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I got my pup last fall and he has become the center of my universe. We have gone on a number of hikes over the winter. He is already a great trail companion. This weekend, we are heading out on our first of many overnighters. It should be cold at night. This has brought about a consideration followed by others. For those hikers with dogs: In colder weather, is some kind of ground insulation needed? I do some hiking in desert country. Generally speaking, how do dogs react toward the warning of a rattle snake? Does anyone have a good recommendation on dog packs? BTW, he is a labrador retreiver mix with goofball.

Ruff Wear makes some good packs. What I look for is mesh on the back so the dog doesn't get overheated. And, to make sure that the harness is stable so the packs don't lop over to one side. Also, bright and reflective is good for hunting season and in the dark :0) As for ground insulation...I bring a lightweight blanket for Max to "nest" in and then I cover him with my down jacket. But he usually shakes off the jacket and ends up sleeping on top of it instead, which makes it nice and warm for me to put on the morning. The things I'm careful about are: 1. Water freezing overnight 2. If Max gets wet and doesn't have time to dry before air temp drops at night