Atlas’ gear list

One thought on “Atlas’ gear list

  1. Hi Kate (and Atlas!),

    Just came across your site and, wow, Atlas has been on quite some awesome adventures! Kate, I can tell you are a wonderful, loving, caring mom (sister?) to Atlas. He is lucky to have you and to be able to explore such beautiful places in nature.

    (I’m glad I found this page–you seem to have thought through many details for all the potential different situations Atlas may find himself in and all the foods, supplies, tools, equipment, etc. needed to keep him safe).

    I do have a couple concerns/questions. (I am not an experienced backpacker but am a huge dog lover and hope Atlas is always safe and healthy while having the experiences of a lifetime backpacking–and that these backpacking outings do as little wear and tear on Atlas as possible so he can continue backpacking long into the future).

    -What happens if you guys encounter a mountain lion or grizzly bear or some other large predator? How will you keep Atlas safe?

    -For dogs like Atlas, what is the safe/healthy backpacking mileage per day and over multiple consecutive days? Due to physical differences, the number of steps to walk, for instance, 1 mile for an adult human (e.g. Kate) is different and much lower than for an adult black lab (e.g. Atlas). Is the distance you and Atlas are backpacking on various terrain sustainable and healthy for Atlas? (How much of a toll/wear and tear will it be on Atlas? And how much of it is recoverable?)

    -I see, Kate, you wear sunglasses in many of the pictures. So my guess is that in good weather, many places you backpack through are very bright/sunny. I understand that dogs rely less on eyesight than smell. However, dogs may also get cataracts or other damage to their eyes from being exposed to too-bright settings for long periods of time… Is there possibly a way to protect Atlas’s eyes from long hours of exposure to very bright, sunny conditions? (Of course, any changes to protect Atlas’s eyes must be comfortable, adaptable, and safe for Atlas… as there are enough obstacles/potential dangers for Atlas to navigate on the trail that any protection must not hinder his ability to use his eyes efficiently to help him navigate his surroundings…)

    -I see some photos of Atlas traversing over big rocks–the kind that overlap one another in irregular ways and there are gaps, cracks, and holes between where rocks overlap. Since dog’s hands and feet (paws) are much smaller than our feet, there are many more holes/cracks between the rocks that Atlas’s paws may fit/fall through than yours or mine. How does Atlas safely navigate such terrain/how does he walk on these big rocks without trapping his paws in some holes/gaps?

    **Lastly, my family’s golden retriever had arthritis that got pretty severe and debilitating. Much of it is genetic (she didn’t hike/backpack). I don’t know if arthritis is common to labradors. But what we found to be *extremely* helpful was to buy beef tendons (raw) (usually from Asian grocery stores), and make a beef tendon stew. Basically, put the raw beef tendons in water and bring to boil, then slowly cook on low for hours until the tendons are soft enough to be poked through gently. The tendons *and the soup* are Absolutely Fantastic in helping keep joints healthy. (This natural way was magnitudes more effective than the Cosequin supplements that our vets recommended). So, if it is at all possible for Atlas to eat this tendon and stew regularly when you and he are at home/not on the trail, it would be very helpful to keeping his joints strong. And, of course, the tendon + stew is perfectly yummy and safe for humans to eat (and good for our joints) too!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my very long comment! I’m so happy I found your site and will be following your and Atlas’s adventures. Atlas is so fortunate to have you and go on these adventures. Just some questions that I wondered about, because I’m absolutely adore dogs and hope Atlas stays safe and healthy always. Take care!

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