Tales from the Trails

Best Booties In Baja!


Before our very first trip to Baja, your dog booties were recommended to me
by a vet who lives in the same little Mexican town with us. He said the
Vibram soles kept the dog’s pads free from thorns. After many trips–and a
lot of mountain biking–our girl, Bella, is proud wearer of these. Her paws
are thornless and happy. Here they are, hanging on the line, de-sanded and
almost clean!


I must add that there is a nasty grass seed (not unlike foxtail) that can
worm it’s way in and create all sorts of problems. I really appreciate the
construction and durability of these booties, because so far (after many
years and a second pair of booties), she has been cactus, thorn and grass
seed free!

Annie & Bella

Thanks to Annie and Bella for the story and pictures!!


A Bark From Denmark/Scandinavia

Hello i just wanted to share some of our adventures from our trips around
the dog parks of Copenhagen. Betty is a 1 1/2 year old French bulldog living
in the center of Copenhagen so we take trips everyday to various dog parks,
beaches or where ever the weather allows us to go. We are huge fans of the
versatility of Ruffwear products. We use them everyday, all year around.
We live in the center of Copenhagen and I can report that even though your
products are made with the outdoors in mind they still work perfectly for
everyday use in an urban environment.

Betty is able to run around and play during the warmest days of summer
thanks to the brilliant Swamp Cooler™.

Betty in Ruffwear Swamp Cooler

She is also able to play during the wet and cold winter in Denmark thanks to the
Climate Changer Jacket™. It fits brilliant and still allows her to play and run
around and still remain warm.

Betty in Ruffwear Climate Changer

Here’s what we bring on our daily trips to a dog park:

  • Either the Climate Changer or the Swamp Cooler – depending on the weather and of course the time of year.
  • The Webmaster Harness™ if we’re hiking or doing anything active. It also doubles as a safety harness in the car.
  • Knot-a-Collar™ of course – good looking collar easy to put on and take off.
  • Knot-a-Leash™ both the old and the new one – most reliable leash I have ever owned and it is great with the reflective materials so we can walk in the dark and still be seen.
  • Quencher Bowl™ so we always have water available.
  • Nalgene Water bottle.
  • Hover Craft Frisbee™ is Betty’s favorite toy. No matter how dirty it gets we just wash it off and its good to go again.
  • Ortovox First aid kit.
  • Sunglasses.

Betty's Park Kit

Thank you to Emil Bentzen and Betty from Copenhagen Denmark for the story and the photos!


Wedding Bells and Dog Jackets

Jody sent us this testimonial of their experiences using our Cloud Chaser dog coat. We thought it was extra cool that they had gifts for their boxer in their wedding registry!!

We registered for the Cloud Chaser for our wedding and were thrilled once it came! It fit like a glove (nice and snug, stretchy and strong) so well that everyone at the dog park asked if I had MADE it for our boxer. She is super energetic and bouncy, darting in and out of the scratchy brush. Her belly is very exposed with hardly peach fuzz for fur. We’re used to finding her skin all scratched up from the brush and red from the cold – no problem any more! Moisture seems to bead up and run off it as well, even on the softer underside. She plays rough at the park, too – the form fitting and easy moving fabric moves with her without a problem. We’ve seen no signs of rubbing or pulling on her skin or the jacket, even after especially long and hard wear. OUR pants will be covered in mud, wet and filled with burrs. HER jacket is fresh and dry!

I also checked to see if it was too warm or cold. I feel the inside of the fabric right after taking it off on cold days – totally warm and dry. Once, it was much warmer than I thought and the dogs were running hard. I stuck my hands inside the jacket to be sure she wasn’t overheating. Totally breathable and not at all clammy hot. We sloshed around in the mud all day today – her jacket stayed dry and brushed clean, too.

We’ve torn through the department store coats – they’ve never held up to her action! Other coats don’t cover the exposed belly skin or don’t move with the dog. This fabric is perfect for both – stretchy, warm, waterproof, breathable… everything!

