Hiking with Dogs

hiking tips
When hitting the trails, there’s no need to leave your four legged friend at home. Hiking with dogs is a great way to explore the great outdoors and to get some solid exercise for both of you. There are a few things to consider to keep your dog safe in the outdoors and to be knowledgable of his or her physical limitations.

Plan Ahead

Before leaving for your trip, look up whether or not the park and specific hiking trail you are planning to take allow dogs. There are many that do, but those usually have extra rules pertaining to dogs that are important to remember. For example, most parks require dogs to be leashed. Additionally, leashes should generally be less than six feet in length. Even if your dog is leashed on a trail, it’s proper etiquette to keep your dog under control when other people and dogs are passing by. You do not want to intimidate any fellow hikers and having good control of your four legged friend is considered polite.

Is Your Dog Ready for a Hike?

Make sure your dog is physically in shape enough to do the hike. This is especially true if you will be having your dog carry their own bag full of treats and water. Start small, by taking short walks with a pack around the neighborhood and work up from there. If your dog is older or in poor physical condition, they will probably be happier left with a friend or at home.

First-Aid for Dogs on the Trail

Be prepared. Take a lesson from the boy scouts and be ready for anything. You will likely be far from the closest vet so it is important you know how to react should anything happen. Petco and the Red Cross offer first-aid classes for pets, while the internet is also a great source for educating yourself on how to care for a wounded dog on the trail.

Dog Packs

Dog packs are specifically designed for mobile hydration and for carrying dog snacks. They are best for day hikes or trail runs. For backpacking trips, you’ll want a dog pack with more padding, cushioning and bigger volume. Young and healthy dogs can carry up to 25% of their weight in their pack. Some can carry more, but it’s not a bad idea to run it by your vet.

What to Pack for your Dog

Keep your pooch well hydrated and nourished on the trip. Dogs need water while hiking just as much as we do. As mentioned earlier, there are packs that dogs can carry where you can pack their food and water. Some of these packs come with a compressible water dish or it can be purchased separately. Instead of packing a food dish, it is recommended to simply place the food on a rock. This will help save some weight when hiking. Additionally, bring filtered water. Water from lakes can have algae or parasites that can make your dog extremely sick, so it is important to keep an eye on what they drink.

If you are headed out on an overnight trip, there are a few things to remember. First, depending on the temperature, you may consider purchasing clothing to help warm your dog. Some dogs prefer to sleep in clothing rather than a sleeping bag on cold nights outside. In addition, depending on the terrain, your dog will appreciate foot protection. Dog boots are available in various sizes, so be sure to find the right one that will stay on your dog’s feet while running on the trails.

Many dogs like to swim, however not all of them are comfortable around water. Depending on your dog’s swimming abilities, or if you will be around water at all, it is a good idea to bring a doggie PDF (personal floatation device). PDFs also increase your dogs visibility should he or she get caught downstream and they’re easy to grab onto should your dog jump into a moving current.

Waste Disposal

Just like humans, your dog’s waste should be buried at least 200 feet away from water sources. Cleaning up after your pooch in the woods is proper trail etiquette!

Marmot Haven Review

Marmot Haven 2 Person Tent

This might look like it’s from outer space, but this Marmot tent was designed right here in Santa Rosa, California. It’s the Haven 2 Person Tent, let’s take a look. Fully seam-taped and waterproof, made out of rip-stop nylon. Snag-free zipper flaps. Light-reflective guide-points. We don’t just sew our stake-out points into the seams of the tent, we add extra webbing and do a box-stitch for added durability. We have a great combination of a lightweight clip and DAC lightweight pulls for superior strength-to-weight ratio. It’s really easy to set up. You just stake out the perimeter of the tent, and you have single pole that attaches to the outside so that you can set it up without water getting in if it happens to be raining. It also has a removable floor, let’s take a look. What I love about this tent is the weight. You can get rid of the floor, save yourself 15 ounces, and have a 3 pound shelter. This would be a great bike touring tent. You could lay your bike down on its side and sleep on this side, or have a couple people in here for an ultra-light shelter. It takes no time to clip in the floor. So as you can see, with the floor buckled in, you have 360 degree floor ventilation.

