Photo of pup Blaize by Kathleen and Greg of Tiny House, Tiny Footprint.
Nothing beats hitting the trails or pitching a campsite with your best four-legged friend in tow. For all the fun it is to have your loyal companion enjoying the outdoors with you, it's also important to make sure you've prepped for their comfort and safety just as you would for your own. We take a look at some tips and gear to get you and the pup ready for your next trek into the woods.
Trail Etiquette: Do your research and check the dog regulations for the trails and campsite you'll be visiting. Be sure to always keep your pup on a lead and help them remain calm when encountering other hikers and dogs on the trail. If you're going to be on rougher terrain, consider a harness like Ruffwear's Perfect Web for hiking, scrambling and mobility assistance.
Biodegradable Waste Bags: It's important to have baggies handy to clean up after your dog, especially when on the trail or at a campsite. We recommend picking up a biodegradable option like BioBag. Leave no trace!
Toys: Don't forget to pack a couple of your dog's favorite toys and treats for the trek. Having a familiar toy will help prevent boredom and keep them calm and comfortable in a new place. Try a Kong toy and fill it with peanut butter, that will keep them happy while you make s'mores by the camp fire.
First Aid Kit: Just as you would pack first aid essentials for you and your two-legged friends, pack one for your four-legged one. Pack this compact one from Duluth Trading Company which is complete with a splinter/tick tweezer, antibacterial wipes, bandages and more.
Dog Packs: Depending on size, most dogs can carry their own food and water in a dog pack like Mountainsmith's K9 Pack. It's very important to pack the appropriate amount for your trip along with a water filter. Keep in mind you'll likely need more food than you typically feed your dog on a daily basis.
Weather Protection: In the colder months, think about ways to keep your pup warm and comfortable on the trail. Booties are a smart choice as they help protect their paws, keep them warm and provide traction on rough terrain. A weatherproof jacket like Ruffwear's Cloud Chaser will keep your dog toasty and dry while protecting against rain, snow and wind.
What are the campsites and trails you and your pup love to visit? Share in the comments!