Thanks Ruffwear!! WE LOVE IT!

Cloud Chaser in Action


Here’s a great note from Jean and Ginger about their Geocaching adventures. Great work getting your 10,000th geocahche!

We are avid geocachers. Geocaching is a treasure hunt utilizing a handheld GPS to find hidden treasures, often on top of a mountain or deep in the woods. Our adventures take us to many interesting and exciting locations. Our Carolina Dog “Ginger” almost always accompanies us on our treks. A few months ago, we were nearing our 10,000th geocache find. We chose a challenging hike near Lake Pleasant in Arizona. The area is popular with target shooters. Ginger wore her red harness for added visibliity as she always does in situations where shooters or hunters may be present. Here is a photo of Ginger sporting her Ruffwear harness at the top of the mountain where we found our 10,000 geocache. She looks great in the harness, and it is durable and functional. Thanks for making such great dog products!

ginger at 10,000th cache


This month, our story comes from Yvonne and Phil and their four-legged friends, Biscuit and Misha. Read on to hear about their adventures in the North Woods of Wisconsin.  Thanks for sharing your tale with us!

Each September we take our annual “Road Trip” that would meet the needs and expectations of all family members: my spouse, myself, and our two girls – Biscuit (a 70 lb Lab) and Misha (an 8 lb precocious Maltese).  Our needs are quite simple: easy access to a lake or river and hiking trails. Biscuit enjoys all outdoor activities and Misha is unstoppable once we hit the trails.

This year, we chose to explore Wisconsin’s North Woods.  We stayed near Hayward, Wisconsin, known for its year round activities in water sports, fishing, hiking and cross-country skiing.  Hayward also hosts the annual American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race and the Lumberjack World Championships .  Our friends raved about the fishing possibilities: bass, walleye, musky and everything in between.  Our family simply wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of city stress.

Our destination was a cabin on the Chippewa Lake Flowage; a series of lakes, and islets, created by the damming of the Chippewa River in the 1920’s. The size and beauty of the Chippewa Lake was certainly impressive.  Being responsible boaters (if not fishermen) life preserver vests were worn. Biscuit and Misha were newly outfitted with Ruffwear’s K-9 Float Coats in dandelion yellow.

One of our adventures was to moor the boat on some of the islets and explore the beachfront and water fowl (we were lucky to observe two bald eagles grandly surveying their domain and  us). Initially, there was some concern that Biscuit or Misha could wiggle out of their vest but both of them took to the vest without hesitation and with proper adjustments, both vests fit perfectly.  We were very impressed and pleased with the quality of the vests.

Biscuit’s Float Coat was purchased for two purposes; safety (of course) and to help in her physical therapy.  Biscuit has a weak hind leg due to a damaged ACL.  Her veterinarian recommended swimming and paced walking.  The Float Coat helped with her buoyancy and she spent more than her usual time in the water!   The Float Coat turned out to be a lifesaver on this vacation, too.  After swimming around our boat a few times, we realized how difficult it would be to get Biscuit (at 70 lbs) back into the boat.  Well, the sturdy handle on the vest proved its worth!  Phil grabbed the handle and we managed to get her back on the boat without any mishap.

In addition to the various opportunities of boating and playing at fishing, we “discovered” the Chequamegon National Forest , which covers about 850,000 acres.  The terrain, fauna, wetlands and lakes are a hiker’s paradise and Misha is our trail blazer!  She has always had the stamina to keep up with the big breeds, so we brag that  “Misha runs with the big dogs”.  Although the forest has superb trails with emphasis on multi-day backpacking excursions and mountain bike trails, we chose courses suitable for day hiking and appropriate to Biscuit’s limitations.

