Shakedowns to not Break Down

I’m sure most people who are planning or have done a thru-hike already know it is super important to do shakedown hikes to know just what you do and do NOT need on the trail.

I’ve been doing these with Jack for the past year to find out what equipment works best for us in different scenarios.

Here are a few of the things I’ve learned on our shakedowns.

  • All leashes have issues. Of the five we’ve tried, two are OK enough to use (a modified UL daisy chain or a retractable).
  • Jack can’t carry his pack in the summertime; it’s too hot.
  • Seven liters of water weighs a lot! And it is sometimes necessary to carry for Jack.
  • Hanging a bear bag in the dark really sucks.
  • Wet trails + dog feet = doggy feet yeast infections.
  • Unless it goes below 20 Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius), a mid layer is unnecessary.
  • Flip-flops are the most comfortable hiking sandal, but my trail runners are better in rain and snow.
  • Winter hiking is great!
  • PossumDown gloves do not hold up super well when wet and needing dexterity.
  • Down booties are better than any sleep sock (no blood flow constriction making your toes colder).
  • Jack is not a fan of sleeping in shelters.
  • Sandburs can be worse than cactus needles.
  • There’s a learning curve with dogs and trekking poles.
  • It’s NEVER just one seed tick.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • David : Feb 11th

    You are speaking the truth about seed ticks. Having gotten into them twice now, its a wonder I don’t have Lymes or some other tick born illness. Witch Hazel stops the itch for about 2-3 hours. Heavy to carry extra liquid, but will help you get through the unbearable itching that a nest of seed ticks leaves in its wake.

    Great insight here for hikers with dogs! Good luck Jack and Elise, you’re going to do great!


What Do You Think?