I’ve been gathering my gear list for the AT, and I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock: Should I get a dog?
I don’t want to hike the trail alone, but I’m not sure I want to go with another person either, so a dog seems like a good idea. However, there are obviously potential problems with that.
So my Pro/Con list! I wrote the Cons first, and the Pros afterwards, so read them in that order.
Cons | Pros
- Need more gear | Dog can carry some gear
- Another mouth to feed | Protection from animals (won’t need bear bag, etc)
- Can’t go on some sections | I won’t be alone
- I’d have to get a new dog | Another dog will have a good home!
- Training the dog | Training the dog
- Can’t stay in Shelters | No fighting over pace/where we stop
- People don’t like dogs on AT | They don’t mind/like well behaved dogs
- Can’t stay in motels/hotels | From what I’ve heard I don’t want to
- Dog will get dirty | It’ll help my anxiety
The last pro is one of the biggest selling points. The reason training the dog is both a con and a pro is because I will have to teach it a lot, and I don’t have experience with all of the command it will need to know, but dog training is one of my hobbies, and I enjoy it!
If you were to hike the AT (or are thinking about it) what are some more reasons you would, or wouldn’t, take a dog? Let me know!