From bustling Manhattan to isolated mountain ranges, a GPS tracker made the journey carefree
My dog is the center of my universe. She is by far, the most important cargo in my life – precious cargo, that I would never – ever – want to lose. I’m an urban millennial dog-mom, so make no mistake – when I say this dog is my fur-baby, what I really mean is that she is my baby.
Our day to day life is very typically urban – we are based out of a small Manhattan apartment, our walks are around the neighborhood, we spend the mornings in the café garden of our local pet-friendly luxe hotel, we get around on the subway and we bark at the doorbell for every Amazon package and Seamless delivery of my lunch.
But we are also avid lovers of the outdoors, we love the mountains and hiking. I grew up in a small country town with a lot of space around me, so I crave the refreshing balance of nature whenever I get the opportunity to be a part of it. It gives me quiet, perspective and creative inspiration. It also reminds me that we are all very small parts of a much greater eco-system.
I have a personal goal to solo hike the length of Switzerland – from the French border to the Licehenstein border – through the Alps (I’m 40% down already!). And whilst it’s a challenge that I would like to achieve alone, bringing Rosa along with me, only added to my feeling of excitement – but also challenge…I had not traveled overseas with her alone, nor had I taken her up into the mountains. But considering 80% of Americans believe their pet brings them more happiness and 70% of Americans already travel with their dogs, I knew that Rosa would incredibly enhance my experience hiking the alps.
Generally, her Manhattan attire consists of leather dog jackets and silk bandanas – a very Wolfpack style, the brand I created in her honor – but I knew straight away what she needed for this trip – a great GPS device. We are an off-leash family as much as possible and this dog loves to run, to explore, to sniff, to fetch and we encourage this as much as possible – sometimes incurring a New York City fine or two. But the mountains are dramatic, rough and inherently risky – especially when the plan is to take on isolated alpine passes and traverse through roving herds of cattle.
I’m not new to location based systems, in a past life I studied as an undergraduate in Geomatic Engineering at Melbourne University. I had an appreciation for spatial information back in the days before Google Maps became cool, gosh, perhaps before it was even really heard of. Anyway, the impetus was there, I was not going to brave a long-haul flight with my mini poodle, only to lose her on our first hike – so a few google searches later, I’d ordered a GPS device.
I couldn’t have been happier with our GPS device. I set it up to take interval readings of Rosa’s location – what was critical to me was that the worst case scenario was mitigated. If I was separated from her late in the afternoon and I was too far from a village and I had to keep going alone, being forced to wait until morning to search for her – I needed to know that the battery would go the distance. And it did – with flying colors. Each time I went to charge it, the battery was still about ¾ charged and the device was lighter to carry than any other tech gadget I had with me. I held on the power button, slipped it straight over her harness with a strong clip and that was it.
We had our moments – scrambling up the mountain side, slipping between barbed wire fences in our very own version of Running of Bulls – but knowing that I could find Rosa wherever she went kept my anxiety at bay, you know as much as you can suppress a highly-strung dog-mom anyway! It will be a must take item on our next vacay and given it works in like 60 countries, I’m thinking maybe the Canadian Rockies or the Norwegian Fjords next.
And perhaps I could leave half of the unnecessary crap at home, considering I had to ditch half my luggage anyway…
Written by Wolfpack founder
This blog post was written on a sunny day, in the garden of the pet-friendly High Line Hotel in Chelsea by Hayley Whitfield, founder of Wolfpack NYC, a luxury dog fashion brand. It is a part of a series of Wolfpack’s travel to Switzerland, see also Rosa’s feature in Fido-Friendly magazine and Wolfpack’s top 5 reasons why Switzerland must be your next vacay.
Often consumed by wanderlust, Hayley loves to explore the world with her fur-baby Rosa. She finds creative inspiration in the discovery of new places and loves to share her experience with other dog-lovers.
We Recommend Trax
On this vacation, we used Trax GPS device and absolutely loved its light weight, long battery, user-friendly app, and the fact that it works in over 60 countries. Rosa and I are excited to use Trax again on our next trek!