This year, Biscuit received a Ruffwear Approach Pack in preparation for our road  trip.  She appeared to take to the pack naturally, although we accustomed her to wearing a  pack before we went on vacation.  She carried water bottles and small essentials during our hikes and once the water was consumed, Biscuit agreed to carry our binoculars, poop bags and the leashes on the return trip to the car. What a trooper.  The Approach Pack is exceedingly sturdy.  At one point, Biscuit chose to crawl beneath some fallen logs and I just grimaced, expecting some damage, if not rips to the backpack.  Well, aside from a lot of wood shavings on Biscuit and the pack, there was no harm done to canine or pack. It was another successful and fun “Road Trip” for this family.


For our latest Tales from the Trails, read on to learn how Sylvie and her humans, Paul and Brooke, came to appreciate the benefits of Ruffwear dog boots on long hikes. Thanks for sharing your tale from the trail!

Sylvie In Southern Utah with her Human Companions

Recently, my wife and I took Sylvie on the Notch Peak trail in the isolated House Range of southwestern Utah.  The hike was not longer or more strenuous than we have done in the past, but it was a hot day, and the trail was dominantly gravel.  We noticed Sylvie darting from shady area to shady area, in what we thought was her attempt to stay cool.  We gave her as much water as we could.  Because we were worried about her overheating, we turned back three miles into the hike, well before we reached the summit.  I am glad we turned back when we did.  Not only did we have a close encounter with a rattlesnake, but we were all hot and using water too quickly.

Sylvie’s Injured Paw – Ouch!

We noticed Sylvie was lagging behind and realized she was limping.  While resting in the shade, we noticed that her paws were bleeding.  We were within a mile of the trailhead when Sylvie refused to walk anymore due to the pain it caused her feet.   We managed to get her to the car, take her home, and bandage her feet.

Fully Recovered!

The next morning, we took her to the vet and got her pain medication, new bandages, and antibiotics.  She was in an intense amount of pain.  She wouldn’t eat or use the restroom.  She howled and cried.  We immediately drove to the store and bought her a set of Bark’n Boots Grip Trex boots.  Wearing the boots helped alleviate pressure and pain on her feet as they healed.  They also kept her bandaged feet clean.

Sylvie is now much better and happier.  From now on, I will always bring Sylvie’s boots with us when we go hiking.  They will prevent abrasion from hot rock surfaces and snow accumulation on winter days.  I regret not buying these boots sooner.


Here’s a story from Riley about her adventure on the way up to Revett Lake in North Idaho. Riley’s human companion and tale writer, Chris Shafer, is co-publisher for Dog About Town NW, a regional resource for pet lovers in the Northwest US. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

Riley tends to be a fairly reliable trail dog.  Typically she stays on the trail and close to me or, at least, within sight.  I am careful about where I let her go off the leash because of her unwillingness to “come” at times.  (I know I have work to do, such as to become an alpha.) Recently, on a hike to Revett Lake in North Idaho, I decided to let her go free on the trail. On the way up she did well, so walking up to the lake was relaxed and uneventful.  My human hiking companion and I admired the scenery and chatted as our dogs happily led us up the trail.

When we reached the lake, there were a number of other hiking and camping groups clustered around the shoreline.  Our small group of four located a spot by the water and Riley and I took off our packs and got comfortable. Once the boots were off, I stepped into the water and Riley joined me, no swimming for us, merely refreshing the feet and paws. Then we all had some snacks, dog and human treats. Riley was content to keep company with us as long as there was food to be had, but once that was put away, she began to find the others around us more and more interesting.  Several times I called her back.  Then she refused the call, preferring to dance around and taunt a Blue Heeler who was on a leash.  I collared her and made my apologies to the fellow hikers for the disturbance, took her back to our lovely spot next to the lake, and tethered her for the rest of our stay.

