Django and I started an online bromance a few months ago when I was searching for outdoor gear that would compliment my adventurous lifestyle. I live right outside of Anchorage, Alaska with the mountains in my backyard. Anchorage has a sub-arctic climate and is known for mild, rainy summers and snow-packed winters. My gear needs to be able to stand up to the elements and look good doing it.
My name is Diesel (@alaskaweenie on Instagram), and I’m a blue and cream miniature dachshund with bright blue eyes. Django is the yin to my yang; we compliment each other in every way. While Django lives in the city and I live in a rural area, we are both always searching for our next adventure.
Our first conversations revolved around DJANGO's City Slicker Rain Jacket and Dog Carry Bag and soon turned to a few of our favorite things: Selena Gomez, tacos, mountain vistas, remote cabin excursions, and travel blogging. Django suggested that I write a featured post about one of my most recent adventures, and as any best bro would do, I agreed.
I was born into a life of adventure and can’t imagine living any other way.
My first few days in Alaska (after flying up from Twisp, Washington) were spent at my family's remote cabin just outside of Denali National Park. The cabin is four miles from the main road, and in the winter we ride in on snowmobiles. I was snuggled up in my mom’s jacket during my first trip in, but all of my subsequent trips have been made in a pet-friendly backpack. The trip is pretty quick, and most of the time I fall asleep.
The best part of the cabin begins after we arrive. I can’t think of anything better than the freedom of running around in the woods and smelling the scents of the wild animals that have been there before me. The winter months are safer for me as I really only need to watch out for the occasional eagle or owl. In the spring when the bears start to wake up, I will have to be much more careful.
If peeing were a sport I would be a gold medal winner. In the woods, trying to mark every tree or post is very hard work - and I take it seriously! We like to spend long weekends or spring break at the cabin which gives me plenty of time to mark up the area and go on excursions.
Denali is the tallest land-based mountain on Earth—with a vertical rise of about 18,000 feet — so when we are out hiking, it is always a top priority to get a view of the mountain. Denali is quite fickle, only showing the full mountain or mountain range on occasion, so when it is out we trek over to different viewing areas.
I’ve been wearing my DJANGO City Slicker for most of these hikes and am happy to report the jacket has done a great job of keeping me dry and comfortable. A few of the features I appreciate are the athletic cut, the sturdy and adjustable velcro attachments, and the halter D-ring opening on the back of the jacket. Mom and Dad are big fans of DJANGO's Cherry Red color. The bold red stands out nicely amongst the dense trees and when I'm running through the deep snow. I can always be easily seen.
If you are interested in making a trip to Alaska, there are plenty of pet-friendly lodging options in our beautiful cities. To get an authentic and local experience, consider an AirBNB in cities Talkeetna, Seward, Homer or Fairbanks.
Did you know that out of 58 national parks in the United States, only 7 in the continental U.S. are dog friendly? Well Alaska is much more dog friendly than the rest of the United States! Dogs are welcome in most Alaskan national and state parks, including Denali National Park. Alaskans love their dogs, so don’t be surprised if locals stop you to chat when you come visit and give you a belly rub.
Keep in mind that even dog-friendly parks have a few pet-related rules. For instance, almost every national park asks you to keep your pup on a leash at all times. If you would like to visit one of the many National Parks in Alaska, here is a link that is helpful regarding pet policies.
The snow is starting to melt and my summer adventures will include trips to the Alaska coast, paddleboarding at the lake, and argo rides into the cabin. I can't wait to hear what Django and the rest of you have planned. I was built for the wild - #AllDogsAreAdventureDogs rings true to me - and live by the motto “always take the scenic route.”
I hope to see you along the way!
All photos by Kim Black
After living in NYC for many years, Mike and I (Steph) moved to Oregon in mid 2016 with our dog Django. October rolled around, and Mike and I began to understand why Portlanders call rain the "Portland mist". It seemed to drizzle and rain continuously. Unfortunately, this meant that by the end of every hike, Django would be cold and soaked with a mud-caked underbelly.
Our rainy adventures in the Pacific Northwest inspired us to design two performance dog coats built to withstand cold, rain, mud, and snow: DJANGO's Reversible Puffer Dog Coat and City Slicker All Season Dog Jacket.