Field Safety Prep with Pine Irwin

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Pine Irwin about field safety prep.

Science Highlight: None this week 

Classes to Consider:

⁠Wilderness First Responder, WFR⁠

⁠Trap Release Workshop⁠

⁠Canine CPR⁠

Before You Go:

  • Check weather
  • Check terrain for water access, gullies, cliffs, other hazards
  • Learn about wildlife – snakes, predators, big herbivores, cattle, loose dogs. What are the risks with them? What can be done to mitigate these risks?
  • Check where property lines are in case of private property crossings.
  • Nearest emergency vet
  • Nearest emergency room
  • ⁠Permethrin⁠ clothes as needed
  • Add ⁠Seresto collar⁠ as needed (we use in addition to Bravecto)
  • Spray dog with ⁠Show Sheen⁠ to reduce burr/foxtail collection as needed
  • Double-check medications and gear to ensure nothing is expired, damaged, or missing

On The Dog:

In The Hip Pack/Fanny Pack:

In The Backpack:

First Aid Kit:

In Pack:

Links Mentioned in the Episode: 

⁠Snake Bite Support Group⁠

Where to find Pine: ⁠Facebook⁠ | ⁠Instagram⁠ | Website 

You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at ⁠⁠

⁠K9 Conservationists Website⁠ | ⁠Merch⁠ | ⁠Support Our Work⁠ | ⁠Facebook⁠ | ⁠Instagram⁠ | ⁠TikTok

Transcript (AI-Generated)

Kayla Fratt  00:09

Hello, and welcome to the K9Conservationists podcast, where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs. Join us every week to discuss detection, training, canine welfare, conservation, biology and everything in between. I’m Kayla Fratt, one of the cofounders of K9Conservationists, where we train dogs to detect data for land managers, researchers, agencies and NGOs.

Kayla Fratt  00:28

So today I’m here talking to Pine Irwin about safety and preparation for safety for our dogs in the field. This is kicking off a another series that we’re going to be doing on the show where we’re going to be talking about tick borne diseases, giardia, algae blooms, snake bites, snake aversion, or avoidance, all sorts of good stuff.

Kayla Fratt  00:48

So Pine and I are going to be starting out with kind of how to research where you’re going, how to pack your bag appropriately and kind of preparedness. This is like our K9Conservationists prepper episode. So Pine, why don’t you jump in? I know you’ve been on the show before, but tell people a little bit about where you’re from what you do. And yeah, maybe the dogs you share your life with.

Pine Irwin  01:09

Hi Kayla, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. My name is Pine Irwin, I’m a certified trainer and behavior consultant based out of Boise, Idaho – Meridian, Idaho, suburb. I work primarily with behavior cases these days, but I also trained dogs for the trail for backpacking, camping, kayaking, mountain biking, if you can do it with the dog in the outdoors, I do it. I love doing that. It’s one of my favorite things. So that’s kind of the focus of my my training for skill set side of what I do. And then the other side of what I do is I work with aggression cases and behavior cases and things like that. So and I share my dog my life with four dogs, three rescue dogs and a purebred English Shepherd. My rescue dogs include a formerly feral rez dog as well, who if you follow me on any social media, you see some of her antics.

Kayla Fratt  02:07

Yeah, she’s, she’s entertaining, we’ll say that. So yeah, why don’t we start out with the kind of “before you go”. So as you’re starting to research where you’re going, what are some of the things that you’re thinking about as far as kind of planning for a safe excursion? And I’ll jump in, if there’s any other ideas that I have that you’ve missed.

Pine Irwin  02:27

So the first thing I like to do is figure out where water is going to be accessible. Whether or not whether water is going to be accessible, no matter where I’m headed. Water is probably, especially this time of year, because we’re here in Idaho, it’s dead of summer, it’s 98+ degrees most days. So I always really want to be cognizant about water, water is something that’s super important for me access to water for the dogs. So that’s like step one. Is there water access in this area? And then from there, I like to try to pick my trails based on what is my expected distance, what’s my expected time, what’s my expected elevation gain and loss. And then again, you know, is trail a in this area got good access to water, that will probably be the trail I would select over trail be unless it was, you know, other factors. So and then it just becomes like, where do I want to go? Okay, this is the area I want to go.

Pine Irwin  03:26

And then I start pulling maps. AllTrails is a great resource, but I actually really like Onyx. And I use Onyx in conjunction with AllTrails, or I have a friend who works for the BLM. So sometimes I piggyback off of her. Her, her government issued satellite map reading applications. I’ll piggyback off of those, but I like to cross reference Onyx, with AllTrails. Where I’m at, there’s a lot of BLM land, but there’s also a lot of private land that you want to be kind of careful, like you’re walking through private land to be mindful of that.

Kayla Fratt  04:02

Yeah, yeah. So I think for me, maybe because I’m going potentially even farther afield than you are one of the first things I’m thinking about. I guess the first thing, which isn’t necessarily always the most important, but the first thing I like to ask about are other animals that I might need to be worried about in a particular area. So this is where I’m asking our project partners. Hey, are there free range cattle around here? Do we have rattlesnakes? Do we have bison? Do we have grizzly bears?

Kayla Fratt  04:33

You know, when we were going down to Guatemala earlier this year, it’s kind of like so, you know, peccaries Jaguars? Are we worried about any of those guys? You know, like, because everyone asks, you know, when you say that, you’re gonna go search for Jaguar poop. People are asking if you’re scared of the Jaguars. And, you know, my first response was always kind of like, oh, no, no, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. You know, that’s when I, you know, I started asking the project partners like, hey, you know, I know it’s really unlikely that we see them, but what are the risks? You know, do we know anything about how they tend to interact with dogs.

Kayla Fratt  05:07

And that came really into play when we were in Kenya, where we learned from our project partners with Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, that elephants will target dogs and are particularly aggressive towards dogs. So those are really good things to know. And that’s where, you know, for us in our line of work, talking to the locals and talking to our project partners is really important. So like our recent California project, they were like, “Yeah, you know, the Rattlesnakes are out, we’ve seen a fair few, they seem to pretty much hang out along the fence line, and particularly around gates.” I was like, okay, cool. That’s good to know, we’ll be extra careful in those areas. You know, we’re obviously always careful with snakes, we have a very healthy respect for snakes, but really kind of getting the lay of the land with predators, or, you know, venomous or other hazardous animals is one of the first things then from there, you know, asking questions about the climate and other hazards.

Kayla Fratt  06:00

Sometimes our project partners will offer information like, you know, telling us that the foxtails had been really bad this season or something like that. But we’re also kind of constantly adding things to our list of questions that we’ll ask them because, you know, we were lucky in California, they knew to tell us that the foxtails were bad, but sometimes people don’t know. So I see you, you’re not hypnotic. Why don’t you jump in with anything else that’s come to you?

Pine Irwin  06:21

Well, we live in foxtail and cheatgrass central, and it’s an invasive species, and it takes over and it spreads like wildfire. And it is a thing that we have to like when I’m leading, you know, when I’m leading hikes with new people who are moving here, you know, it’s something we have to tell them about, we’re just saying check their feet. You know, this that and the other thing I have worked with several people who’ve actually resorted to using the outfoxed hoods, they work great, by the way, they’re incredible. Because they had dogs, who would chew on the grass and stuff and then swallow cheatgrass or foxtails, and then now we have a whole new set of problems. You know, it’s stuff like that.

Pine Irwin  07:00

And it’s, it’s difficult, it can be difficult because locals don’t necessarily if we’re if I’m traveling to a different state, the locals don’t necessarily know to tell me to look out for things because to them, it’s just like, of course, of course, you would look out for that. So I you know, even I sometimes like I goes, people will ask me like, Well, what about bears? And I’m like, Well, what about them? Like, they’re like, aren’t you worried? And I was like, not really, you know, we’re not going so high up that we need to worry about the grizzly bears, there’s only black bears in this area. And they typically leave us alone, you know, and all this other stuff.

Pine Irwin  07:33

But for somebody who’s new to an area who’s never had to deal with anything like that, it can be really challenging for them to know how to handle it. So talking to somebody who is is really experienced in the outdoors in that area? is a good question. My number one tip and advice for people about because we do have rattlesnakes here, we have Timber Rattlers, which are fairly non aggressive unless you really start to really kind of come in contact. Yeah, they don’t like they don’t attack from the bushes, you know, they’re usually only a really a problem if you get right up in their business. But we do have them here. People ask me like, Well, what do you do? What do you do? Because of course, the question comes up about avoidance, training and things like that. And I have very strong opinions about that. And then it’s not terribly reliable and very harmful. You know, I tell them just know what you’re expecting to face and know where the problem wildlife and problem fauna.

Pine Irwin  08:31

And because of where I live, we also have problems geography, geology, we have hot springs that come up in certain areas, we have, you know, really nasty shale and scree fields to cross in certain areas, we have cliff faces and others, like, know where those problems are. If you know, to anybody who’s listening, who’s thinking like, well, I want to take a backpacking trip through Colorado, go to wait probably not your local library, if you’re not from Colorado, get on Amazon, or a local bookshop and have them order your books about the area for hiking and things like that. You know, and then, of course, you know, Kayla’s in another country. When I lived in Belize, we only saw one Jaguar, and really didn’t even see the Jaguar. We just saw the eyes at night when we were caving looking for bats. So yeah.

