After seeing the picture of the backpacker and the dog [page 30, January 27 Weekend] I feel I must make several comments regarding its content. For those who do not remember the photo, it showed a person, in a forest, with a fully loaded backpack, wearing blue jeans and kissing a dog. The time seems to be in the late fall or winter.

First, it is not recommended that back-packers (experts or amateurs) wear blue jeans in the fall or winter. They will not keep a person warm if inclement weather suddenly develops. This could be extremely hazardous and could lead to hypothermia. The person should be wearing loose-fitting wool pants or knickers but nothing made of cotton. Wool will keep you warm even when wet. The use of any cotton garments in the winter should be avoided.

Second, even though we all like our animal friends and appreciate their companionship, it is not recommended that household pets be taken along on camping trips. Unknowingly, they can"litter" a trail; and not many of us are willing to clean up after a pet, especially a dog. Sometimes they can be a nuisance to others in camp. So leave Fido home if at all possible.

These sound recommendations and many others for safe and practical backpacking can be found in most publications offered by our local trail clubs, camping outfitters and the U.S. government.