Backpacking, hiking, and camping are all fun activities, to say the least. Add in your best friend, and the fun knows no bounds. Of course, more than dogs they are our companions who make space in our hearts with little puppy eyes! And any doggy parent knows very well just how accustomed to their presence we get; so much so that every outing is incomplete without them by our side. However, it is very important to ensure certain aspects such as your little pals’ food and safety are taken care of.
So, if you’re looking for major things to be kept under consideration when planning little backpacking and hiking adventures with your dog, look no further!
Does Your Pup Like Hiking?
This is the first step to consider. Hikes or any other such adventures will be enjoyable only if your dog actually likes them. Granted, almost all dogs berserk with joy at the mention of walks, but still a backpacking trip or hike is quite a different story. Plan a shorter trip and take your dog along just to see if it is actually completely on board with the idea. For the most part, dogs love being outdoors, and so hiking is really their thing.
Things to Consider
- Like all pets, and somewhat like human babies, dogs too have health and age concerns which must always be kept in mind. You can’t expose all types and ages of dogs to the same exertion levels.
- The first factor to consider is the age of your dog. If your canine friend is too young or too old, it’s best to avoid hiking or backpacking. Younger dogs may lack the strength or stamina for long hikes, and older ones can get tired out very quickly.
- Next up, evaluate the health condition of your dog. Hiking, backpacking, and other such adventures often require rigorous exercise as well as exposure to harsh elements of nature. They need to be in the prime of their health if the trip is to be a success. Make sure you keep your dogs’ capabilities and limits in mind when planning your trip. Not all dogs can partake in vigorous exercises. The breed of the dog for instance also matters with this respect.
The level of training of your dog is also an important factor. Some questions to ask yourself are: how trained is your dog? Does your dog always respond when called by you? Are they accustomed to being on a leash?
When you’re planning your hike, ensure the trail you intend to go on allows dogs. There are many instances of trails on which dogs aren’t allowed. An example would be hiking trails in national parks which often do not allow dogs. For this reason, it is essential that you conduct an appropriate level of research to avoid any disappointments.
Things to Pack
Just like you need to pack essentials for yourself, you’re going to need to pack some for your canine friend as well.
- Poop bags are probably the first things that’ll spring to mind. The trail you go to should be maintained in clean and hygienic conditions for others, and therefore cleaning up after your pooch is absolutely essential.
- Hikes and backpacking adventures include interactions with elements of nature. Accidents can occur, or your little friend may fall sick. Packing a comprehensive first aid kit can prove to be very helpful in these circumstances. You can often find first aid kits specifically designed for dogs/pets, or you could compile one yourself.
- It should include some heavy-duty or gauze bandages, a squirt bottle filled with saline, some antiseptic wipes or antibiotic ointment, splinter remover, antihistamine, and a pain reliever. For pups, the pain reliever of choice should be something like buffered aspirin. Regular ones such as Tylenol have been known to cause internal issues in dogs. It’s best to get one after consulting with the vet.
- Rubber gloves can prove to be very handy.
- A muzzle should also be kept for instances in which your dog gets very rowdy or prone to a bite such as during treatment of any injuries.
- Food & Water
Just like you would for yourself, make sure you pack an adequate amount of food and water for your dog. To make your own life easier, get a pouch that your pup can carry. After all, your dog ought to carry its own weight in life. The specific amount of food and water that your dog would need for the trip depends on your dogs’ appetite as well as how strenuous your hike is going to be. So for instance, if you’re going for a day pack at least a day and a halfs’ worth of food just to be on the safe side. There are even energy bars for dogs, to administer a much-needed energy boost!
This applies only if you’re going to be spending the night camping somewhere, and obviously not to day trips. It really depends on your own level of comfort and attachment. Some owners prefer to let their dogs sleep in their own tents, while some like a separate one for their canines. The only really important thing to consider here is whether your dog is warm and comfortable enough to get a good nights’ sleep.