Kayla Fratt  09:20

We saw one, and it crossed the road or across the trail, you know, a couple 100 meters down from us. I was rewarding Niffler and actually threw the ball at the Jaguar. Before I saw it was luckily totally fine. Niffler and the Jaguar did not come into contact in any way and it kind of looked at us and then you know, disappeared. It was not interested.

Kayla Fratt  09:45

Yeah, I think I you know, whether, you know, I’m always checking the weather, particularly when I’m looking at places that I’ve never been before. I’m not great about checking the weather when I live somewhere, because I have this false belief that if I can look out my window now I can get So it’s going to be in a week. And that’s obviously not true. But at least in when you’re familiar with an area, you broadly know, more or less what to expect next week. Even if you’re not checking the weather, you know, people are just people, you absorb it through osmosis people saying it’s gonna be really hot next week, or it’s gonna break next week.

Kayla Fratt  10:19

When we were prepping for California, I had never been to Santa Barbara. And I was like, How hot is it gonna be? When does it get hot? You know? And they were like, Oh, the marine layer doesn’t really burn off till noon. And I was like, oh, okay, great. That’s good to know. Like, again, I could have and did check the weather. But it was also just nice to talk to the locals and have them say, Yeah, you know, it’s mid to Southern California, but it’s still not the temperatures are not something you need to worry about the way that I kind of thought that we might.

Pine Irwin  10:46

Yeah, yeah, I mean, and that’s, that’s so important. Yeah. Like, locally, when I’m hiking in my local region, you kind of know, like, what the weather or what the weather pattern predictability is, you know, like, I’m kind of know here, we’re approaching August, it’s just pot sucks. It’s hot. It’s hot every day. It’s hot every night. It’s just hot.

Pine Irwin  11:07

But like when I was traveling through, like, when I was doing my last trip down into Utah, we actually I had planned to hike through some of the canyon lands. But I hadn’t realized that it was planning to rain that week. And of course, I can’t like reschedule my whole trip, because like my whole life was arranged around taking the trip during this time. Right. So but I definitely had to make sure that I just didn’t go during those days, because the flash flooding is a real problem there and the canyon, totally, you know, and it rains while I was there. And so it was just like, well, scratch that we’ll do something else.

Pine Irwin  11:39

So knowing your weather pattern is really important, particularly if you’re planning on being out for multiple days. Or if you’re in an area where there are flash flood warnings or if you know, like, if you’re hiking out in the desert, and it’s planning, you know, and it drops 3040 degrees at night. That’s a real problem. Even if you’re not planning to be overnight, if you for some reason end up out there overnight, not being prepared for that, you know, so just always know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and you don’t have to have the whole plan. You know, but those who plan tend to do better off. If you ever watch any of those I love to watch those disaster shows. Okay, barely got out alive or whatever. It’s like a guilty pleasure. And my mom used to watch them a lot and then call me in hysterics because she thought I was gonna die in the wilderness because I always take off. I’m just like, I’m going I’ll see, I’ll be back.

Pine Irwin  12:35

But you know, the biggest consistent thing about being able to survive when everything goes awry is having a plan. And knowing where you’re at and what you’re doing. And the people who don’t have those things end up in a lot of trouble. Yeah, exactly. Know where you’re headed. know, when you’re headed, know when you’re going to be back or when you expect to be back. So that, you know, your friends and family do know when to call

Kayla Fratt  13:00

Yeah, I mean, I just did that last night. I’m here in Oaxaca, Mexico, and I, I was going out dancing, and I am luckily staying with the Airbnb host. Like they actually live here. And I was like, “Hey, I’m going to this bar. I don’t expect to be out super late. I’m not gonna I don’t know exactly when to be back. But like, I’m not planning on not coming home tonight. So just just you’ve got that info now.” And I think that’s, you know, maybe the last thing I will do is we will look up a local vet, a local emergency vet, local er and have those things ready for our bigger projects. That’s not something I do for like my average hikes. Maybe I should for backpacking trips. But when we’re kind of going for official work, we do pull out those, you know, make sure we’ve got that printed out and in our binders or take a screenshot and have it on our phones.

Kayla Fratt  13:49

And we actually did we ended up needing to go to the emergency vet when we’re in California to get a foxtail out of Scotties nose. Which was something that really bummed me out because we had done the fox, the outfox training and had gotten him used to working in the outfox. And then I didn’t put it on him because it was a very heavy sagebrush area and it didn’t look like it was going, it didn’t look like it was going to be a problem. And you know, clearly it was –

Pine Irwin  14:13

I have a I have a trick for that. It’s not the most positive experience but in an emergency, you kind of waterboard them a little bit basically and you get the water up their nose and I typically just fill a container and stick it in there. And when they get the water up their nose, they snort really heavily and it lubricates the nostrils and as long as the cheek grass hasn’t gotten too far back and too far off, sneeze it out at that point. So

Kayla Fratt  14:42

We’ll get into this and again, because we actually did we so we tried this and we’re not successful partially because of some handling stuff that Scotty has, and he’s not my dog. So my relationship with him wasn’t quite strong enough to push this, but I have a little it’s almost like a A condiment container sort of thing to call economists please consider, and it’s full of lube. Yeah. And the idea is that, yeah, you can squeeze that up their nose, it’ll lubricate, and they’ll be able to snort it out.

Kayla Fratt  15:10

And we we had two biologists plus myself on him. And these are carnivore biologists who have, you know, like radio collared bears. And we were not, we did not feel like we were going to be able to get that up his nose, we tried for a couple of minutes, we did a couple attempts, and we were not able to get it up. And it was kind of like, okay, you know what? That’s not my dog. I don’t want to ruin his association with me with the work with anything else. We’ll just go and get them sedated and get it taken out.

Kayla Fratt  15:39

But that is, and we’ll get into this now very shortly. But one of the things I’ve always carried in my emergency pack, and I’ve always been like, I wonder if this works, is that that little container of lube? I’ve heard Coconut oil also works well. Yeah, we were not because of some handling stuff. We weren’t quite we weren’t able to see whether or not that was going to work.

Pine Irwin  15:58

Yeah, I won’t tell you that the water trick always works. We’ve always had it worked pretty well. But it’s definitely something to at least try.

Kayla Fratt  16:08

So do you kind of like have so you’ve got a bowl of water? And you actually are you actually like holding their head? And until they kind of inhale or holding it against their muzzle?

Pine Irwin  16:16

Yeah, yeah. Until they they’re kind of like, biting it too. We want to get that water up there a little bit. And it’s it’s not fun. And I don’t know doing. Of course, it’s an obviously, this is an emergency situation. Typically, I personally have never had a dog get a foxtail. Anywhere convenient, in which I am 20 minutes from the vet. Right? It’s always, it’s always when we’re like, two miles out from the car at the very earliest, and the car still two hours from the vet, you know, so we’re looking at like a three hour experience getting nothing further and further up the nose. So it’s always just kind of an emergency. But it works pretty well. We’ve had it work. The two or three times we’ve done it, we’ve had to do it.

Kayla Fratt  17:00

That’s really good to hear. Because I wonder if we would have been able to get something like that. Getting the you know, trying to use like the it’s like the same thing is like what you would do for a Bordetella vaccine, but trying to insert that up his nose was just not not working. And I think I would have been able to get it done with either my dogs.

Pine Irwin  17:19

But yeah, yeah, like I could probably do that with my three domestic dogs. I don’t think the rez dog would allow me to do that.

Kayla Fratt  17:28

And again, for Scotty, there was we know he’s got he’s had some handling stuff. That was one of the things that came to him that he came to us with. And we’ve only had him on the program for like three months. And handling again, was all that was his kind of biggest weak point. So it was once we tried a couple times, it’s like, no, let’s just, we’ll go get sedated.

Pine Irwin  17:47

It’s really tough to overcome handling related trauma in their early experiences. Yeah. Like, like, that’s always that’s always with the rescue. For those who don’t know, I sit on the board have a local rescue. And we do, I’m their behavior consultant. And that’s always the hard one for us when we pull these dogs, that they often need a lot of vetting and handling and very often grooming. And we don’t always have the option to do it as slow and as softly as we like, at this point. It’s medically necessary to get all this stuff done. And so that always is like, what’s a catch 22. And it is hard. It’s really hard when they’re really young and they have kind of handling or lack of handling.

Kayla Fratt  18:30

Right? Yeah. And we had made quite a bit of progress. I was really happy with his progress as far as like letting me do tick checks and letting me do foxtail checks. He came around on that really quickly. So that was part of it, too. I was like, God, I really don’t want to like, send us backwards on all of this now. Yeah, by really, really fighting him on this. And also when you’re like, you’ve got one person trying to hold them also close to another person trying to shove lube up their nose like that’s that’s a really bite risk.

Pine Irwin  18:55

Yeah, yeah. Really? Yeah. Cuz we can’t muzzle them for that either. You know, because we know, we that’s the area we need to access. Thank you. foxtails are tough. Yeah, so that goes, you know, know what your know what you’re expected. And then of course, you know, like Kayla said, having a bottle of lube or a plan of attack when things do go sideways because they’re dogs and they get into stuff. Totally nije tried to eat a dead porcupine a month or so ago. And she got porcupine quills all over and you want to talk about some handling stuff. Here’s a little guy. She’s pretty comfortable with me helping handling her but this was a two man job. You know someone’s got a handler and then someone’s got to pull porcupine quills out of her tongue and her lips thankfully that was the only places they were we’re pretty sure it was she found a dead one and tried to eat it. That’s really her like mo because it wasn’t anywhere else on her person.

