The Ignored Leave No Trace Principles Of A Bowie Dog

Bowie and I hit the foothills this week for a small hike. In her older, lazy stage of life she can’t go incredibly far on hikes but still enjoys being out and exploring. You would think now officially in her senior years, she would know her limits and trail etiquette however, she does not (or perhaps she does and just ignores them).

Leave No Trace Principle: Dispose of Waste Properly

Bowie loves to poop on stuff while on trail. For instance, while we were exploring the foothills we came upon a small sandy clearing, a perfect poop spot for a dog. WRONG! Bowie walked past the spot and pooped on the next small cactus patch she came to. As a responsible pet owner and hiker, I believe in Leave No Trace Principles; I pack shit out. Picking poop out of a cactus patch is a very delicate process but it can be done.

Occasionally, Bowie does try to bury her poops like us human hikers. She makes this sad attempt by kicking dirt over it by with her back legs while walking away from the evidence. I would not recommend this approach as a human. Her turds are never successfully buried looking only slightly more like large cat turds with litter on them. Perhaps Bowie’s idea is to blame cats for her lack of Leave No Trace Principles? I know not what goes on in a Bowie’s mind.

DOG LESSON LEARNED: Carry Lots Of Poop Bags and Carry Poop Out

Leave No Trace Principle: Plan Ahead and Prepare

I have learned with my adventures with Bowie preparing is a must however this requires strategy. For me this means I have to pack her pack when she’s not looking. It is a sneaky thing to do but if Bowie sees her pack she’ll go insane until she leaves with it on. Whining and pacing, nuzzling and grunting until she gets what she wants. It sounds cute but when you are preparing for a hike that won’t happen right away, it very quickly passes the cute stage and hits the annoying stage. My strategy requires putting the pup outside and closing the curtains so she can’t see in. I then start packing. For her small hikes I pack her own small Nalgene, Bowie cookies, tons of poop bags and her packable water bowl. She carries all her own stuff.

When I release the beast back into the apartment, she is highly suspicious of me. Unbeknown to her I stash her pack away in a great hidey hole. After searching the apartment she admits defeat unable to figure out what occurred while she was outside. She slugs back in retreat and takes her place on the couch. Shooting disappointed looks in my direction as she catches lingering wafts of Bowie Cookies now packed away.

DOG LESSON LEARNED: Always Pack For The Needs Of Your Canine Companion You May Just Have To Be Sneaky About It

Leave No Trace Principle: Respect Wildlife

Bowie is incredibly rude to other animals she meets while on trail. You would think being an old lady dog she would be calm and cool. My beloved companion however returns to her wild youth in two seconds flat. She high tails it after lizards, rabbits, snakes, etc having no regard for her own well-being or the person (me) that she is attached to. I have been humiliated by my dog more times than I can remember because she decided to be young again and chase after Thumper. Because of this, I always make sure she stays on a leash while on trail and has her pack on at all times. This allows me to have more  physical control of her and visibility (her pack is bright orange and reflective) I try to apologize to every little critter Bowie sees on trail “I’m sorry, she doesn’t want to eat you little lizard she only wants to nudge you, bat at you with her paw a few times, and stick her nose in your den, I’m pretty sure you could live through all that somehow…”

DOG LESSON LEARNED: Dogs Have Stupid Strength, Keep Them On A Leash To Help Protect The Wildlife And To Avoid Explaining Why Your Four Legged Kid Chased Mama Bear’s Cub Up A Tree…You May Want To Wear Protective Padding.


Learn More About Leave No Trace Principles by clicking the link provided. All hikers should follow these guidelines at all times no matter how many legs they have.

Learn More About Hiking/Backpacking with A Dog! with My Open Country (they give more in depth information and provide a video!) and talk to your vet before your trip!

Bowie wears a Kurgo Brand Dog Pack Check it Out Here!

bowie pack

(An Old Lady Dog and Her Pack – picture taken on a winter hike, Bowie doesn’t like posing for pictures much. )

Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts/Website Posts And Other Doings:

  • Updates on My TP ChallengeProgress – Not quite down to goal of three squares for a poop and one for a pee however I’m closing in on the goal!  
  • Girl Overnight Backpacking TripHappening Next Week, Keep an Eye Out For Updates! 
  • Book Review: “The Long Shadowed Forest” by Helen HooverIn Progress
  • Snuggles’ AT Mental Prep List –  Check it Out Here! 
  • Snuggles’ AT Gear List (Written)Check it Out Here! 
  • Check Out Our Etsy Store Full of Fun Travel Finds! 



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