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WeIght limit in dog backpacks

Hey all you backpackers with furry buddies!  I have a 55 pound border collie, Ben, I call Border Collie on the Mountain.  He hikes to top of any peak and then is ready to find a stick.  I am a veterinarian and have been backpacking with my dog(s) for decades.  Only recently did I start serious longer distances, now up to a week, with Ben.  After a lot of research and lots of opinions, I have concluded that about 15% of body weight is the max for him.  Like people, dogs vary tremendously in fitness, body type and athletic ability.  I would love to hear anyone's personal experiences with ability and willingness of their canine buddy in backpacking weight.  Maybe also state what brand of backpack you use.  I originally used the RuffWear Palisade, but now use the Groundbird roll top pack for a little more capacity.  Dr. Bob

1 Reply


Thanks for posting this! 

I have two dogs, a 7 year old sled dog and a 9 month old lab 'puppy', and we're looking forward to getting them into backpacking this summer. This has been a question I've had on my mind as we start to plan out our trips and gear. I'll be sure to chime in when we've got them outfitted. 

Appreciate the advice!

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