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Pine Irwin  19:53

And you know, she just kind of popped up and it was an area where I would not have anticipated a porcupine being, like it’s not it’s not their ideal habitat. So yeah, it was doing their I don’t know it was dead. But it was pretty intense trying to get her calm, get her steady. And so I restrained her and a friend of mine stuck on a set of work gloves, and grabbed a pair of pliers out of the Jeep. And just basically waited for her to stand there panting and it just yanked him out just like one at a time.

Kayla Fratt  20:29

Okay, so is there anything else that you do before you go? We’re both working without notes here.

Pine Irwin  20:35

Yeah. For all over the map. We’re sorry. Yeah, that’s okay. Yeah. So pre pre planning, I always kind of try to, I personally make sure that I know where I’m headed. Like, what what area, I’m going to even if I’m not 100%, certain what trails I’m going to do. So I’m just heading out to go hiking, where I happen to live, we have very good access to hiking trails, very close, I can go less than an hour and hit some really good trails, I go a little bit further out. I’m not it’s not uncommon this time of year for me to travel two or three hours just to go hiking for the day. So I try to make sure I know what area I’m doing.

Pine Irwin  21:13

And then kind of have an idea about, you know, I’m going to be here, I’m going to, ideally, my home time will be x, you know, I always tell my partner where I’m headed and what time roughly I expect to be home. Yeah, that changes, I try to make sure that there’s a way for me to get a message to him that says Yeah, so like, the car broke down, and I’ll be home in like six hours, I’m not dead, don’t worry, not dead yet. Not Dead Yet. I tried to make sure I always make sure I know what my water access is. And I always make sure you know, just for the dog. So if I know I have to carry extra are more, I have large enough dogs that they carry their own water, thank you. And you know, things like that. So before that’s like before I even step out the door.

Pine Irwin  21:58

Those are like my basic things that are covered, make sure I have a hard copy map of the area, even if it’s not a detailed map of this specific locations that I’m going to make sure I always have a topographic map with me. You know, and then I think we’re gonna get into like, what specifically is in my backpack, but those are kind of like my pre checklist is I know where my water access is, I know when I’m expected in the weather, I kind of have an idea about when the sun’s going down.

Pine Irwin  22:24

So if I am doing a longer trail is 12, 15 mile trail and like, yeah, if it runs, if I slow down, or if the train gets bad, or the trail gets kind of you know, I mean, sometimes I’m in areas where the trail has not been maintained. You know, and what I would expect to be covering ground at X amount of speed slows way the heck down because now I’m suddenly jumping over logs and climbing over brush. You know, I try to make sure that I know when about the sun’s gonna get down so that if I’m out there, and I’m like, maybe we should head back, you know? Yeah. You know, I always carry a light source.

Pine Irwin  23:01

But sometimes, you know, if I’m not expected to be out until after dark, then I need to make sure and be cognizant of the people who are expecting to hear from me at home and leave them in the dark wondering, and it should go without saying but always tell somebody where you’re going and when you’re expected to be back. Always. Yeah. Yes. Even if it’s just a Facebook friend, and you just message them on Facebook. Hey, I’m doing this and I’m going to be home then just let them know.

Kayla Fratt  23:31

Yeah, yeah, definitely. I so before we get into what we keep on our person, I want to zoom back out a little bit more Do you have any trainings or courses or online resources or anything like that, that you really enjoy, I know I have a little bit of a list of things that I that’s kind of constantly growing of places I either keep an eye on or I use intermittently or courses that I stay up to date on.

Pine Irwin  23:55

I usually I tried to Ken Ramirez has that new program about snake avoidance.

Kayla Fratt  24:01

I’m actually recording an episode with him tomorrow.

Pine Irwin  24:06

I want to just go to the ranch and take this course and figure out a way to bring it here because we desperately need it in this area. The the other way of teaching snake avoidance is very popular and not effective. Because if it was it would not be needed to be repeated all the time. But I try to keep an eye on whatever the newest avoidance stuff is.

Pine Irwin  24:29

I also try to keep an eye on what Defenders of Wildlife are doing and what the research programs in the area are kind of doing. That’s just for my personal benefit, but also because I do happen to be hiking through areas in which there are free range cattle. Which again, that’s something you’re funny because you mentioned that and I’m just like, Oh yeah, you should probably know that. But I always know that because I happen to have grown up here in this region. I know that the free range cows are out there, you know and things like that. Um, I like Tromplo;. Tromplo is has some really good programs coming out.

Pine Irwin  25:07

I personally, I have a recall course and then I always kind of monitor what your what you’ve got posted. I checked canine conservationists and I’m like, do they have a you know, is there a new courses are a new podcast that’s like specifically and I listened to obviously I listen to you. When there’s like, I will specifically bookmark certain episodes when there’s something like very niche that I’m interested in and missing on. Yeah, so I mean, you know, there’s, there’s the usual dog savvy people, online courses and things like that. In another life, I’ll become more tech savvy and build, I would love to have a specific online educational resource that’s just geared towards dogs having adventures and the outdoors hiking, and biking and whatever, and it’s, but it’s gonna require me to either become radically more familiar with the technology, or get in the day. Yeah, hire someone to do it. Yeah. So there, there was a reality right now.

Kayla Fratt  26:10

No. Yeah. So I know for me, I’ve I’ve kept my wilderness first responder up to dates now for like 11 years. So that’s human based, but it is the thing I really like about it is, so I did that and I’ve also done EMT, my EMT has lapsed. Because WFR, wilderness first responder is much more focused on what do you have in your backpack? And what do you make work based on this and also kind of specific injuries that you’re likely to run into in the wilderness versus my EMT class? A lot of it was like when and how to administer oxygen and I don’t carry oxygen. So yeah, yeah, most of most EMT stuff is not relevant for my day to day.

Kayla Fratt  26:50

So wilderness first responder is something I really highly recommend. And, you know, it’s not dog specific, but a lot of the particularly the trauma side of things. You know, if you know how to split a bone, you know how to split a bone. You know, obviously, it’s you, you still need to go to a vet, you still need to go to the ER when you get back. But you know, learning how to stop a bleed is important no matter what species.

Kayla Fratt  27:15

And then I’ve also done Montana – Humane Society of Western Montana used to host a trap release workshop that I’ve found very useful. I’ve never had my dogs run into a Conibear, or like hold trap, or snare. But it makes me feel a little bit better. Knowing that I know how to open those, even though those are absolutely terrifying nightmare situations even knowing like, honestly, the course I’m scared me more than not knowing. So those are probably my big ones.

Kayla Fratt  27:47

And then I’m also a member of the National Veterinary snake bite support group or something like that on Facebook, I’ll link them and people will post active snake bites in there. And then vets are the only people who are allowed to respond. And they will respond with protocols with information on the nearest antivenin. Those sorts of things. And I have learned so much, just from like, kind of following people going through these, you know, obviously really horrible experiences for them. But they also have, they occasionally will share around PDFs with like specific protocols and like decision trees and those sorts of things. So I’ve been bookmarking a lot of those to print out and keep in my, my safety binder. Yeah, yeah,

Pine Irwin  28:32

I know that it’s ours, our local big 24 Hour Emergency and specialty clinic. I don’t know if they’ve done it since the pandemic or pre pandemic every year used to do a CPR certification class for specifically dogs and cats, which I strongly recommend you I mean, at the very least familiarize yourself with how to give CPR to a dog. I do have that certification. And I did have a wilderness first responder for many, many years and I kind of let it lapse.

Kayla Fratt  29:01

It’s expensive. And if you’re not guiding, like it yeah.

Pine Irwin  29:05

I’m not doing as much guiding as I used to. And I you know, I’m not doing professional guiding anymore. Yeah, like, I’ve got my my hiking with dogs organization club, and we just kind of go out together and we don’t go as far as we used to just because I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. But yeah, it’s useful to know.

Pine Irwin  29:26

And at the very least, a CPR class and a first aid class for humans would be really beneficial because there’s a lot of overlap. Yeah, and knowing what to do when, if and when things go sideways is probably one of the best ways to feel confident in the wilderness that you just you’re like, Okay, I know how to deal with it. We do have locally here our Fish and Game partners with the local trapping club, and they do every every fall, early fall. They do a thing out at the park where the trapper come in and they talk and they do have like demos on how to release their traps and stuff for anybody who wants to know. Yeah. They also will give you like a handout about the areas where they will be trapping so that you know that going in so that if I know if I’m hiking through this area at this time of year, there are traps possibly out there, and I can keep the dogs really close. That’s huge. Yeah, yeah.

Pine Irwin  30:24

So I mean, it’s, you know, networking, fishing game, BLM, your local ranger stations, they will give you so much information. So free information, because they do not want to come and find you. Look, they do not want to try to rescue you. So they will give you maps they will give you, they will give you handouts, they will give you contact information, they will give you just stacks and stacks of information. If you you ask for it. You can just roll up into their office and be like, Hey, I’m going to be hiking here. Can I have a map? And they will just hand you maps? Yeah, because they just they don’t want to come and get you if you get into trouble. So they will hand you any information they can possibly give you.

Kayla Fratt  31:01

Yeah, they’re a huge resource and should be should be utilized. Yeah, I think the only other thing that I and I don’t do this before every single trip, obviously, but I tried to refresh myself. And I’m thinking now that I should have this as a little laminated thing in my backpack, which medications in my backpack I can give to dogs and at what dosages I try you know, like you can’t give dogs NSAIDs. You can’t give your dog ibuprofen, but you can give them Benadryl and like, what is the dosage appropriate for that and those sorts of things.

