One of the best investments I ever made in hiking gear, besides good hiking boots, was a backpack for my dog. Asher has a Ruffwear Approach Pack, at least I think that is what he has it’s an older model.
- collapsable bowls- with at least 2 cups of food + treats because yum and 36 oz of water in a collapsible water bottle
- paw protection- dog boots and coconut oil (in a small liquid-tight container)
- extras- leash, identification, and a jacket/layer, a ball to play with & antler to chew
- poo bags- seems obvious, but remember last week when I said pack it in, pack it out. That goes for your dog too. And that’s why he carries a backpack. Not all trails have trash at the trailhead, so be prepared.
Know the rules of the trail you’re on. Most trails require dogs to be on a leash the entire time. While my dog is fabulous off leash, I worry when we encounter other people with dogs off leash. I always have a leash on hand to re-leash him in.
I prefer to keep a set of bear bells on his pack, so when he is off leash I can hear him. His pack also has a plastic luggage tag with our information on it. Should we ever get separated either he gets spooked and runs or something happens to me and he finds help. (I have idolized views of this thanks to Lassie)
Ruffwear recommends a dog carry no more than 25% of their body weight. Asher weighs 60 lbs so he can carry no more than 15 lbs. Which is more than enough for his food, water, and a toy or two while we are out.
Also, I was not given any of the products listed or linked in this post. I bought all of these and love the Ruffwear brand.