Top Gear Recommendations for Hiking & Backpacking with your Dog
Rocky here. I’m an 8-year-old rescue (almost 9) who LOVES to go on walks and particularly loves to hike with my hoomans. Hiking is my favorite thing to do (well...actually receiving pets and cuddles is my favorite…followed up by drinking water, but then there is hiking! And I love it! I always prefer to be the line leader.
If you have a favorite four-legged buddy and you want to take him or her hiking and/or backpacking…here is a guide for gear for hiking with dogs! Or maybe your buddy already hikes with you but you need some new equipment. Check out our top 7 list for hiking 4-legged buddy!
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So depending on where you go hiking, you may be required to keep your dog on leash. Your dog really should remain on leash if your dog does not have good recall and will not come to you. We won’t get into that here, but this is #1 for a reason. This is a great leash for hiking. It has the option to attach it to yourself (either around your waist or to your waist belt on your pack) so that your hands can be free (to have poles or to reach and steady yourself). I also like that bungee part as it does give you a bit of flexibility to move so that your dog has the ability to move away from you but without jerking you forward (this can very important!).
Coming in at number 2…this is actually great for all dogs. Rocky loves his Dog Road ID. It attaches to his collar and so he does not have the clanging of his dog tags that can at
times be very annoying. It has all pertinent information if he gets lost and then also a personal added message that he likes his head to be petted. (granted one problem for Rocky is if he is lost, he may not allow you near him to pet his head lol). So that’s why we also have on our list a Fi GPS collar!
Mom loves her own Buff to use as a headband and neck gaiter. Rocky loves his bright orange buff neckwear…particularly to wear when we are in national forests that also have hunting. This provides a bright beacon to show…don’t shoot me, I’m a dog! He does not wear this all the time, but as a hiker you need to know where exactly you are hiking and what other activities happen in that space. This would also be good to wear in situations where you share the trail with mountain bikers (just so they can clearly see them but maybe not as dire when you’re in a space with hunters). Rocky also really seems to like this as it mimics a little bit like his Thunder Shirt and kinda provides him with a hug that is comforting to him.
Collapsible Water/food bowl:
Whether you are hiking or backpacking, one of the 10 essentials is water…and that is a MUST for Rocky as well. (this dog LOVES his water). These are the current bowls we are using for day hikes and also backpacking. They are sturdy and easy to clean. We got them in a two-pack...so one for water and one for food! (We
This is my new backpack! I had inherited one from my brother…and it didn’t fit all that well but worked for a while. But then I decided to roll in a dead smell…and well the backpack had to be “retired”. Mom also made me take a bath in the river or I wasn’t allowed in the tent. I mean what’s a little dead smell amongst friends!?!? The Ruffwear Backpack Palisades is great. It took some adjusting with the straps to get it just right, but I wear a medium. It has lots of pockets and even includes two water bottles so I can carry my own water. It also is very easy to take off just the backpack from the harness for water crossings.
This is my current sleeping bag. It does the trick but I don’t tend to actually sleep inside of it. Honestly, this selection is a decent one if you’re not looking to spend a lot of money. At some point we will upgrade to a different one…possibly the Ruffwear one but Rocky has to save up his treats to pay for this.
This is not Rocky’s recommendation…this is his Mom’s requirement! I have hiked quite a bit with Rocky without anything of this nature. However, this year we went to NM and we had hiked 5 miles (which he’s done plenty of times and more than that). But he ended up stopping and would NOT go any further. I didn't have the Fido Pro Airlift at this time but this trip is why I got it and will not go without it. I’m not sure if he got overheated or his paw pads got too raw or maybe it was a combination. He had never hiked in this climate before and basically, he was telling me he could go no further. We had to take a break under a tree…for almost two hours. My dog weighs over 70 lbs so picking him up and carrying him down was not an option. Thankfully in this instance, we were almost to the car and we managed without the Fido Pro Airlift...that time around. This really made me realize that if something happened to Rocky and he is not mobile for whatever reason, then I didn't have a way that I could feasibly help him. You’ve GOT to have a way to get him or her down if they get injured. Thankfully I have not had to use mine and hope to never have to do so, but I won’t hike without it now. Spend the money on this one!
That’s it! That’s Rocky and my top 7 recommendations for 2023 for your friends/buddies who hike with their dog. Is there anything else you would add to our list? Or a product that you like better? Let us know in the comments below. Happy tails on the trail!