Kayla Fratt  31:32

So if you’re carrying meds with you, make sure you actually know which meds are appropriate for your dogs and at what dosages because I realized this a couple months ago, I’ve always carried around hydrogen peroxide, in the case of needing to make a dog vomit. And then niffler licks a cane toad which can be deadly. And I was trying to figure out if I needed to make him throw up and was looking at the hydrogen peroxide and realizing I don’t actually know exactly how I waterboard this successfully into his mouth to make him throw up. And it turned out that actually just sticking a hose in his mouth and rinsing him out and kind of getting his gums and teeth really clean was all he needed. And he was fine. And now he’s on leash after dark in the tropics, always because he has proven that he will actually seek out cane toads repeatedly. He’s licked cane toads now three or four times. It’s really stoned and really drooly. And like, I know that it is a potentially deadly thing. So now he’s just on a six foot leash untethered to the van after dark. But anyway, all of that to say if you are carrying medications, know which ones your dogs can use and how to use them.

Pine Irwin  32:46

And if you have questions about those things, your veterinarian can help you. Because there are certain with like Benadryl and hydrogen peroxide, the ratios are pretty standard across the board. But there are certain drugs in which your dog might be taking other medication that there could be contraindication. And you want to make sure you know that. So if you’re carrying something, whether it’s prescription or over the counter, just chat with your vet, most vets you know, we’ll be able to tell you right off the top of your bat, like Oh, ya know, your dog takes extra work, so you really can’t give them x. You know, if you’ve got a dog who’s taking certain types of pain medication, certain other types of pain medication you absolutely can’t give them in that moment. I’m trying to think of the ones that I’m thinking of but like, if your dog takes an NSAID on a regular basis, you can’t a give them a different NSAID or be given something like galliprant, or certain other types of drugs will you know they can do more harm than good in that moment. So for anybody who’s listening, the standard dose for Benadryl is one milligram per pound. Just FYI, Benadryl is really useful and very difficult to harm your dog giving them to them and it’s definitely one you should have in your backpack and we’re going to talk about that.

Kayla Fratt  34:05

Yeah, so I think let’s get into it. So I divided up my my kind of readiness pack in three levels. So I’ve got my on my person so I have like a fanny pack that I always have with me and this and I’m just going through what I carry in it safety wise it also includes like poop bags and treats and rewards and those sorts of things. And like, we’re not going to get into that.

Kayla Fratt  34:30

So I’ve got my on my person and that is always always on me and then I’ve got my in my backpack, which is just if I’m going more than like a mile or so from the car because if I’m if I’m within 15 minutes of the car, so I’m just not going to carry my backpack and that’s like when we’re on the wind farms. You’re doing 100 meter by 100 meter squares. I’m not gonna bother carrying my my giant first aid kit on water with me. We’ll just get water every time we go back to the car. And then I also put down stuff that I carry with me in the car And then realize that I actually don’t have much that I leave in the car. And I might be adjusting that as we talk. But so probably I don’t know if you have the same system or why don’t you kind of start out with the things that like you always have with you always have on your person and then we’ll kind of move down the line and we’ll we’ll cross reference between

Pine Irwin  35:19

Yeah, obviously, I always carry poop bags, I’m gonna be a responsible dog owner. Plus, they’re useful. It’s just a useful if you’ve got to touch something weird. They’re just really nice to have. I always have the poop bags, I usually have like wet wipes like disinfectant wipes in my like treat pouch. So I carry like a fanny pack. And obviously, I keep reinforcers in there, whatever the reinforcers are, that are best suited to the environment or to the dogs that I am working with. I usually carry that stuff. There’s usually wet wipes. Like I said, the alcohol Clorox the ones that are Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t, you know, I wouldn’t use them as toilet paper. But you can wipe your hands or clean off an injury, things like that. That’s always, no matter what I have dogs who are working dogs, I have dogs who are just, you know, well trained, well accomplished demo dogs, competition dogs, and I still carry my reinforcers with me, every time I’m out there, I gotta be the coolest thing in the environment. And I just can’t compete that well with a skunk without a little bit of help.

Pine Irwin  36:22

Yep, so that’s that, and then I carry what’s in my backpack. And much like you, if I’m going out for like a really short, hike, it’s local. I know this trail, well, I’m super familiar, or I’m just, I’m out with a, I work a lot with a BLM. And we go out and we do surveys stuff and go and find random things that we’re looking for in the universe. Not quite to the degree that you do it with as much scientific precision, mostly it just involves my friend and I wandering through the desert going up, we found it. Just very, this is not scientific at all.

Pine Irwin  36:54

But you know, if I’m just doing that, we’re just going to be wandering out from the car and we’ll be coming back and most of that stuff’s gonna stay within sight. Yeah, I tend not to carry my backpack because it’s heavy and hot this time of year. Sometimes, if we’re doing that, I’ll just stick water in the dog’s backpacks and making, they can haul stuff. And I’ll just suffer until we get back.

Pine Irwin  37:15

And then I’ve got what I carry my backpack, which is a very long and detailed list. It’s much heavier than most. I think most people’s backpack is going to be that if you’re not hiking out there with dogs or small children. And then I’ve got what I carry in my car and I my jeep is outfitted as an overland vehicle. So there’s quite a bit in there that’s useful, but specifically towards the dogs. I just there’s very few things that just stayed there. They’re just mostly Yeah, yeah, so yeah, I’ve pretty much I would say three tiers. But yeah, my my fanny pack of dogs snacks, poop bags and wet wipes is always always on my person. Yeah, and I’ll typically I might, there’s usually like a little blister pack of Benadryl, child Benadryl that the kindness in the capsules, so that I can like break it open and smear it on some gums in a desperate emergency. But typically, if I’m not carrying my my full first aid kit, which is in the backpack, you know, I’m close enough to the car that we can hopefully get back before there’s a real problem.

Kayla Fratt  38:21

Yeah. Yeah, so yeah, I know. So in my on my person list, I’ve got the my GPS and GPS caller obviously, the collar is actually on the dog, cell phone, and I always make sure that it’s fully charged. So my cell phone it, I charge it overnight, and then I just habitually plug it in whenever I’m driving. So I always get where I’m going with a fully charged phone and I’m pretty crazy about that. I if my phone gets below like 50% I’m anxious. I have friends who was like phones die on them like three times a week and I don’t know how they do it.

Kayla Fratt  38:56

And then I have a little quarter Ziploc bag that keep that stays in my training bag, and that includes styptic powder. So that’s like a quick stop for torn toenails. I assume you can also put it on other bloody things to kind of aid in clotting, but it’s mostly a toenail thing. tweezers and trauma shears. Mostly I use the trauma shears for dealing with really bad burrs for Barley if he gets like nasty nasty burrs kind of up in his armpit hair in particular and they’re just really uncomfortable cut them out. And the trauma shears are nice because they’re they’re flat on the bottom so you can kind of put that against the skin and cut without cutting the skin. The tweezers, obviously ticks, foxtails all sorts of stuff, use them all the time and then a flea comb. I have a really nice little comb; I’ll try to find a link for it in the show notes. But it’s like a folding flea comb, and then one half is wider tooth and the other half is narrower tooth so I can use a narrower toothed one for Niffler and the wider toothed one for Barley to again get foxtails out or ticks.

Kayla Fratt  40:00

I’m not always, but obviously depending on where I’m going, I carry bear spray, and that I clip to like the, the, I’m pulling where it is, like on my backpack strap. So it’s like right on, on my chest kind of shoulder area. And I you practice with the bear spray taking it out getting the safety off, I don’t spray it because it’s expensive. But I do you know, practice pulling it out of wherever you have it and getting on safety off and like pointing it in the correct direction a couple times.

Kayla Fratt  40:31

There are also at national parks and some universities, you can like sign up to practice with bear spray. I also carry citronella spray that is in my pack. And I use that in the case of off leash aggressive dogs. Because I’m not going to bear spray, you know your average feral dog.

Kayla Fratt  40:52

And then on the dogs the dogs always have, they’ve got their GPS collar, they’ve got a bell and they’ve got a visibility vest. So and those are kind of the standard things we do have. We’ll talk about booties later, but we do often have booties around but they don’t generally work with booties on and I think those are kind of like my basic things that I always have.

Kayla Fratt  41:13

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Pine Irwin  42:05

Yeah, I also carry a pocket knife so I don’t typically carry shears that’s a really good idea that because I have my trauma shears and my like big vers my first aid kit. But I always carry like a very sharp pocket knife of decent quality. It doesn’t have to be like a $200 Bear Grylls special. But it needs to be it needs to be a real pocket knife. And that’s always like in my pocket. Because they’re useful. You can cut all kinds of stuff. Cut out burrs, nature, whatever you need to do, cut string. It’s just you should just carry a knife. It’s just really handy. I always forget about that, because it’s just in my pocket. It’s just, it’s just there. It’s just there always. I always have the pocket knife and it doesn’t you know, it’s not necessarily something I put in my pocket specifically for hiking, it’s just kind of my out the door. I slide the pocket knife, always hanging around dogs, it’s useful to have some way to cut rope cut a leash, cut fishing line, whatever you need.

Kayla Fratt  43:06

Yeah, there were definitely a couple of things once we get to the backpack that I’ve had to kind of I keep writing things down as we’re talking because I’m like, Oh, right. Yeah, because that just lives in the bottom of my backpack like I’ve just forgotten about it, I always have it.

