Backpacking is not sexy. Rock climbing, kayaking, skiing IS sexy. Backpacking, just the word sounds like suffering. Backpacking is just the way to get to awesome places. Places you couldn’t get to any other way. So put all your gear on your back and walk over there. You can only see so much from your car. Backpacking yourself is not the thing. The thing is the places you get to go.

Ace Kvale turned 60 last fall, and to celebrate, he planned a backpacking for 60 days, off-trail backpacking trip around Utah’s Canyon Country, leaving from his front door. He had a dozen friends join him for different sections of the trip, and one friend who joined him for the whole thing: his blue heeler, 10-year-old Genghis Khan. They covered more than 400 miles on their journey, and Ace wore one pair of shoes for the entire trip: Vasque Inhalers. Filmmakers Forest Woodward and Brendan Leonard captured the trip, and Genghis and Ace’s special relationship, in the short film “Ace and the Desert Dog.”

To find the footwear for your next adventure, visit

Video: Forest Woodward, Brendan Leonard

Why it she internet full of cats? Because the dogs are too busy playing outside!