Heading out into nature to explore a hiking trail is an adventure that requires planning and due caution, especially if you wish to be comfortable and safe. While you might have your routine and trail down, however, the situation changes when bringing a dog into the equation, raising new considerations and the need for new equipment and accessories.
Whether you’re bringing your dog along for the first time or you want to ensure that your backpacking adventures have everything you both need, we’re sharing our list of the essential kit that every dog owner should bring with them on a hike or backpacking trip.
The most crucial asset when bringing along your four-legged friend is water. Dogs get incredibly thirsty, especially on hot days, and will need to cool off and stay hydrated. If they aren’t able to access the water they need, they might turn to nearby saltwater, which can be incredibly harmful for their bodies. Additionally, since dogs cannot always communicate that they are thirsty, you should always stay prepared with more water than you might need.
No matter how confident you are in your dog’s recall ability or how they may manage new environments, you should always keep a lead nearby. In addition to ensuring they remain safe, especially on dangerous terrain or around other animals, it is also a courtesy to other people who may not feel comfortable around your pet.
Bringing a dog along on a trip, especially a long trip, will require food. As a result, you will also need to bring a protective container along too, one that is strong enough to deter bears and other animals. No matter what type of dog food you bring, even snacks, all food should be kept inside the container for the safety of you both and to ensure provisions are lost to rodents.
First Aid Kit
The items in your own first aid kit won’t always be appropriate for your dog. While there is a large crossover, certain items, such as a recovery collar, will need to be added. It is easy to make your own medical kit and is worth consulting a vet to ensure that you have everything you might need.
A dog’s harness is useful in a number of ways. It can help you to keep hold of your dog when traversing uneven terrain or even alongside steep drops and, during periods of extreme heat, it can be submerged in water and act as a cooling vest to help regulate their body temperature.
Dog mess is an unpleasant occurrence on hiking trails and should never be left behind. Whether you intend to dispose of your dog’s mess in the bushes or to pick it up and dispose of it in a bin, you will likely require poop bags. Since any other option is likely to upset others sharing the trail, it’s important that you not forget bags when stepping out your door!