What You Should Know About Backpacking With Your Pup
Depending on where you live, backpacking weather might be year-round or just a few select months out the year. While some people call upon a friend to join them for a brutal, challenging trek along one of or country’s beautiful trails, some people opt to bring their furry, four-legged friend to keep them company. Hiking with your dog can be a wonderful experience for both you and them as they get to explore the great outdoors and experience so many different scents. But hiking with Fido isn’t as easy as lacing up your shoes, putting him in the car and taking off. There’s preparation, the gear you need and the most important thing of all: make sure where you are hiking is dog-friendly and that your dog can handle it.
While we wish everywhere in the world was dog-friendly, they aren’t and that included outdoors hiking trails. And the last thing you want is to arrive to the 3-day backpacking trip that you dove 6 hours for just to be told your dog can’t come with you. First things first, check with the local trail association or the forest service to make sure your dog can accompany you since many trails don’t allow it. On top of that, pull out that topography map and determine if they can handle the terrain, especially if they aren’t a regular hiker. Weather is also an obvious important factor since just because you can handle the humid or hot weather, your dog may not as they don’t sweat and can overheat quickly. California weather is perfect for hiking during the winter months with you and not always getting snowed out.
Next up, just like you need to prepare for a new hike, so does your dog. If you don’t already, start walking with them every day and keep increasing the distance so they are used to walking for longer distances at a time without stopping. Bring them along on local, short hikes to get them accustomed to that environment along with the elevation gains and uphill trekking. Remember how you probably did the same thing while preparing for your first adventure? Yeah, your dog needs that too.
When you go backpacking, you take everything you need to survive and you should be packing everything your dog needs to. And what’s great is they can be the ones to carry it with their own backpack! Here’s what should be in your dog’s pack:
First aid kit
Dog backpack that fits their size
Plenty of food and water (you should probably carry the extra water to avoid unnecessary weight on their back)
Portable food and water bowl
Dog towel for drying after a dip in the lake
Metro Wipes® for keeping them fresh
Safety light for his collar
Booties meant for hiking, check out these options and reviews by RobinVentures.com
Dog jacket or vest suitable for the expected weather
Their own sleeping bag or bed that is insulated
Cooling collar or vest since they have trouble dissipating heat themselves
Poopy Packs® because you still need to pick up that dog poop, even on the trail
If you’re going to be hiking with your dog, you want to be as prepared as possible to make sure you both have the time of your lives. In terms of preparation, that’s all I have for you. Have any other tips? Make sure to leave a comment to let us know!