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20122Cold weather, warm dog

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  • d2aisy2000
    Sep 18 10:23 AM
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      My current backpacking dog doesn't have a thick coat, and I'm not wild about having a cold, wet dog join me in the hammock, so I made an insulated dog hammock that hangs below mine. I found I needed tie-outs on both sides to keep it from moving as he steps into it, but otherwise it has proven pretty successful. (When I met Ed at Traildays, I recall he said he'd been asked for a solution to the problem of poorly-insulated dogs before.) The insulation is patterned after the method I devised for my own hammock: a hybrid of Climashield and down. The climashield is quilted to the bottom cover and has baffles that are held against the underside of the hammock by shock cords. The down is held in place by the baffles, but can be shifted by loosening the shock cords. Two aspects of this plan need careful consideration. (1) The bottom cover needs to be the right shape to hang close to the hammock (although the elastic baffles help correct for small gaps), and (2) the dog needs to be introduced to the hammock with great sensitivity. Mine was already used to sleeping on a pad under my hammock, so I hung his hammock very loosely so it lay directly on the pad. As he got used to it, I started tightening up the end ropes a little bit at a time, over a course of a week or more. Eventually his hammock was high enough that when he stepped into it, it didn't make contact with the ground. Side tie-outs are essential at this point so the hammock doesn't move away from him when he first puts his foot down.
      Credits: Thanks to JustJeff for sharing notes on his "bag of feathers"
      and also his aversion to feeling baffles sewn directly to his hammock. Also to whoever posted info on Karo step baffles for quilts.
      Big thanks to Bonaparte (the dog) who carries 15 pounds on all my outings.
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