Category Archives: Traveling

Backpacking Gear for Loki the Shiba Inu


Over the past weekend, we took Loki with us on our first backpacking trip to Desolation Wilderness, CA. This isn’t the first time we’ve gone hiking with him up tall mountains, the tallest being Mt.Tallac also in the Tahoe area. Turning 2 years old this August, he has boundless energy and no trouble keeping up with us on long, strenuous trails. If you are looking for an outdoor dog, shibas are for you (but don’t expect them to follow commands anytime soon 😛 )!

Staying true to his shiba nature, he still doesn’t have the greatest recall in the world. Yet, we manage to keep him “off-leash” on long hiking trips after recognizing his preferences:

1) When its potty time, he pretty much ignores all and runs off to do his business, but always returns
2) He prefers to hike faster than us, but always stops to keep us in sight
3) On hot days, he runs off to find a water source to cool down, but always returns

With long backpacking/hiking trips, bringing the right gear for your dog is a must. Below is a list of my favorite products that we frequently bring for Loki.

1) Gulpy Water Dispenser – $8
The gulpy makes it incredibly easy for us to give Loki his water. It saves you the hassle of finding his water bowl, dispensing water, drying out the bowl, and packing it away. We love his gulpy!

2) Bear Bell – $5
Doubles both as a bear bell, and as a location tracker for your dog is. Highly recommended if you hike in the wilderness and let your dog off leash.

3) Doggy Backpack – $40-80
If the temperature is relatively cool, we like to make Loki carry his own water/treats with a doggy backpack. It reduces the weight that we carry and tires him out a bit more. With backpacks, it is important to bring your dog to the store to try on the backpack. Relying on measurements alone can be difficult because you want to judge how comfortable your dog looks with his backpack on. At 29lbs, Loki fits the REI ultra dog pack pretty well.

4) Doggy boots – $30-60
If you are a serious hiker, you probably take your dogs on more difficult, rocky trails. This can really mess up your dogs paws. I’ve heard stories of hikers having to carry their dog mid-hike because their dog refused to move another inch. On our Mt.Tallac hike, the terrain was rocky near the summit, and Loki started showing signs of discomfort. This was when we decided to purchase doggy boots. Again, it is important to try out the boots in store before you purchase. The ones that fit Loki were Ultra Paws in XS. However, they did start sliding off after a while, so I am curious if there are better options.

5) Any 6ft lightweight leash – <$10
This only applies if you have shibas with not-so-good recall. We usually have him drag a short leash on trails, so that its slightly easier to catch him if necessary. On the end of the leash, we cut open the loop so that it doesn’t catch on rocks/branches. Works pretty well with Loki!

The view from our backpacking destination, Aloha Lake, was amazing 🙂


Loki’s first camping trip

The past weekend was an exciting one for Loki. Perhaps a little too exciting. We camped for the night in South Lake Tahoe, home to one of the most beautiful scenic destinations in Northern California. When it comes to camping, most sites require reservations in advance. Unfortunately for us, we were left with few choices by the time we made reservations. This mistake led to the discovery of KOA camp sites, a rather comfortable alternative to traditional camp sites. I was surprised to find clean bathrooms, showers, laundry, and even WIFI! Yes, I myself thought it was silly to camp with these amenities. But when you’re dying to use the bathroom at 3am during a THUNDERSTORM, that clean bathroom comes in mighty handy.

So how did Loki fare? At first, he was enjoying the pine cones and bouncing around like a silly little fox.



stalker Soon after, we started the campfire and got our cooking on. Mmm, I LOVE cooking camp food!


And this is when Loki decided that he didn’t like camping anymore. He was afraid of the SMOKE coming from the campfire 😦 We literally had to drag him from underneath our car.



scared2Loki: I love camping so much, I’ll stay right here. Kthxbye.

Oddly, Loki didn’t flinch to the sound of intense thunder and lightening later that night. I was freaking out more than him. This little guy makes no sense sometimes.

Off-leash doggy fun

Loki finally got a taste of off-leash freedom at an enclosed beach today. I was pretty nervous that he would ignore all my commands, but we didn’t have any problems getting him to ‘come’ on command! This is huge because in normal conditions, he responds ~70 percent of the time on leash. We had a great time watching him trot and chase other dogs around the sand. I also took the opportunity to practice shooting on my new Nikon D3100, so you can expect higher-quality pictures in my future blog posts!DSC_0762





Cruisin’ up the coast – Part 1

We’re back! We took a hiatus from updating Loki’s blog because we took a mini vacation and drove up the coast, from San Francisco to Vancouver B.C. Along the way, Loki was exposed to a bunch of new surroundings – beaches, woods, heavy rain, hail, and snow!

The first stop of our trip was a place called Sea Ranch Lodge. We Airbnb’d most of the places along the trip, and 95% of the time we were satisfied with the experience. Our first stop was the priciest, but also the most beautiful of all locations. Sea Ranch Lodge is a cabin tucked in the middle of nowhere surrounded by redwood trees. The cabin was completely furnished with everything that you would need on a cold winter day…except for hot chocolate 😛 Okay, I can’t complain because they offered complimentary wine with our reservation. At $150/night, I would recommend this place for honeymooners or couples who want a nice getaway.


Don’t worry, we drank all the wine before Loki got to it 😛


Having a working fireplace makes things so wonderful! The smell of burning wood, the sound of Christmas carols, and the wood furnishings throughout the house adds to an experience that I’ll never forget.

Most of the night though, Loki was just doing this:

IMG_2928and this:

IMG_2946and this: