Looking at Morro Bay from Cerro Alto

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness
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Friday, September 11, 2015

Cerro Alto and hot weather

Hiking with dogs in hot weather .

I don't mean to preach or lecture , but I feel this subject is very important fpr those hikers that hike with their dogs :
Sierra ( my 3  1/2  year Shepard mix ) have hiked together  daily since she was 10 weeks old , We back pack several times a year . We average over 40 miles weekly on steep trails rain or shine and we have learned a few things about hiking in hot weather  . The photo below was taken in San Diego Co. and speaks for itself .
I have witnessed many times dogs suffer heat exhaustion and stroke while hiking a hot trail .I have seen a dog die of same !
Cerro Alto mountain is in San Luis Obispo  Co and in the summer , can get very hot . 
I hope the following information is of some help :

  • Fitness matters in both humans and dogs . The more fit you are  , the cooler you will hike in warm weather .
  • Dogs can not cool as easily as humans .  They sweat thru their foot pads and thru their tongue .
  • We don't hike when temperature  is above 83 degrees in the shade , you can bet the sun will be at least 15 degrees hotter .
  • Sierra carries   a minimum  of 34 ounces of water  for a 6 mile adventure  . Longer hikes . she carries 64 oz.  Sierra weighs 80 lbs .  on a 6 mile adventure she will,drink at least 32 + ounces and on longer trips it depends on the heat  . I have seen her drink 90 ounces  on a 4000 ft. elevation gain .
  • On long hot hikes I carry up to 180 oz. and have used all , some of which was used to cool Sierra with baths .
  • When we get caught in 100 degree weather , I cool Sierra with water baths done under frequent breaks under shady chaparral  . I bathe her feet also , this helps !
  • Not ---- hunting season is not yet over so when hiking in national forests have the dog wear a bright color vest or back pack . Sierra wears a back pack every day . Two years ago , Sierra was shot while hiking Cerro Alt in August . See photo below .
  • be a responsible dog owner .
Note worthy is the fact that when Sierra was shot with a 30 cal bullet , she was wearing a green color back Pack and was approximately 10 feet ahead of me on the trail .
The bullet traveled approximately four tenths of a mile and struck her in the right shoulder  and did not break the bone .

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