Pine Irwin  43:17

Yeah, like my bear spray. I don’t even mention, I don’t even think I talked about bear spray, but I don’t even think about it because it just lives in my backpack.

Kayla Fratt  43:24

Yeah, and I think it’s something if you live in the inner Mountain West. That’s how it is for us. Yeah. The inner Mountain West. Yeah, like, yeah. There’s a story that I’ve seen on about Yellowstone National Park, and I don’t know for sure if this is true, but it’s a story of a ranger. Seeing someone about to bear spray their family because they thought that was bug repellent and the Ranger trying to talk the guy out of it in the person doing it anyway. Yeah, and spraying their whole family. So like people don’t know what bear spray is. I was talking to a guy from New Zealand at one point he was like, what? Like he thought it was mosquito repellent for bears. And it’s like no, no, this is something we spray in their face. Yeah, if they’re bothering you or you’ve bothered them either way, we need a separation.

Pine Irwin  44:09

Yeah, this is this is the I am not tasty. I am very spicy.

Kayla Fratt  44:14

Oh yeah, I’m a very very spicy person.

Pine Irwin  44:16

I’m like habanero pepper. Please don’t chew on me, get away. Yeah, I don’t like about it because it just lives. For me. It’s usually on my I usually pull it out. When I’m in bear country and I know I’m going to be in bear country and I know there’s a higher there’s a higher probability of it. It just It lives on the hip belt of my backpack. And yeah, I have practiced it’s a little like, pretending you’re a gunslinger, you know, wearing it out and being comfortable holding it there. The bear spray. I you know, usually, that’s something I carry in the car is usually bug spray and stuff for me and I just hit myself, you know, or when I’m going to head out.

Kayla Fratt  44:56

But yeah, that’s actually two other things I always keep on my person which is chapstick and sunscreen. Like, obviously not going to die without either of those things, which I think is something important to say like, there are things in this list where it’s like, yeah, these are things that you are using in like a real emergency, like you do not want to be caught with all these things. And then or something, you know, it’s like even styptic powder, it’s like, I couldn’t be totally fine. Like, even if the dog, they’re gonna bleed a lot. They’re gonna be, it’s uncomfortable. But it’s not like a life saving thing. And that’s, you know, sunscreen that chapstick fall into that category. But for me, like I’m out enough that it’s worth the extra weight. But it is it’s a difference between like this is we’re not really talking about your like, ultra light super trauma kit, where it would be like a tourniquet and a couple other things. Like we’re talking, you’re trying to make sure that you’re comfortable and safe. You’re not this is not just life saving stuff that we’re talking about.

Pine Irwin  45:54

Yeah, like you should carry bug spray or or at the very least have it in your car. Just because nobody enjoys getting covered in mosquito bites. And definitely don’t do it. I don’t do ticks. At all. I have zero tolerance policy for ticks on my person. So I’m very aggressive with the spray on my stuff, but sunscreen and stuff stick. You know, especially since you should reapply sunscreen on a consistent basis, you’re just going to be a lot more comfortable. Which will make experience better. Those things?

Kayla Fratt  46:24

Yeah. So like when you’re ready to go back to work the next day, exactly.

Pine Irwin  46:29

And nobody wants to go back to work when they’re covered in blisters from the sun. It sucks and also skin cancer is really bad. Yeah, so

Kayla Fratt  46:37

Do not want yeah, so yeah, let’s get into what do you have in your your bigger backpack.

Pine Irwin  46:42

So my backpack. So I had a backpack like a 28 litre backpack for 100 years not really that long, but it was felt like that was like my go to backpack and it was this cheesy Bear Grylls backpack I bought off of REI outlet for like $20. And it was a greatest backpack and then it died. And since then I have upgraded to a 30 liter. And that is my standard day pack. I don’t carry one of those little tiny ones. Because of what I carry in there.

Pine Irwin  47:12

And most of what I carry in there for emergencies is actually geared more towards my dogs than it is for myself. I don’t know why I seem to think that they are much more. Well that’s I mean, I know it is much more accident prone than I am. But I just worry more about them than I do myself. So most of what’s in there. So we’re going to have our first aid kit which we can definitely go over what’s in my first aid kit because I beefed it up a little bit for day hiking. So if I’m planning to be out for the day, I’m planning to be out, you know, 15 miles, 20 miles, whatever the my mileage is going to be.

Pine Irwin  47:48

When I’m backpacking, of course, everything is going to be a little bit different because now I have to add sleeping and food. You should carry snacks anyway. So So for day hiking, I’ve got my first aid kit. My first aid kit is beefed up a little bit I add some extra stuff like Benadryl, I always carry carprofen or Rimadyl, or some NSAID, typical anti inflammatory pain reliever for the dogs the same as I would carry ibuprofen for myself. I typically carry extra doses of something like for famotidine, which is an antacid that’s just a for humans because heartburn sucks, but I carry it for the dogs for the same reason. Just if I start to notice if we’ve got a little tummy trouble, I’ll give them that and then it’s time to head home because like, what did you eat, you know, you want to head back.

Pine Irwin  48:37

I carry that I carry I carry dog booties, I carry at least one booty for each dog size foot. So if I’m traveling with two different dogs who have two different size feet, I carry at least at least one dog shoe for that specific size. So when I’m out with all four of my dogs, I’ve got like five different types of shoes because they naturally can’t have the same size feet. Oh, convenient. I have found over the years very rarely have I’ve ever needed more than one in case and the two two circumstances in which I can say I would have needed to the same dog is two different experiences. And I think that was just a case of that dog’s feet just weren’t tough enough for the rope for the conditions we were on.

Pine Irwin  49:26

So I teach you know nothing stops a hike faster than a paw injury so carry the booty. I usually add in a feminine hygiene pad. A if you’re hiking with people who are female bodied, it’s just nice to have that be I actually use it as a cushion on injured feet. And I wrapped the foot in it. Yeah, it just creates a little padding. And it’s they’re there. Yeah. And they’re, you know if you’re worried about

Kayla Fratt  49:53

They’re individually wrapped, yeah, they’ve got pieces. That’s really smart.

Pine Irwin  49:56

Yeah, well, I mean, if your foot hurts, you don’t want to necessarily really walk and usually a paw injury like that if the boots are necessary because of an injury, it’s time to go home. But home may not necessarily be, you may still have to finish your hike. If I’m doing a loop or something, it may be faster to keep going or versus turning around and things like that.

Kayla Fratt  50:14

You know? Yeah, you could be seven miles out. You could be more. Yeah, exactly.

Pine Irwin  50:19

You know, we will be heading home, but we might, we should probably get there. So we want to keep them comfortable.

Kayla Fratt  50:24

We’re not in a situation where we’re calling a helicopter. So we do have to walk.

Pine Irwin  50:28

Yeah, we got to walk out guys. So here we go. Or at least walk to a road if you’re hiking with other people and then they can go back to the car and you can which I’ve done I have I have carried a dog as the dog with the two injured feet. I carried that dog cross country to a road and then I and the dog wasn’t my dog sat there and made everybody else go get the vehicles and come back because I carried I fire man carried out a 72 pound dog.

Kayla Fratt  50:56

This is why when people ask me why I don’t have German Shepherds, about breed selection. This is part of why I’m so you know, we were just talking before we hit record about labs and I’m like, smaller labs, sure. But I I am five foot two people. I guess people mostly know my voice. So they don’t know this. I am like, I’m five foot two. I’m like 130 ish pounds. And I’m sturdy. But like, I’m not carrying out a 70 pound dog if I can avoid it, let alone a 90 pounds dog.

Pine Irwin  51:21

Yeah, yeah, I used to get asked that a lot. My my female lab is 85. And my male lab before he passed within his prime was about a 90 pound dog. They’re huge. And I five foot two. I’m not 130 pounds. But you know, I’ve definitely not that small. But I’m not I’m not big.

Pine Irwin  51:39

Yeah. I mean, the height matters more than how much you weigh.

Pine Irwin  51:44

Like, you know, there as tall as I am. And so I carried out my female lab when she was seven months old after a snake bite. I carried her. And it was 70. She weighed 71 pounds at that point. And that was pretty much, that sealed the deal for me. I was like we’re done with giant dogs. Like, my big guy. If he’d ever been injured, it was going to take a minimum of two of us plus a travois to get him out. Like he’s like, I can lift him into the back of a vehicle. I buck hay, but I can’t carry him several miles.

Kayla Fratt  52:14

Yeah, there’s a difference between being able to lift and being able to carry.

Pine Irwin  52:15

Yeah, exactly. So yeah, I mean, that is one of the reasons that I also have downsized my dogs, because yeah, it gets tough, so you want to make sure. So speaking of carrying dogs, that’s also in my backpack is a canine litter. It’s basically it’s a little sling that your dog turns them into a backpack, which for my 90 pound lab wasn’t going to matter because his legs would still be dragging on the ground at that point.

Pine Irwin  52:43

But you know, it’s really nice to have my my two current dogs that hike with me all the time I have the out of the four I have the two are older than the two or younger the two who are always with me, they weigh about 45 pounds each, I can quite easily turn them into a little backpack. It’s got little straps that hook around my shoulders and I can just carry them out. I’m probably going to leave my backpack wherever we are. But I can carry them out. And that is really important to have in your bag if you are hiking with dogs like, unless you have a five pound Chihuahua, you know anything over about 30 pounds you should even even 25 pounds gets really heavy after A few miles.

