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You Are Backcountry: The Marvelous Hounds of’s online community encompasses passionate wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, athletes … and dogs. Get the rundown on the raddest happenings within the community in You Are Backcountry, your connection to the best reviews, product photos, and videos created by the savviest outdoor experts around.

In this installment we celebrate outstanding canine community members. Grab a bone and revel in the adventures of the dogs of Backcountry. If you think your pup is worthy, learn how to submit your pooch for consideration below.


Community MVP Brandon Riza probably owns the most photogenic canines you’ll ever lay eyes on. Brandon equips his pup Neutron (aka Noot) with a Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Softshell when exploring the California Sierras in winter months (read the review, it’s hilarious). The softshell protects Noot’s belly fur, which otherwise collects sizeable snowballs in the deep snowpack.  Brandon says, “Watching Neutron try to walk with 14 cantaloupe-sized ice balls hanging from the fur between her four legs … the look on her face … so funny. Poor girl.” If dog photos on the Internet are your thing, check out Neutron’s photo gallery as well as that of her sister, Kali, on Brandon’s website.


Gear hack alert for humans who enjoy backpacking and must wrangle both mutts and babies: George Vaughan straps garbage and dirty diapers to his pup’s Ruffwear Palisades Pack to avoid having to sniff them on the hike out. In this way, George explains, your canine friend can help you pack out the smelly stuff while you enjoy an odor-free trek.

BCdog2 employee Sam P. gives his mutts Whiskey and Guinness a run around Millcreek Canyon, Utah with the Ruffwear Hover Craft Dog Toy. Much like the beverages they’re named after, these dogs play very well together.

bcdog3 athlete Steph Davis is the proud owner of this cattle dog mutt, Cajun, who she found starving below a cell tower on a remote Navajo reservation. Steph dresses Cajun in the Ruffwear Quinzee Insulated Dog Jacket when climbing or BASE jumping during brisk winter months in Moab. Cajun is a fine crag dog, waiting patiently at the bottom of multi-pitch climbing routes, but she will run to the landing area as soon as she sees Steph deploy a parachute when BASE jumping is the order of the day.

If Steph tosses a piece of grass, Cajun will leap into a barrel roll, catching some big air. She must take after her human.


Cajun gets some serious hang time…as does her mom.
Photo credit: Steph Davis(L), Tommy Chandler(R)


Pictured above in the Wind Rivers, Gearhead Mike C.’s Australian shepherd mix Hueco is an accomplished backcountry skier. Stretching his back legs out flat on the snow surface Hueco uses his front paws to swim, sliding down the slope like a sled. Hell-bent on revolutionizing the sport of skiing, Hueco is bound to push the discipline to new limits with his raw talent and passion for the sport. He’s one to keep an eye on.

Bcdog7Kayli the noble Siberian husky dog stands at attention, guarding the Marmot Alpinist Tent of her human Ben Hawk while camping near Telluride, Colorado this fall.

Bcdog8 Gearhead Kayla’s Newfoundland puppy Camber would rather just play tug with her Ruffwear Knot-A-Leash. Camber will eat anything in sight, Kayla claims, including approximately 20 jalapeño peppers from the garden. She must have an iron-clad stomach, as Kayla reports no ill effects from Camber’s spicy garden feast. We’ll consider that a piece of good fortune as the fallout could have left Camber dirtier than you see her pictured here!


Meet the standard poodle Deso, named after Desolation Canyon where Danny and his wife piloted rafts down the Green River. Pictured wearing the Ruffwear Palisades Pack and sporting matching Bark’n Boots, Deso is the best-accessorized dog on Backcountry. He enjoys riding with the windows down, full-body hugs, and long walks in the snow.


If you want to follow the varied adventures of El Scotto’s 5-year-old Dalmatian-pit bull mix Gracie Allen, just search #thegracieallen on Instagram. Here she tests out the flotation on the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat.

gourdo-toyAll the dogs featured in this article will receive a Ruffwear Gourdo Dog Toy from the Community Team. If you think your pooch has what it takes to be featured in our next installment, upload your pictures to a gear product page on and e-mail submissions to our Community Manager Lexi D.


Mountain Dogs: An Ode to Camping With Canines
Community Connection: Brandon Riza on Climbing, Sporks, and Being a Skate Punk


Dog Packs & Accessories