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It Started as a Dream

The summer of 2016, Phoenix and I summited our tenth 14er together. He was 10 years old. I knew it would be his last big mountain, but it wasn’t going to be the last of our adventures together.

Throughout 2017 we set out on beautiful hikes (that did not include a 5,000 foot elevation gain). We found a new enjoyment in shorter trails that were much easier on Phoenix’s arthritis. It was important for us to find a balance between keeping him active but not overdoing it.

When preparing for a mammoth of a mountain, I would get a large backpack all set for the day with food and water for both myself and the dogs, plenty of extra layers and some safety items. Setting out for smaller day-hikes, I found that I was still grabbing plenty of items to be prepared for the trail. With a senior dog and a pup in training, water and treats were still just as important! Being on heavily trafficked trails in town also solidified the importance of always cleaning up and not leaving the bag to pick up later. They get forgotten and become a nuisance when they start to add up.

At about that same time, Lander was diagnosed with an eye disease and thanks to the wonderful online dog community we had become a part of, we had heard Rex Specs could help tremendously.

The innovative spirit of Rex Specs, other inspiring small companies, and our need for a helpful hiking pack got me thinking on how to improve our predicament. I was frequently grabbing a small pack as well as a few other types of bags for the dogs. I really kept wanting to be able to grab one pack that had all of these features ready to go! And so… pattern development began!

I grew up spending hours watching my mom sew and have always been intrigued by patterns. Using the pattern I had pieced together, we spent weekends sewing, problem-solving, designing, laughing and hitting some tough spots as well. It will be such a cherished time to look back upon.

We took our work to the next step and began working with a professional pack sewer and are so excited to be able to offer this tool to the dog community!

The Phoenix 14 (a tribute to him!) has 14 liters of main pack space and is water bladder compatible. Perfect for day-hikes without being overloaded. The waist pouches are there for your pup, housing treats, waste bags and zip-out liners to help keep things clean. With a double lined pocket, they also serve as a place to put a used waste bag out of sight and out of mind. A carabiner leash loop provides a place to hook your leash for short hands-free needs!

The shoulder straps also get to work providing a place for keys, sunglasses, large phones, and ID/cards without needing to stop and unpack. After losing sunglasses on a mountain when I didn’t take the time to stop, I knew that had to be one of the solutions within this pack. We all know how difficult needing to stop and unpack with a pup anxiously waiting to keep going can be!

Having these tools all ready to go has been so helpful with training, clean-up, and refueling while out on the trail and we can’t wait to get this pack ready for you all!

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