Kayla Fratt  53:24

Yeah, you shouldn’t – I mean even I’m just thinking my cat who’s like what, eight pounds, it would just be nice to have. He just needs to be contained because especially if he was in pain unless he’s really really bad. I would need I would need to help just kind of keeping him from swirling out of my arms.

Pine Irwin  53:40

Yeah, exactly. So it’s really important. That is something that is in my backpack no matter what it does not matter where we’re going it does not how long we’re going I could be going two miles up a mountain road you know and we’re never going to really lose sight of the vehicle if I am far enough out. It’s in my backpack. It also is you know, it’s just one of those things I carry always it’s like tossing in my first aid kit and my flashlight just always in the backpack.

Pine Irwin  54:11

So yes, on top of that, flashlight; I usually carry a flashlight of some sort I’m sorry if I’ve got my cell phone that often works but I usually have a headlamp as well because I don’t want to kill my cell phone battery, I too am paranoid about that. I keep my cell phone fully charged before we leave and I have a battery pack that is in my my backpack that I can just plug my phone into in an emergency to get enough juice to hopefully send a signal. If something were to go sideways. I carry a headlamp just because if you are out after dark but also the headlamps are really nice if the if you’re in a shaded area and you need to really look at a dog’s foot.

Kayla Fratt  54:50

We showed the headlamp up Scotty’s nose when we were trying to see if we can isolate the foxtail.

Pine Irwin  54:55

Yeah, checking for foxtails between the toes. I’ll put the headlamp on even though we’re sitting in the car, and I put the headlamp on so I can see really well between those toes and check and pull those suckers out of there. It’s just nice to have the extra light especially if you know, you know, you’re going to be out in an area I keep in my emergency kit, I have blankets, like one of those, it’s basic foil blankets, like space blanket things, yeah, little space blankets, and a little I carry an extra one to to make a shelter.

Pine Irwin  55:29

So for that, if I’m going to be out anytime, where I have any sort of inkling that the weather could be changed on me or if I’m up a mountain, and I’m definitely out of salary signal and I’m you know, things like that I usually carry a rain jacket as well. You know, just stuff, I usually just keep it stuffed in the same place as the rain fly for my backpack to keep it dry.

Pine Irwin  55:52

Because nothing sucks more than being cold and wet. And it can be dangerous. And it can you can get hypothermia you can become you know, which can cause all kinds of disorientation, which can mean you get more lost than you were originally, I always carry a way to start fire. Always, always a way to start fire because fire can do things like purify water, and then I typically carry a water purifier of some kind. A LifeStraw is usually sufficient for most circumstances unless you’re really, really really remote. I personally like the mini Sawyer better than the LifeStraw because fill the bladder and then drain it. Whereas the LifeStraw you really kind of just, it’s like a straw that you can drink through. But in an emergency it is better than to have them not some way to filter water for me, I don’t worry about it for my dogs. They’re pretty good. If we can find a good water source, there’ll be okay. But you also can become dehydrated humans and not crazy. Oh sosta problems. So make sure you have a way to purify water one way or another. Yeah, and I don’t typically use the sterile lights because I’m always paranoid they’re gonna break.

Kayla Fratt  57:01

Yeah, so All right, so yeah, I’ve got my list. And I think what I’m already thinking, I’m gonna make sure we turn this whole thing into a blog post as well with just lists and we’ll have Amazon links and everything like that for people. So if you’re listening, don’t try don’t crash your car trying to take notes, just go to and find the show notes.

Kayla Fratt  57:23

So I’ve got my four in my backpack. I also always carry a fire starter, I usually carry two I carry flint and steel and a lighter. I like flint and steel, it makes me feel cool. And also that if my lighter runs out of juice or gets wet or whatever, I’ve got a backup. I also. So I did a survival TV show a couple of years ago now and have definitely gotten a little bit more interested in a lot of the bookish bushcraft and like prepping sort of stuff as part of that it was fun and cool. And it was nice to feel that self sufficient.

Kayla Fratt  57:56

So some of these things have come about from that. And this is in no particular order, because I’ve been like scribbling badly in the margins as we’re talking. So I’ve got my Firestarter. I’ve got layers I am I’ve had frostbite in my fingers enough times from being a competitive cross country skier in high school that I get frostbite and stuff very, very easily my hands. So I almost always have hand warmers and gloves. Plus, you know, a couple different types of layers that includes a rain jacket. And that you know, is specifically what all of those are is going to vary based on by climate. If I’m above treeline and Colorado it might be a down jacket, a fleece and a rain jacket, and hat and gloves. You know, obviously in Guatemala, it was a rain jacket. And that was it. Because even overnight, that’s really all we’re worried about.

Kayla Fratt  58:44

I carry antibiotic cream, hydrogen peroxide, gauze, Benadryl vet wrap a pocket pa rescue harness. So I think that’s very similar to the letter you were talking about. Yeah. ruido or carprofen. I now carry antivenin with me I was able to purchase antivenin from a veterinarian in Costa Rica for $100. And it’s really nice. I might, you might, it might not be enough. And it’s the sort of thing that like if we need it, we’re still going directly to the vet as fast as we can. But it does make me feel better to have that particularly when we were in Guatemala. That was the reason I acquired it was you know, we were going we were potentially a six to eight hour boat ride away from the highway, let alone events, let alone a vibe with antivenin. We were really really out there.

Kayla Fratt  59:35

I carry zip ties. Those are for trap release. So big heavy duty zip ties. Wire cutters also for getting a snare off of your dog’s neck and they’re kind of a they’re a specific type of wire cutter that it’s kind of like crescent shaped so you can like kind of dig into the this not dig into the flesh but like really get under that snare if you had a snare around your dog’s neck As a light, I carry steri strips. So those are really good for closing wounds on people probably wouldn’t be very useful in dogs because of hair. But they’re nice to have if you’ve had if you’ve got a big open wound on yourself to kind of close it. I’ve also used are being asked for that, which was one of the most exciting periods of my life ever. You can. army ants have these huge pinchers and if you let them by a wound and then pinch off their head, they will stay clamped down and when I was in Ecuador in 2014, a friend sliced his thumb really badly and we we did this the army and thing and our Guarani guides were very proud of us and we were very proud of ourselves.

Pine Irwin  1:00:38

I always carry super glue. Super Glue. Oh, that’s brilliant. Yes, yeah. Well, when I was in the jungle Yeah, we were I was a bliss, I was a 45 minute helicopter ride from anything resembling a doctor. Anything was never mind getting to a place where the helicopter can actually get me. Right. You know? That was that was 45 minutes to you know, like a local clinic kind of thing and I gashed open my hand my thumb or my finger and I still have the scar. It’s a long time ago. I’m not gonna say how it makes me feel old. I still have the scar on my finger. And I mean, it was deep. So we literally just cleaned it out, closed it with superglue, and wrapped it with gauze and duct tape.

Kayla Fratt  1:01:24

Yeah, super cool. I’ve got hydration powder. So something like an electrolyte power. I keep a Ferro flew with me as well. Again, that’s like one of those things that like I’m not going to die if I don’t have it. But one of these days it’s going to be really nice that I have it. I’m going to be glad. Yeah,

Pine Irwin  1:01:41

I usually carry I usually carry something with electrolytes or like, shot blocks or Gu Yeah, have you like Gu it’s a great product, it’s they come in little tiny packs, you just rip them off and suck them down. And it’s a great electrolyte, carbohydrate sugar, salt boost for anyone who’s out there really long time or longer than expected. Or you start to have somebody who’s getting a little lightheaded because they’re a little too hungry. And I only carry something for the dogs. Dogs can drink standard Gatorade, not the sugar light stuff, the full, full Gatorade, the that’s chock full of sugar, as much sugar as it does anything else, you can dilute that and water and they can drink that. So carrying some of those, you’ve just got to really check those to make sure they don’t have the sucralose or at all or aspartame or any of those kinds of pretend sugars in them.

Kayla Fratt  1:02:39

I’ve got snacks written down. And if like, this isn’t something that lives in my pack, but something like string cheese can be really nice because then it works for both of us. I’m vegetarian. So jerky doesn’t work. But if you eat meat jerky is a really good one. Something I don’t carry currently, but I just wrote down because I want to start carrying boullion cubes.

Pine Irwin  1:02:59

I have a product for that I just found. It is a powdered bone broth for dogs.

Pine Irwin  1:03:06

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, something like that.

Pine Irwin  1:03:10

And it comes in little tiny packets that’s like individual and I carry that. Especially since like, I’ve got one dog. He’s really fussy. And he’s kind of like, oh my gosh, it’s not chicken nuggets. I’m not interested. I carry that for him because I can sprinkle it in their water and it encourages them to drink a little bit more.

Kayla Fratt  1:03:28

That’s exactly what I was thinking.

Pine Irwin  1:03:30

You know the the salty benefits of electrolytes and it’s for dogs specifically, I’ll try to remote remind me and I’ll send you the link. And they come in little individual packets. And it’s really nice to have. Yeah, snacks are important. Like, I don’t I don’t care who you are, if you’re going to be out. It’s good for morale and it’s good when your blood sugar starts to dip and you’re feeling really tired. Having something to boost that energy for both you and your dog.

