As the weather turns more pleasant, more and more backpackers are bringing their four-legged friends on travel and backcountry adventures. This may seem counterintuitive; responsibility is the most crucial aspect of being a backcountry adventurer, and hikers must be prepared to both protect themselves and assist others in emergency situations. As a result, there has been a spike in dog rescue calls from backcountry enthusiasts ill-equipped to handle their dogs’ emergencies.
Enter: Fido Pro, a Carbondale-based company building backcountry gear for dogs. Paul Hoskinson, the founder of Fido Pro, says their products are developed with two primary goals: “To assist you in saving your dog should it become sick or injured in the backcountry and to help prevent injury from occurring.” Hoskinson, himself a backcountry skier, ultra-marathon trail runner, climber, and mountaineer, created the company out of personal need.
Hoskinson has undertaken countless backcountry adventures with his two German Shorthaired Pointers. In 2017, Hoskinson had an accident. On Memorial Day weekend, he and his dog, Remi, were backcountry skiing with a group of friends. They spent several hours ascending the bowl. After dropping in, Hoskinson realized that Remi quickly caught up; after a series of turns, he felt one of his skis collide with Remi. After stopping to take a closer look, he realized the ski had caused a deep gash on her leg.
Luckily, Hoskinson and his friends had the knowledge to tend to the dog’s wound. After wrapping the gash and squeezing Remi into an empty backpack, they began the long ascent out of the bowl to find professional medical help. After a couple of months, the two were back on the trails together.
Hoskinson wants people in his situation to be better prepared to take care of their dogs when things go wrong. His company is the first step toward backcountry dog preparation and survival.