Clothing for Your Mutt
In case your camping trip is in particularly harsh weather, ensure your dog has clothing to keep it protected and warm at all times. It is definitely a funny sight, but some dogs do need some extra help in maintaining body temperatures.
The things you are going to need depend a great deal on the specifics of your hiking trip, as well as the requirements of your dog. Dog harnesses and collar clip-on lights, as well as pet wipes are some other items that can be very helpful for hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures.
by Bobby J Davidson
We are in business to provide great products for the outdoorsy hikers, campers and their dogs; and to help clean our parks, rivers and oceans for a better planet earth for hikers and their dogs.
Parks are high-traffic areas in most cities. This means that trash is bound to show up in and around your park and playground.
When discussing ways your family can help clean your local park, don’t overlook a literal cleanup! Picking up trash will make a huge difference in the appearance and vibe of your park. A clean area will encourage others to keep the park pristine. When picking up trash and debris, make sure to wear gloves to protect yourself, and put trash in appropriate receptacles or lawn bags. You can also contact your local trash company to schedule a pickup when you are finished.
The storm drain on your street collects the water from your roof, driveway, and sidewalk and funnels it directly in your local lake or river. Nutrients from grass and leaves, pet waste, and fertilizers “enrich” our lakes and streams — feeding algae blooms and harming fish. Chemicals from washing your car in the drive and household chemical spills add up, taking a nasty toll on our favorite swimming areas and fishing spots. Soil can also be picked up by runoff, reducing the clarity of water and hurting fish.
So as you prepare your lawn and garden, here are a few helpful tips to keep our lakes and rivers beautiful and safe for all of us.
- Use mulch and vegetation to keep soil from washing away.
- Sweep or rake grass and leaves away from street curbs.
- Mulch and compost grass clippings and leaves.
- Keep paved surfaces to a minimum.
- Capture water runoff with a rain garden and rain barrels.
- Wash your car on the grass, where the water will get filtered.
- Keep chemicals away from storm drains.
- Collect your pet’s waste.
- Aim your rain-gutter downspouts onto grass.
Beaches Clean (do it for the ocean)
In 2007, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed the National Clean Beaches Week Resolution to recognize the value of beaches to the American way of life and the important contributions of beaches to the economy, recreation, and natural environment of the United States.
Clean Beaches Week, celebrated annually July 1-7, offers the perfect opportunity to encourage stewardship and volunteerism along our coastlines. But where do you even begin? Follow these tips to get started.
- Identify a clean-up site. Choose a place that needs some TLC, making sure that volunteers can safely access the site. Get permission, if needed, for your clean-up event, perhaps from the local parks agency.
- Choose a site coordinator. (That might be you!) A beach clean-up takes a lot of work and needs an organized person to keep everything on track before, during, and after the event.
- Visit the site in advance. The coordinator will need to know where to set up a volunteer check-in station, where to leave trash and recyclables, and what area(s) volunteers will clean.
- Gather supplies. Depending on your location, you’ll need supplies such as trash bags, a first aid kit, hand sanitizer, wipes, and large coolers of water. You should also provide (or ask volunteers to bring) items such as reusable work/garden gloves, reusable water bottles, sunscreen, and bug spray.
- Plan how to handle the recyclables. Reach out to recyclers in your area (and perhaps your community’s solid waste departments) to make arrangements for accepting any glass, plastic, and aluminum that you collect.
- Line up event partners. Contact local businesses for donations of drinks, food, and supplies. Ask a local solid waste hauler to donate their services for trash removal.
- Plan for handling hazardous waste. Determine how you’ll dispose of any medical and sewage waste you might find. One solution: A wide-mouth container with a tight-fitting lid, such as an empty laundry detergent bottle. Clearly label that it contains hazardous waste.
- Get volunteers to help. Recruit friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Create an event on Facebook and ask volunteers to sign up online. This will give you an idea of how many people to expect and will help communicate event details.
- Stay safe. Be prepared for a variety of health emergencies, from minor cuts and scrapes to heat stroke.
- Take photos! Post pics online to share the success of your event and recognize volunteers for their hard work.