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Pine Irwin  1:03:59

And when I’m on longer trips I usually carry. They’re made by Plato, I think but they’re like little on the go dog meal bars. I always think of them as like doggy. Clif Bars, like a little bar for dog. Yeah, I carry those for longer. Like if I’m gonna eat lunch and my plan is to be out there eating lunch I carry something for my dogs as well. Yeah, same. And the one of the reasons I don’t, I’m a vegetarian also. So I don’t eat meat any longer so I will carry but I will carry like little meat sticks for the dogs. The ones for dogs are probably better for them than the human ones even though the human ones are easier to come by. Just because of the salt content.

Kayla Fratt  1:04:39

Yeah, you can make your own dehydrated nom noms.

Pine Irwin  1:04:42

That’s Yes, yes. Yeah, dogs are the same as we do.

Kayla Fratt  1:04:49

I thought I got myself tested for diabetes when I was in high school or in college because I was like so lightheaded and woozy and weird all the time. And it turns out that I was drinking too much water because I was on at high altitude, I kept getting kind of woozy and being like, oh, I need to drink more water and it turns out I was kind of constantly low on electrolytes because I was drinking so much water and I kept every time I felt sick I drink more water so I was just making it worse because like I just didn’t occur to me that salt was the problem or food was the problem.

Kayla Fratt  1:05:18

So okay, going down my list because we knew we need to wrap up here. We try to keep this at an hour. We’re already over. I’m so sorry, everyone. Next, I’ve got space blankets. I keep a water filter. I have the same Sawyer one as you do and I that means I carry the bag with me as well. It will slot right onto a smart water filter, but I just carry the bag. I also have, I call it a possibles pouch, I just have like a, like a six inch by six inch, little packing cube that carries all of these things. So I can really easily just grab that and throw it from one bag back to the other and I’m never forgetting anything. I’ve never like standing in front of my camping gear being like what do I need to bring like I just grabbed that. And then I’ve got a knife, paracord can be used for leashes, can be used for all sorts of really, really useful things. Duct tape, dog booties, and then I have a spot locator beacon, which I really like I used it a lot when I was in the Yukon and Northwest Territories last year, so that I could message my parents and let them know that I was safe and send them my GPS locations overnight because I went like six or eight days without cell service, basically in between Whitehorse and in avec there was like no cell service. And I wanted my parents to know that I hadn’t yet been eaten by a grizzly.

Pine Irwin  1:06:36

Yeah, yeah, that’s I probably should carry a GPS. I also something that every backpack should have is a real compass. A real one.

Kayla Fratt  1:06:47

And know how to use it.

Pine Irwin  1:06:50

Yeah. Take an orienteering class, just. Yeah, most fishing game BLM one of those people in your area will be giving those classes. They’re, they’re cheap to free to attend, because again, they don’t want to go get you. There. They there’s also we have an orienteering club. Here we have mounted orienteering, which you do on your horse, and then just orienteering and they’ll train you to use a map and a compass, but you should always have a hardcopy map of wherever you’re going, I don’t care if you’ve got it on your GPS, I don’t care if you’ve got it on your phone, keep a hard copy. It doesn’t have to be a super detailed map. But something that will be you will be able to refer to if you get disoriented, and a compass and a compass that you know how to use.

Pine Irwin  1:07:37

Yes, a real one, just invest in a real one. You don’t they’re not that expensive. But those are some of the more modern backpacks come with like one of the little tiny compasses attached to the strapping, that’s not good enough, get a real stiff real one, keep it in your backpack. And that’s something that just lives there. And it never comes out of my backpack, my compass and never comes out. Maps, I obviously change out based on where I’m going. But yeah, I have like, I have like a pouch like you do just like a couple of pouches of like, this is the, you know, emergency water supply. Here’s my you know, first aid kit for the backpack. And then I have a much larger first aid kit that’s in my jeep too. So when we get back to the car, we can really address some things. And then here’s my, you know, snacks. And that gets replenished as I need to, you know, get all the bars string cheese, whatnot.

Kayla Fratt  1:08:29

I like the hydration powder and Gu. I tried to I tried to make sure I eat those once a year. So like when I know they’ve been in there, you know, it’s kind of like my last time of the year it’s like Oh, I’m gonna have my salted caramel goo just because so then I get a new one. Because I had for a while I had like a five year old shop locks in my in my first aid kit and I did end up eating one and kind of needing it on a hike. And it was like gluing my belts together. I was like I am gonna break it tooth on.

Pine Irwin  1:08:59

Yeah, yeah. That’s shot blocks. Yeah,

Kayla Fratt  1:09:02

Yeah, they really, and they they’re kind of a bummer in the cold. So as a cross country skier I learned to like out kind of stuff. I’ve done my sports bra for like 30 minutes before I ate it. I mean, honestly, the only other thing I have that I keep in the car is Trazadone, gabapentin, you know, my car is my house. So I also have, I mean literally everything I own is there. But as far as kind of things that I would move into a field vehicle to have ready to go, you know, spare water, so food, some of those sorts of things. But the other thing that I don’t carry on me already, that might be a little bit special is I carry traz and gaba in the car.

Pine Irwin  1:09:42

Yep, I do too. I have it in my I have a much larger first aid kit that has you know, more extensive bandages you know, and things like that also has a suture kit in it. I’m not going to try to

Kayla Fratt  1:09:55

Yeah, I have a sewing kit and in my possibles pouch that’s always in my backpack

Pine Irwin  1:09:59

These are proper suture kits. So that’s designed to like stitch dogs and humans back together.

Kayla Fratt  1:10:05

Yeah, I don’t have a suture kit yet. But I do have sewing,

Pine Irwin  1:10:08

Just because if we’re having to travel back to the vehicle, the chances are really good, we’re going to be moving too much to really keep stitches in place anyways. And I do I carry Gabapentin and Trazadone to sedate the animal when we get back so that the car ride is a little less terrifying. I also keep on my backpack, a trekking pole at least one. Nine times out of ten, I don’t use it for balance. But I do like having it when I’m in snake country because I can extend it fully and it can poke under bushes before I need to be anywhere near it. Nice. Yeah, if there’s something under there.

Kayla Fratt  1:10:44

Yeah, the only other thing I wrote down that I’m not sure I mentioned was pen and paper like right in the rain paper. Really nice. If you need to leave something somewhere. I also usually have like a bandana or something which can also be used. I use that a lot in surveys if I see a change of behavior for my dog, and I want to be able to drop something so that I can go back to my transect that’s the main way I use it. That way I don’t have to mess around with my, my GPS too much. I can just walk back to my bandana bandana to get back on transect. But all of this, like visibility sorts of things. Oh, I have a mirror and a whistle. Yes, continue thinking of things.

Pine Irwin  1:11:21

Well, I don’t even think about the whistle. Because most modern genuine hiking backpacks have a whistle on strapping anymore. And that’s usually good enough, I think I have a whistle that goes this is a part of like an emergency. Just an emergency fire kit that I’ve got this got like my fire my little space blankets. You know, and it’s got a whistle in there and some strike anywhere matches. I usually like you I usually carry flint and steel plus a lighter.

Kayla Fratt  1:11:49

The other thing that – we just keep thinking of things. I keep those little fire starting cube blocks. Yep. There at least one of them.

Pine Irwin  1:12:00

There’s so that they make life so much easier. I usually try to keep at least one of them. That is definitely something that you want to double check and make sure it hasn’t disintegrated in your backpack if you just leave it in there forever.

Kayla Fratt  1:12:10

Yeah, you can make your own with wax and dryer lint if you really want but like I just buy him.

Pine Irwin  1:12:15

Yeah, I buy him. It’s because most of my dry linen is dog hair. And that smells absolutely terrible when you light it on fire. So that’s yeah, I also carry paracord, I usually I have a paracord wrap that also has fishing line and hook in it. So if I unravel it, I also have a way to go fishing. I’m a vegetarian, I don’t even like fish. But in in the event that I’m stuck somewhere, and I’m really hungry. It’s nice to have pleasure fishing line is actually a useful material to keep it useful. I use it for a lot of stuff and duct tape and everything you always carry duct tape. I typically carry my duct tape wrapped around my bear spray. So I take I take a stretch of it and I wrap it around the bear spray off of the roll. So I’m not carrying a big roll of it around.

Kayla Fratt  1:13:02

So yeah, I have it wrapped around a pencil.

Pine Irwin  1:13:05

Yeah, so there’s there’s some duct tape I can take with me, as you know, I’m already going to be carrying bear spray and crap. So. But yeah, it’s it’s important to have ways to deal with things. Yeah, it’s funny, because there’s so much stuff in my backpack that I don’t even remember is there until I’m like looking at it. Because it just lives there. So pack your bag, pack your backpack, and just leave it packed with the things unless you’ve got to take it out like, a perishable of some kind, just leave it packed. I also carry a spare leash, always have a spare leash of some kind, just in case something breaks. So I have a backup plan. But you can use paracord for that if you have it.

Kayla Fratt  1:13:46

Yeah, I just use paracord. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a pretty good list. I’m sure we’ve forgotten a couple of things. But you know, it’s it’s so much of it is area dependent as well. Like, there are some things that I may or may not carry, kind of depending on where I’m going like I obviously don’t always have the antivenin with me. But if I’m in a really high risk area, like I left it in the car when we were in California, because we were never too too far from the car. Yeah. And we were also kind of close enough to an emergency that that it was like it’ll be okay, if we don’t if we just have to go to the vet, but in Guatemala, it was like yes, this is always in our bag.