On the way back down, I decided that Riley could go free again.  After all she’d done so well on the way up.  The descent went well, at first. Then we met a family group coming up the trail. A teenager in this pack had a Cardigan Corgi on a leash.  Everyone in the approaching party was smiling and appeared to be enjoying the outing, including the Corgi.  I remarked, “Oh, it’s a Corgi.”  The matriarch of the group beamed at me and said, “You are the first person today to recognize the breed!” We started a pleasant dog-related conversation until snarling and growling and other unmistakable dog scrapping noises put our conversation to an abrupt close.  I didn’t see who started it, but my two-legged hiking companion, who was closer to Riley than I, grabbed the top of Riley’s pack and lifted her away from the smaller Corgi.  “Sorry,” I said and we all moved on, separating the two dogs as quickly as possible.  (Riley’s canine companion
Jimmy had not been involved in the squabble.)

Giving Riley the benefit of the doubt (I hadn’t seen who started the quarrel), I let her remain off of the leash.  Little did I know that things would go “down hill” from there.  Shortly after I shook off the Corgi incident, we came upon a couple sitting next to the trail eating lunch. They commented on Riley’s pack and what a good idea to have the dog carry her own food and water. They were very friendly towards the dogs, so friendly that Riley went up to the man and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then she went straight for his sandwich, which was laying on his pack in front of him.  She grabbed it in her mouth and sprang away so quickly that we were all stunned.  I think she gobbled the sandwich in midair.  (I’m still hoping it was only a half of a sandwich, but it all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to get a good look.)  As I said, these were nice people, and apparently the man wasn’t too hungry, so they laughed it off.  Thank goodness!  Again, I said, “Sorry.”  This time as I apologized for my wayward pooch, my face was very red; this redness had nothing to do with sun exposure.

With that last performance, Riley lost her privilege to be “off-leash” for the rest of the hike.  As a result, I didn’t have to make any more apologies to startled strangers that day.  Riley is starting a dog obedience course soon.  We’ll be working on her trail manners, to be sure.


Info on Revett Lake (often referred to as “Wallace’s Dog Park”)
Round Trip: 4.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Contact: Idaho Panhandle National Forests (Coeur d’Alene) Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District (208) 664-2318; http://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf
Driving Directions: From Coeur d’Alene head east on I-90 to Exit 43 (Kingston). Then follow FR 9 (Coeur d’Alene River Road) east for 38 miles all the way to Thompson Pass (turn right on Thompson Pass Road at Pritchard). Turn right into pullout and proceed to FR 266 continuing 1.2 miles to trailhead. Day use and primitive camping.

It’s often unexpected where we find our motivation. When highlighting the longest day of the year in our recent Summer Solstice Giveaway, we got in over a dozen amazing stories cataloging just exactly where you wagged your tails. Enjoy Suki and Hilary’s adventures along the Canadian Coast line as our Winner of the contest and a Web Master Harness

Ruffwear’s mission is to inspire adventure through innovative outdoor products, but today I realized the inspiration lies in more than just the backpacks and leashes. Had I not seen the contest, I probably would have treated today like any other day of the year. However, fueled by competition, Suki and I were up and on the beach while the mountains were still outlined in the bright hues of sunrise. There’s something amazing about the beach at sunrise; it’s like someone has taken the world’s color meter and dragged saturation to max. I may just need to make a habit of this.

After the hike we needed to do the less fun task of running errands, but on the return trip we stopped at another local hike. Cliff Gilker is a much more leisurely walk. At least, I imagine it would be that way for people without a dog. Suki was up and along logs, down hills, through underbrush, attempted to climb a tree in pursuit of a squirrel, and almost dragged me into a creek with her. Near the trail entrance there is a large waterfall running over sloped rock (which Suki made a point of scaling). The joie de vivre in everything Suki does adds so much more enjoyment to what would be just a walk in the woods without her.

Because she didn’t seem tired after that, we headed over to the baseball field for a game of disc. Watching Suki chase a disc can surprise people that don’t know her. She may not look like the park athlete, but man can she move fast. She’ll get going so fast, that when she tries to grab the disc off the ground her momentum will flip her right over.

