Aspen is quite the adventure pup, having already completed seven days and 57 miles on the John Muir Trail (JMT). However, with the Tahoe Rim thru-hike we were tripling that mileage. We added a few more things to consider for long-mileage pup adventures.
I treated Aspen to a new Ruffwear collar and leash for the trip. I saw Ruffwear’s Hoopie Collar designs for this year and one had Aspen’s name all over it (in the form of Aspen tree trunks)! Along with the design, I liked the strong webbing and easy clip. Then I noticed there was a matching leash! What sold me on it was that it can either be hand-held or worn around my waist, which would be great for jogging. I ordered them over the internet and when they came in the mail I was bummed because the package was so small I thought only one item came. However, they were both there; they were so compact and lightweight – great for backpacking! Both held up nicely on the trail and cleaned up as-good-as-new afterward.
Another concern I had was her pads, they’re tough and she’s had issues with booties rubbing on her paws, but I brought her Bark’n Boot Liners just in case. Originally I thought she would need the liners in town for hot asphalt when picking up resupplies, but I actually ended up putting her liners on while on the trail. For the hike out of Tahoe City the trail surface was so hot I couldn’t leave my hand on it for more than a few seconds. Liners won’t stay on by themselves so I ended up using bandage wrap from our first aid kit to hold the liners in place – worked like a charm! Aspen isn’t a big fan of booties, but she didn’t mind these at all. The liners did acquire a few holes over the two days she wore them, but at $9.95 for all four I can easily replace liners.
Throughout the hike I was keeping a close eye on Aspen’s behavior. In the mornings she wanted to sleep in, once on the trail her tail was wagging as she ran around having fun, once we got to camp she watched me until I set the tent up so she could go in to rest on my sleeping bag. However, I did have an exit plan in case her tail stopped wagging. My mom was ready for a panicked phone call for her to come meet me at a trailhead to pick up Aspen. But her tail kept wagging so Aspen is an official thru-hiker!
Keep that tail wagging,