1) If you have something that shouldn’t freeze over night, keep it in your pocket of the clothes you are wearing. Your body heat will help keep it from freezing. I learned this after having some contact lenses freeze in their case.

You might also want to keep a water bottle in your sleeping bag if you are afraid you won’t have any drinking water when you wake up.

2) After showering the morning of your hike make sure and rub your entire body with a good high quality moisturizer in the winter and a good water/sweat proof at other times.

3) I will be testing this one in the mountains of NC this weekend. Unless you can afford the expensive dog coats that cost $60 and up to keep your canine companion warm, I went to Goodwill and bought my Labrador a child’s good quality fitted sweatshirt with a fitted waist for less that $4.00.

Most of the dog clothes you buy at a regular retail store are for looks, not warmth. Also, I am carrying her four children’s size socks to wear at night in the tent.

Before deciding to take her camping with me I researched dog first aid. For example tylenol and ibuprofin are both poisonous to dogs. Imodium AD can be poisonous for some dogs, especially collies. Most dogs can safely take pepto bismol, aspirin, and benedryl.

I added several items to my first aid kit specifically for her. Liquid bandage to seal pad wounds, and a wound sealer/blood stopper if she stabs herself. Also, I read that a lot of dogs do not like water purified with tablets because of the taste. So I added some chicken bullion cubes to our kit. They take up very little room.

Not to offend anyone, but one of the most important things a female backpacker can take for hygiene are panty liners. Nobody wants to strip in the winter and these make it easy to keep things fresh anytime. One of my fellow backpackers was talking about designing some ladies underwear that could be secured on the sides, kind of like a babies diaper. I said no need. These liners are really all you need.

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