Pine Irwin  1:14:27

Yeah, it’s really area dependent. And it’s and it’s seasonally dependent, you know, up here, during rut, which is mating season, you know, we’re a little bit more cognizant of certain things like elk and deer coming in contact with those and you know, during the dead of summer, I don’t worry about it as much because they’re very unlikely to engage with the animal, you know, come anywhere near us. But you know, sometimes those bull elk in particular can be quite dangerous at that time. Yeah.

Pine Irwin  1:14:58

You know, it depends on what you’re going to do. doing what you’re going to face. Obviously, I don’t carry a down jacket when I’m hiking in the middle of summer, or backpacking in the middle of summer, because that’s just overkill. But I do carry a spare down jacket stuffed and into inside its own little pocket at the bottom of a bag when I had snowshoeing in the winter, even though you know, I carry an extra one of those, I actually carry an extra down blanket too, because it’ll fit me and at least one of the dogs curled up underneath of it, if not both, you know, so it depends on what you’re going to do.

Pine Irwin  1:15:31

Obviously, I’m much more cognizant of carrying extra water for myself and the dogs if I’m in an area where water resources are going to be limited. If I am hiking along a river, I’m a little bit less worried about it. Yeah, if I’m out there, if I’m in here, the timber rattler doesn’t typically cross above 5500 feet. So also, that’s another thing like when you’re hiking and backpacking or spending a lot of time in the wilderness with your animals know what your Wildlife does. Here we have Timber Rattlers, but they don’t like to be up higher than about 5500 feet of elevation. So once you’re way up in the mountains, they become less of a concern, right? They’re just not something I’m that worried about. But other things do become a concern. We’re very lucky, we only have the one venomous snake here.

Pine Irwin  1:16:17

But other things become a bigger concern. Bears become a bigger concern. Coyotes, certain areas around here, we actually have wolf populations. And those can be a concern to certain times a year because they don’t enjoy other predators, aka dogs walking through their territory. I’ve never had a problem with them ever in all of my years. But there’s something to be aware of, you know. So be aware of black bear and grizzly bear behavior that there are certain times a year they’re going to be a lot more problematic if you encounter them. We just got we just I just posted on my Facebook page. Actually, coyote was watching us the other day, we were just in the desert, very close to town. Realistically, we weren’t very far out, we were just kind of hiking through the desert and there was a coyote watching us from afar. They can be difficult with dogs, they can be problematic, they can cause harm, they can hurt your dog, particularly depending on the size of your dog, you know, or just really make your life very difficult. So you know, know what you’re going to face and pack your backpack. And just make sure all your emergency stuff just stays there forever, and you just don’t take it out. Like that’s how I make sure I’m always prepared. I just don’t remove things unless I have to.

Kayla Fratt  1:17:32

I try at the beginning of every field deployment or season to pull it all out and double check it all as well and like just see if it’s horribly expired or if it’s gotten wet, or it’s ruined or you know anything like that. I don’t do that every time I probably technically showed but I don’t.

Pine Irwin  1:17:49

I don’t do it every time but yeah.

Kayla Fratt  1:17:52

Do you permethrin your clothes? Is there anything else that you think of as far as you know, like –

Pine Irwin  1:17:56

I do that with the dogs clothes and I sprayed DEET on myself on my own clothes, so I’m apparently worried about skin cancer, but other types don’t bother me. That’s how much I don’t like ticks. But I sprayed DEET on my own clothes, but for my dogs I use permethrin, I prefer the Sawyer brands, I just trust them a lot. And they have a system really nice spray bottle. So you just like pump it, spray it and I soak their harnesses their backpacks, things like that. To protect them, they also take bravecto.

Pine Irwin  1:18:31

And then when I know I’m headed into an area of heavy tick, there’s certain areas where it’s going to be more of a problem a day or so before I will actually put a Seresto collar on them as well. I’ve had really good luck with that. I don’t like to leave it on them because I’m just a little bit weird about topicals and my cat coming in contact with my cats coming in contact with it but I do about a day or so before put that on and they wear it while we’re out there. And then I take them off and I wrap them up and throw them in the freezer. Because they’ll last for forever that way. But I usually about I would say every two weeks spray their harnesses down and I definitely if I’m taking out their backpacks and I haven’t used they have different size backpacks depending on what we’re doing. If I haven’t used this particular set in a while I spray it down I let it dry. You can do that with a bandana as well. On the dogs. You can spray the permethrin on the bandana, let it dry, tie it on their necks and rock’n’roll and it works like a Seresto collar. It’s pretty handy actually.

Kayla Fratt  1:19:33

Yep. Yeah, I’m really excited for getting up tick. You’re looking for some vets to do Tick, tick borne disease. I’ve messaged like five and none of them have gotten back to me about doing a tick borne episode because you know, as anyone who heard I think, well, I don’t know how many episodes will go it will have been by the time this episode comes out but barley had are like yeah, and Anaplasmosis and it was scary as heck.

Pine Irwin  1:19:58

Yeah, we had one come down with tick paralysis.

Kayla Fratt  1:20:02

That’s what we thought it was at first.

Pine Irwin  1:20:04

And it was it was so scary because it was just like, like that quick. He was totally fine. And then he couldn’t walk. And it was absolutely terrifying. So we’re rushing to the it was one of my foster dogs. So it wasn’t even my dog, you know, technically. And we’re rushing to the emergency clinic going, like, what is going on? And then I found a tick on him. And I was like, oh, no, you know, and so we got him there. And we started pulling ticks. And within an hour, he was 100%. Fine, but it was really scary.

Kayla Fratt  1:20:34

 That’s crazy.

Pine Irwin  1:20:35

Yeah, well, it’s not just dogs that get tick borne diseases.

Kayla Fratt  1:20:40

One of my best friends has Lyme and it and ruined her life for a long time.

Pine Irwin  1:20:45

Yeah, it’s a nasty one. I just had a client who’s doing the AT, she’s thru hiking AT, and she had contacted me and we were working together to prep her and her dog for the journey. And the dog made it about half of the way which is more than most dogs do. For anyone who’s listening for that thru hiking, like the Appalachian Trail, or the Pacific Crest Trail, dog, 90% of the dogs that start it can’t finish it. It’s just it’s too much. But her dog made it about halfway. But she actually they had a big scare with Lyme. And so that was shareholder because the ticks are so bad. And she had tested positive too. So it was her and the dog were going through the treatment. And she was just like, What should I do? And I was just like, well, you know, the choice is yours. But I think your dog’s behavior is indicating that she’s a little overwhelmed by this prospect of hiking every day. Sounds like heaven on the outside, but you know, when you’re three months into a journey, and you’re out, you’ve been hiking 10 to 12 miles every day. That’s a lot for dogs.

Kayla Fratt  1:21:48

I’ve got a friend hiking the Continental Divide Trail right now. And she’s doing 20 to 25 miles every single day right now, like, that is a lot to ask a dog to do. So that’s that’s not the topic today. But yeah, I mean, just going I mean Barley had a permethrin treated visibility vest and was on bravecto. And we were pulling 30 ticks off of him two to three times a day in Guatemala, you know, it was every single time we stopped, I was topping and pulling ticks off of him. Like, even with all of that it was not enough. And you know, so we can guess about where he picked up or lucky and Anaplasmosis. I mean, these ticks were not on him for more than a couple hours. In most cases. There were a couple times where I found one in the morning or something, or I clearly had missed it overnight. But yeah, I mean, we’re going into some places where even with pretty solid tick prevention, it is just a really intense, a really intense environment. And, you know, part of I was just talking to someone about my next dog and someone was suggesting I had someone suggest Shelties and someone suggested Belgian Tervurens. And both of them I was like, nope, too much hair. Too much hair.

Pine Irwin  1:22:59

I feel that. I had an Afghan Hound that I fostered for like six months and I shaved him naked. And everybody’s like, why did you shave him? And I was like, because I got tired of pulling nature out of his hair. Like I’m just like, his his forever family can let that grow back. But he’s going to be he was he was naked. He looked like a very strange poodle.

Kayla Fratt  1:23:20

A weird sounding dog

Pine Irwin  1:23:21

A weird look without all that fluff. Yeah. And on the subject of ticks, Word to the wise, pull your ticks don’t back them out. You’re going to hear all the stories about oh, put Vaseline on them put nail polish on a use of lighter on them and but don’t just go yank them when they back out. They actually gross they regurge and it increases the likelihood of disease transfer.

Kayla Fratt  1:23:47

Yeah. And I was just listening to ologies which is one of my favorite podcasts just had a two parter on ticks. And they said, you know, people worry about getting the mouthparts and getting everything they actually the tick experts on this show said that’s actually not as much of a concern. Just get him out. Yeah, yeah. Probably do want to eventually make sure you get that out so it doesn’t get infected keep an eye on it. But they said it the more important thing is getting it off and getting it out than trying to wait until you are able to do it perfectly and every hour they’re on it increases the likelihood of transmission.

Kayla Fratt  1:24:20

So okay, we do have to wrap up now Pine, thank you so much. Where can people find you on the internet if they’re interested in learning more about you and your services?

Pine Irwin  1:24:27

You can find me on Facebook for one dog training slash constant canine consulting. You can find me on Instagram at hikerhund. That is probably the best place to follow along my shenanigans with my little feral rez dog, and at

Kayla Fratt  1:24:49

And everyone at home. Yeah, yeah. And everyone at home. You know where to find us. We’re at We’re actively redoing our website right now. So check Get out. And you may see some new things you may not, I don’t know when it’s going live, but you can find shownotes, AI generated transcripts, all sorts of great stuff all at We’ll be back next week. Bye!