Whenever I am on a local hike, there is a good chance that you will find my dogs at my side. It has gotten to a point that when I am out of the trail without my dogs… Serious guilt sets in. I use the excuse that hiking with my dogs is imperative for their optimal health; But deep inside, I just want my boys with me on my adventures! Read on to learn the 10 must have items when hiking with your dog.
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Hiking With Your Dog
My dogs add a lot to my hikes. At times, they give me purpose to be out there. They have an abundance of energy and tend to keep me hiking a little further than I would on my own. In addition, if I need to hit the trail for work purposes, I have 2 buddies that I can always count on to accompany me. Luckily, their schedules are usually clear.
Another benefit of bringing Bruno, (my Pit Bull) and Manchester, (my Jack Russell Terrier), is that they alert me to wildlife that I would otherwise be oblivious to. From a safety standpoint, they are an early warning system when a stranger is approaching our path. I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t feel added protection when my boys are part of my team.
There are certainly more positives than negatives when it comes to having my dogs out on the trail. But in all honesty… It’s not always fun and games.
- They take my focus away when I am working.
- I need to carry extra gear.
- They scare the fish away with all of their water play.
- They tend to ruin my video reviews & briefings with their random barks.
Having my dogs with me adds much more responsibility to the outing. Over the years of hiking with my furry kids, covering countless miles, there are a few items that I found that make the mission much more enjoyable. At times, I have saddlebags for my dogs so that we can share the extra weight. But in warmer weather, I opt for carrying the gear myself ensuring greater safety for my boys.
I’d like to share with you 10 of the items that I bring along when I am hiking with my dogs. I approach their gear the same way that I do my own. The weight and multi-purpose applications of their equipment, certainly plays a role in my decision making.
So Let’s Get Started…
1. Ripstop Blanket:
Me and my dogs hike on varied terrain when we hit the trails. Sometimes it’s sandy, other times it’s rocky and everything else in between. On extended rest breaks, I lay out the blanket in order to give them a bit more comfort. No… they aren’t being fancy, they are getting as much R&R as possible so that they could keep up on the longer humps.
By adding this barrier it also keeps the nasty ticks, fleas and ants from annoying my dogs. Even with the best insect repellant, these critters still tend to bother the shit out of my dogs… so any preventive measure is helpful.
The blanket can also serve varied purposes for my dogs. It can be used to provide shade from the hot sun. It can also be used as a rain fly for those unexpected downpours. Due to the construction of the blanket, it can also provide much needed warmth for my dogs in certain scenarios.
2. Leash & Harness:
Keeping my dogs on a leash is not only the law where I live… but it is also the right thing to do. Not only will it be more comfortable for other people that are sharing the trail with us but it is also the safest measure for my dogs. With a leash I always know where my dogs are. There are many trigger-happy morons in the world. If they see a Pit Bull coming at them for whatever reason… It may not bode well for my boy Bruno.
I keep the leash affixed to their standard collar while hiking. But when we take our extended breaks, I put a harness on my dogs to give their necks a break. Between me accidentally pulling on them for many miles and their own natural movements, their collars can cause irritation. I replace their collars with harnesses and fasten their leashes to them. This gives their necks a much needed break from their collars.
I tend to have a decent amount of cordage with me whether solo or with my dogs. The versatility of paracord goes without say. But when it comes to my dogs, they need to be leashed as we previously discussed. When moving on the trail, a standard leash will suffice. But when I take an extended break to work or for chow… I want to extend that short leash to give my dogs more roaming room.
Trees are usually abundant when I’m out in the field. I tie an extended leader made of paracord, to the existing leash; The other end gets fastened to a tree. This allows my dogs much more leeway so that they can do their thing. In return, since they are entertained, I can focus on the task at hand without having to tend to my dogs every few minutes.
For the rest of this awesome list, go to SurvivalLife.com!