Gavin hasn't been on a serious trip for over 5 years, before he had his cancer/surgeries/radiation. This weekend is going to be a shirt trip to see how he does. My biggest concerns are heat (he is almost 12) and how is paw holds up. His paw was radiated to treat his cancer and is mostly hairless. As a result, the skin is more sensitive and his pads and paw in general gets cuts more easily. He has had pratise walks with his booties on and has done well. He's also done practise hikes for 2 1/2 hours as well. The hike in (and out) is about 9 miles with lots of lakes. The lakes are a must to help him cool down. I am hoping we get most of the hiking done in the morning before it warms up (mid 70s are the high) and he will definitely not be wearing a pack, just a ruffwear harness Here's to hoping I won't be carrying a 35 lb dog out in my backpack!