Peyto’s First Backpacking Trip

Peyto Bullseye Oaks had his coming-of-age moment: He survived his first overnight trip to the woods! My dear friend Benn graciously agreed to round out our team. I was so glad for his company, and for an extra hand with our handful of a pup!

We left from the Zealand Road trailhead and hiked 7.5 miles to the Guyot tentsite when we’d spend the night. It was a pretty easy hike in, but it was more daily mileage than Peyto was used to and he was carrying his own pack. We found snow, fell in swamps, and navigated a few tough, steep scrambles.

Peyto had so much fun rolling around in the snow.
But I had to share a tent with this thing.
Mt Guyot summit
He’s a bit dramatic sometimes.

After summiting Zealand and Guyot, we got to the Guyot tentsite, packed onto a platform with two others, and then headed out to check out nearby Mt. Bond (another 4,000 footer) for the sunset and dinner.

Before the tent was even done being set up, Peyto snuggled into the rainfly and made it clear he was done (almost) for the day.
Bondcliff, I am coming back for you.
Benn on top of Bond
Peyto had his dinner, but always still wants some of mine.
We met a Pemi loop runner (from Dorchester!) who took our picture (Thanks, Matt!).
We repaid him in whiskey.
The sunset was stunning and set right behind the summit of Mt. Garfield, one of my favorites.

Peyto did well in the tent. He was overly alert at first, listening to everyone settle in around him, but got comfy quickly and slept through the night. We woke up at 4:45am as the sun came up and enjoyed watching the sunrise in the quiet and stillness of early morning.

Packing up. Peyto ready to take on day 2.

After breakfast we headed back down the way we came. By midday, we were back to our cars and we loaded Peyto up with Benn to go back to Boston while I stayed in the Whites to get certified in Wilderness First Aid over the next two days.

Peyto loved following right at Benn’s heels, mile after mile.

Learnings from backpacking with a pup

  • Having an extra person is so valuable. Most notably, having two of us allowed me to focus on lighting the stove when cooking and allowed us to place ourselves above and below Peyto during tough, steep scrambles.
  • Rawhide and chicken are a must! There is no other way to keep Peyto stationary and focused. This was especially helpful at the tentsite when I didn’t want him getting in others’ way while everyone was cooking – flames right at fuzzy butt level.
  • Before a tough scramble, give a treat, give some encouragement, give guidance on footing, and give high value rewards for bravery after!
  • Being physically exhausted does not erase the need for playtime. Peyto was in such a playful mood when we finished hiking for the day. He could barely move but he was very fidgety – bringing a toy and a ball was a good idea!

This was Peyto’s 2nd & 3rd 4,000 footers in the Whites. Lots more adventures to be had with this pup!

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