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Thread: St Bernard

  1. #1

    Default St Bernard

    i hiked a small section this spring with my St Bernard and it was ok but i wouldn't want to hike any further then i did with him, yeah the company is nice but dog maintenance is alot! and dogs are not welcome everywhere would be an other problem for a thru hike..

  2. #2


    I spent 15 long years backpacking with a dog---the chow beast could carry 17 days of his own food---and when he punched his ticket for the spirit trail people wanted me to get another dog. Nope, no thanks. A dog makes a great companion true but there are several negatories---

    ** Hard to hitchhike with a dog.
    ** They pester people in camp and on the trail---so a leash is definitely needed in camp to keep them from barking and chasing towards new arrivals.
    ** In deep snow you end up carrying their dog pack along with your own gear.
    ** They freak out in lightning storms and sometimes claw your tent and/or sit on top of one of its sides.
    ** They chase creatures large and small.
    ** They step on copperheads and do a slow motion ballet dance with both snake and dog mid-air.

    But by all means backpack with your dog if he's your current companion. Living outdoors, crossing creeks, hiking in a blizzard, enduring it all with you---it's the best thing that can happen to a dog.

  3. #3


    Fun fact #231
    St. Bernard of Monjtroux is the patron saint of mountaineers.

  4. #4


    Big dog means lots of dog food and water to carry. You'll be carrying most of it.

    Big dog means you need a very big tent. He won't be welcome in the shelters.

    St. Bernards have a lot of hair so you could have a problem in summer heat. Finding ticks would also be a problem.

    Some dogs do well hiking all day, some don't. Wild dogs are not usually on the move all the time. They are active, then take long rests, then get up and move again, then rest again.

    The AT has sections of rock climbing and even some ladders. How is your dog as a climber? I've known dogs that had to be carried up some of the steeper bits. Can you carry yours?

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Walker View Post
    Big dog means lots of dog food and water to carry. You'll be carrying most of it.

    Big dog means you need a very big tent. He won't be welcome in the shelters.
    These two are mostly untrue. The bigger the dog the more food he can carry with a dog pack. As mentioned, my chow mix could carry up to 17 days of his own food. A St Bernard should be able to do the same. As for water, I never carried water for my dog in the Southeast mountains as there are springs all along whichever route you take.

    My dog never slept or stayed in my tent. In fact, he hated being cooped up and instead slept near the tent "outside" in all four seasons.

    "He won't be welcome in the shelters" I won't touch . . . because I dislike the shelter system and we never stayed in the things. Additionally, AT shelters have no rules---so if a guy comes in at midnight with his muddy dog no one should complain because they themselves are prisoners of the same box. Set up your tent if you're worried about shelter etiquette or behavior.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Neptune Beach, Fl


    Are you telling or asking?....I have no issues hiking with my dog....but your responsible for his safety as well as his actions around others....we rarely stay in rat hole shelters but do enjoy letting him kill a few rodents during a lunch break there.....never had anyone complain......disclaimer my pup is a 20lb jack and I carry his food and gear. I prefer to hike with him rather than people....he never birches or complains...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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