue foam pad from walmart.