Believe it or not, you absolutely CAN use Uber and Lyft with your dog while on a long distance hike. I had no idea this was possible before hiking the Northern half of the Appalachian Trail in 2018. Here are the basics:
As soon as you request a car, CALL the owner
You could text if you can’t get voice service, but I’d recommend calling as soon as you get matched with a driver, letting them know you have a well-behaved dog and asking them for permission to take you both to your destination. A little foresight and consideration goes a long way. From New Jersey to Maine, I was able to bring my chocolate lab on 14 ride sharing trips (when I had service to book them!), and I was never turned down.
Make sure your dog behaves in a car!
If your dog doesn’t behave, probably not a good idea to call an Uber or Lyft. However, I doubt you’d be on a long distance hike if that were the case!
Be ready to wait for availability in rural areas
A lot of the rural areas near the trail have 1-2 drivers, if any. Do your research ahead of time to find out if you can get a ride before relying on Uber or Lyft. It’s a great idea to have a shuttle service in mind for the area you are hiking in, in case of emergencies. Definitely relevant if you are hiking with a dog.
Keep a camp towel to keep any dirt from your pup off the seats
As soon as your driver arrives, introduce your dog and ask them how they would like to transport the both of you. Many drivers will have blankets or covers just for this purpose.
Toby rode in the back seat as well as behind the seats on his camp towel.
If you Uber with your dog: manners, manners, manners!
I can’t stress how important manners are while on trail. For those of you hiking the AT or any hike with a dog, treat everyone with respect so more generations of hikers can enjoy hiking with their best furry friends. I always tipped my drivers for accepting us both, especially if they provided great service.
Hopefully these tips will influence drivers to keep accepting dogs on ride shares!
Happy ride sharing!