When I think of summer, one thing that came to mind is barbequing. Every great summer day can be made even better with a good barbeque, and today was no exception. To make up for the calories burned Suki got a generous helping of grilled chicken with a side of curry spiced potatoes and carrots (onion and garlic free).

I would write more, but there’s a dog pawing at my arm and holding a toy in her mouth. You’d think she would be tired after today, but after a ten-minute nap she was ready to go again. I have a feeling I’ll be throwing a disc on the beach before the sun sets…

Thank you Hilary and Suki!


Las Vegas, Nevada resident Chance Poe shares her journey through the Canyonlands for our latest Tales from the Trails. Here’s her story of what was an unforgettable trip in one of the most photogenic parts of Southern Utah: 

After careful consideration, Holli (best friend of 20+ years) and I settled on a trip down the 70-mile flat-water section of the Green River. We planned to launch from the town of Green River and take out at Mineral Bottom, just below Dead Horse point in Canyonlands National Park. Our goal was a girls trip; No cell phones, beautiful birds, magnificent geologic formations, and the calm still quiet of well…quiet.

With Emmer in tow and some help from Bob at Moki Mac River Expeditions we set out on what was one of the most outstandingly beautiful trips of our lifetime…

Although our lives have changed tremendously over the past 20 years, our thirst for adventure has not. Holli has children and I have Emmer – my four-legged sidekick in life. Emmer is a new addition to my family, and just over a year old. She loves water, but had not fully embraced the concept of swimming at the time of our trip. Without hesitation, I thought of the Ruffwear product that could give Emmer her ‘doggie swim fins’. Years ago one of my friends even had a K-9 Float Coat for his ‘whitewater running’ Labrador and I remember the design and fit like it was yesterday.

Throughout the trip, Emmer became quite confident riding center of the canoe and seemed to not mind the time spent on the sandy beaches either. She spent quality time chasing mallards, running through the water with confidence, playing with driftwood sticks, and napping while we dipped our paddles and pulled through beautiful formations in awe.

Photos and story by: Chance Poe


We sent chance and Emmer a Swamp Cooler Jacket for their awesome submission! 

As we continue to highlight tales of happy, dusty dogs returning from the wilderness with their human companions, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our latest Tales from the Trails blog post from Catie and Zack. With the loving companionship of Sonora and Monty, they report in with beautiful photos and words of some of their latest travels. To read more, click here.  

Off they go!

This past summer my husband and I decided to take 2 months off from regular life and camp the west coast of the US and parts of Canada with our two dogs, Sonora and Monty. Both rescues from Southern California shelters and experienced in the mild camping and hiking climate of the area, we were curious to see how well they would do in the mountains, wet weather and snow! Turns out they did quite well with a little help from some gear, but those wild animals like Sage Grouse?-terrifying!

Sometimes we just took off our hiking packs and stopped to smell the flowers (here in Teton National Forest, Wyoming).

Sonora keeping an eye out for those terrifying Pikas around the Columbian Icefield.

The dogs packed almost as much gear as we did- they are city dogs after all. As we headed north we hit more and more snowpack from the record 2011 winter and while Monty with his thick white coat was quite at home in the snow and ice, Sonora, with her short fur decided she needed another layer of warmth around Seattle and we picked up an additional Ruff Wear jacket.

When you spend all day running playing Wild Things on the beach, it is nice to have a bed to ‘flop’ down on at the campsite. (Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park)

It’s like she is trying to be a Ruff Wear model.

Thanks again to Caite and Zack for the great submission! As a Thank You, we’d love to send you a Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad!

Sage and Britta take on the winter deserts of Utah:

By: Britta Trepp

The snow was taking its sweet time getting to Utah, so Sage and I decided to join some friends down in Torrey, UT for a weekend of cabin dwelling, hiking, climbing, and natural spring soaking.

