This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!


Member Since
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 4:24pm PST 
I'd like to take Otis on some backpacking trips this summer. He usually eats raw with the addition of some kibble in one of those food dispenser toys. Has anyone come up with a good option for backpacking besides just switching to kibble for a few days?

How You Doin'?
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 4:42pm PST 
Freeze-dried raw if a cooler is not an option?

Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 5:18pm PST 
For backpacking? Not really. I thought of maybe a small softsided cooler with a bit of dry ice in it, but that would only work for short trips like an overnighter. For a longer trip, I will use something like Ziwipeak or The Honest Kitchen, usually with some canned fish thrown in.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 7:51pm PST 
I posted a similar question yesterday. Someone suggested pemmican which I'm currently looking into. It seems like that may be a viable option, it's basically a mixture of dried powdered meat and fat. Maybe mix some bonemeal in. I also started dehydrating some beef heart and liver today and got a ton of pork roast on sale so I'm going to make some pork jerky tomorrow, along with beef and chicken when I find a good sale. I'll be testing everything at home before hitting the trail, I don't want any rocket butt surprises out in the middle of nowhere. The jerky will be tested after being rehydrated.

I haven't found much on feeding raw while backpacking... I know that for day 1, I can pack in enough frozen-solid meat for that night's meal, but I usually go backpacking for at least 3 days so that doesnt help too much. Freeze dried commercial diets are too pricey and canned foods are too heavy. I read that I can freeze dry meat at home with the help of some dry ice, so that's something else to try.

If anyone is interested, I can let you know how my experiments turn out.

Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 8:35pm PST 
I am interested, that sounds like something I'd probably try.

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 10:13pm PST 
Depends how long.

If its only for 2-3 days then I just gorge before.

If it's a week or longer I feed the dogs whatever I'm having every other day, or they go without. They'll be fine. Canines (as well as humans, really) are built OK for periods without food.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sat Jun 23, '12 6:23am PST 
It is possible to carry fresh food for three days if you want to carry the weight. Pack individual meals in bags and freeze together so they take up less room and insulate one another. Have a bag separate so it does defrost on the trip to the first night's stay and feed. The others should be wrapped in a leak proof bag and then something insulating like a jacket. The next night the food should be partly thawed and the night after that probably warm but fine. Then when you get home have a prepacked bag in the freezer that can be quick thawed in water for dinner.

Since we are in bear country we hung smelly stuff from a line between trees or in bear lockers and food is forbidden near the tents. [If you take some nice energetic teenaged girl scouts with you they are great bear deterrents too. My daughter left a bag of gorp outside her tent at Hetch Hetchy where the bad bears from Yosemite Valley get exiled and the bears didn't dare touch it.]

When Sassy went with us she lost huge amounts of weight on 1.5x her usual kibble plus pot washing duty and we never went far or long on backpacking trips. She probably got fewer actual miles in then at home as we were always out on 6-8 mile walks daily and on trips went all of 2-3 miles a day! Max gets upset tummies at any change in routine. I wouldn't want to risk the dog collapsing if there isn't any food with all that extra exercise. If you do like the idea of gorging then practice that before a real trip. Gorge, take a nice long day hike and no food that night. And you cannot gorge unless you work up to it which takes a couple months to do safely.

Barked: Sat Jun 23, '12 10:41am PST 
I would never not give my dogs food on a hike. They burn way too much energy, hiking 10 miles in one day, over a period of several days, and carrying all their stuff in packs, as well as side-hikes and whatever play they may do in-between. They'd lose too much weight for me to be comfortable doing that. If I can't feed them, I'm either not bringing them, or not going.

I live in bear country too, so all that's gotta be hung up nice and high if bear boxes are not available. I don't usually take a very thick rope with me, so whatever's going into the bear bags usually has to be somewhat light weight. On longer trips, I'll splurge and buy dehydrated food, but for shorter trips, I'll just hope the rope will hold the weight of frozen raw.

Edited by author Sat Jun 23, '12 10:43am PST


I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Tue Jun 26, '12 5:48pm PST 
I personally wouldn't gorge my dog prior to a big hike as I've found that Rexy tends to be a bit sluggish the day after a gorge, as well as gassy (and I am not keen to share a tent with a fart machine!! laugh out loud ).

When we hike we feed kibble. shock
It's easy to pack, easy to store, doesn't leak, and keeps well. Works for Rexy and works for me!