Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa
Hometown: Portland, OR
Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa grew up in rural NH where he forged his love of the outdoors and activities such as fishing, skiing, and his true love backpacking. His time spent in Boy Scouts helped him hone is outdoor skills as he worked his way to becoming and Eagle Scout and fueled his passion for long distance hiking.
Whitney has hiked over 6,000 miles with his K-9 companions over the years. After finding a dog on the Appalachian Trail in 1996 his life was forever changed. Whitney and his first dog Erwin (named for the trail town Erwin, TN) worked on the Appalachian Trail in the 1990’s as Ridge Runners after their thru-hike, where they provided education and support to a variety of trail users. Whitney has hiked many long trails in the US but is most proud of his recent pioneering first thru-hike of the Chinook Trail, a 293 mile route through the Columbia River Gorge in WA&OR.
After many years on the trail, Whitney is a sought after speaker, teaching people about responsible backcountry use with their dog through his business Allgood’s K-9 Adventures. Whitney is also the President of The American Long Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West). He can be found walking the trails around the US in need of a shower, a cold beer, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Favorite Sawyer Product and Why:
The Sawyer mini, hands down is the best $25, 2oz gear improvement I can suggest to people. Forget the bulky pumps that weigh a pound or more, no more waiting on chemicals-just dip, squeeze and sip. In fact, it’s such a great product and easy to use I actually started to treat my water again in life.
Favorite Outdoor Location:
Being based in Portland, OR I am spoiled with having both the Columbia River Gorge & the Cascade Mountains as my backyard playground and training ground, sometimes I take their beauty for granted, but not often. When I have enough time to travel, I head for the High Sierra; nothing beats the granite peaks and wide open spaces that the sierra mountains provide.
One Piece of Advice or Something You've Learned Spending So Much Time Outdoors:
Be flexible and smile; No matter how much you plan Mother Nature has a funny way of letting you know who is really in control. I often find that general planning is good, but its best to roll with what the trip deals you as it happens. No matter how bad the situation might seem or actually be, I find that if I can keep smile on my face I will deal with things easier and also keep my partners in good spirts through good and bad.