The first day Sage and company went hiking in Lower Calf Creek.  As always, Sage’s enthusiasm for the outdoors was contagious as she was sprinting in almost all directions at once and bounded through the snow that remained on the red rock.

Sage believes she is the designer of every hike or trail run in which she participates, so naturally she likes to be about 50 meters in front of everyone.  When squirrels, birds, or other vermin distract her, she tends to lose the lead, but it is never long before her speed is showcased as she sprints to the front of the pack once again.  Sage is one tough pup and Ruffwear can keep up!  Her pack always carries a first aid kit for both her and her human friends, dog treats and kibble, water, and typically her owner’s extra clothes.

As a special thanks to Sage and Britta for sharing their wonderful adventure with our Tales from the Trails blog, we sent Sage out something she’s wanted for some time: The perfect backpacking bed.

Sage will be receiving a Highlands bed to keep her warm and protected on the cold nights where dew collects on her whiskers.

Rumple and I

By Kolin Powick                                          “Rumple is RAD – Fact”

Seeing as Ellen is in France, and I’m injured (again) – I decided to take Rumple for a hike, and an overnight camping trip up to Lone Peak. We left in the afternoon, and found wet snow on the ridge – so I decided to find high ground and set up camp.

Rumple thinks he’s tough but isn’t. He was ‘guarding’ our camp, and all of a sudden would let out some barks – pretty much scaring himself.

Rumple in his Quinzee™ Jacket

And then when it was time for bed – Rumple in the tent is hilarious – he starts off fine, and then decides that he wants to crawl inside your sleeping  bag with you – sooo funny.

At the end of the day Rumple follows Kolin and Ellen everywhere. From running, hiking, climbing, and camping, to accompanying Kolin at the office, Rumple lives the life. You can follow Kolin, Rumple, and Ellen on their blog here.

Just another day at the Black Diamond Office…

For Rumple’s contribution to the newest page on our blog, we sent off a couple of his all time favorites – The Lunker and The Gourdo.

Do you have something to bark about? We’re all ears!

We want to hear about your stories, see your photos, and share the adventures that you’ve had with your four-legged friends.

To submit a story to Tales from the Trails, please email photos/video/text to marketing@ruffwear.com. Stories that are selected will be featured on our Ruffwear’s blog and shared with the world!

Each selected blogger will receive something special from Ruffwear as our thanks for sharing your story.

In your submission, please include the following:

Full Name

Phone number


Name of Dog

Girth and Length of Dog

All photos/video and text are subject to eligibility review by the Ruffwear pack. By submitting stories and photos/video, entrants give Ruffwear permission to use the photos/video and text on Facebook and on ruffwear.com.


  1. After the go signal for your vet, the next step is to find the appropriate male to mate with your dog. Make sure the dog that you choose is healthy, and you should verify with his owner that he is of a pure bloodline so that you will get good puppies. Mating is best works if you bring your female to the male, even if your dog came from middle dog breeds, and the male is from the small dog breeds. This is because the male needs to be comfortable in order to perform his task, which he usually does in his own territory.

  2. Andrea · · Reply

    HI there,
    I’m wondering what size Betty the french bulldog wears in the swamp cooler vest? I’d like to get one for my french bulldog but as you know, often their measurements don’t fit into the standard size charts provided! Thank you!

    1. Emil Løvenwald-Bentzen · · Reply

      Hi Andrea
      Betty Wears a size S. but a normal size Frenchie would probable need a size M bechause of the neck size.
      Best regards
      Emil And Betty :)

  3. [...] month I entered a contest to win Ruff Wear’s new harness, and to my surprise we actually won! Yesterday the harness arrived in the mail. I’ve used their old model so I figured a review was [...]

  4. [...] We have long been big fans of Ruff Wear Gear for our kids and were so excited when they were chosen to be featured on the Ruff Wear Tales from the Trails Blog section, check it out! [...]

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