Kelty Satellite 30 Degrees Doublewide Sleeping Bag Review

The Satellite 30 Kelty sleeping bag is as close as you can get to bringing your home mattress in to the great outdoors. This Kelty Satellite 30 Degrees Doublewide sleeping bag has a fitted sheet style bottom that fits perfectly over a queen size air mattress. An elastic draw cord ensures a snug fit under the mattress. The upper half of the Satellite can be fully unzipped to be used as a separate blanket or to create a lightweight, single sleeping bag. The bottom half of the bag, attached to the fitted sheet, is still insulated to help protect against the cold ground and to offer a little extra padding. And then when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we’ve integrated mesh storage pockets at the foot and the sides, keeping your personal items close and off the ground. Finally, when you’re not using your Satellite, simply fold it in half, secure it with the toggles, and roll it up. We’ve located compression straps at the foot of the bag for when you need to store it. Whether you’re looking for the comforts of home on your next camping trip or want to be prepared for an overnight guest, the Satellite offers an innovated, all-inclusive solution.

Kelty Coromell Sleeping Bag

Kelty Sleeping Bags

The Coromell Series combines the lightweight and compact benefits of a technical backcountry bag with the space and comfort of a base camp bag. It uses a semi-rectangular cut tapering slightly at the foot, which helps it perform better thermally than a full rectangular bag. It still gives you plenty of room to move around during the night. It also has a full length zipper which follows all the way across the bottom of the bag allowing you to open it fully and use it as a blanket. There are dual locking sliders so the zipper won’t open as you move and you can open the bag from either end to help you regulate your temperature. The feature rich Coromell Series also includes zippered chest pockets, sleeping pad security loops, and internal liner loops. But of all of its features one of the coolest, most versatile, and exclusive to Kelty, is its removable zip off hood. Both sides of the zipper are protected against stress for cold weather use and the hood can zip off entirely when the weather is warmer. Finally when you are done using your Coromell you can store it in its cotton storage sack or pack it down in its lightweight compression stuff sack.

Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag Review

Kelty’s Cosmic Down bags are truly industry leaders in terms of their performance and value. The Cosmic Down 0 bag is filled with 550 fill power down and EN tested with a limit radiant of 4 degrees Fahrenheit. To help ensure its warm performance, we use a full collar baffle, insulated hood baffle and zipper draft tube. The 3/4 length zipper has two locking sliders so you can open the zipper from either end to help you regulate your temperature, and the zipper draft tube is reinforced to prevent snagging. On the outside of the bag, we wanted to make the Cosmic Down 0 look as good as it performs. So, we’ve incorporated the tonal graphic into the material, making it extra durable. Then when you’re not using your Cosmic Down 0, it packs simply into the cinch-style stuff sack. As you can see, the Cosmic Down 0 is a great value; a proven performer with simple, functional features.

Kelty Light Year Sleeping Bag Review

The Kelty Light Year Series offers an authentic feature-rich multi-day backpacking sleeping bag at an incredible value. Starting with construction, the Light Year Down 20 has an EN limit of 25 degrees, which we achieved by using a slant, baffled construction and 600-fill power goose down. This twenty-degree bag also includes a full collar baffle and a zipper draft tube, which keep you warm and eliminates drafts and heat loss. The 58-inch zipper uses a locking slider that keeps the zipper in place so your bag doesn’t open in the middle of the night. It also has sliders at both ends so you can self-regulate the temperature within your bag. More exciting features include a zippered chest pocket to keep valuable warm and close at hand, sleeping pad security loops to ensure your bag stays put through the night, and internal liner loops to help secure an extra layer for added warmth or to help keep your bag clean. Finally all of our Light Year bags include a Kelty storage sack which preserves your bag and a lightweight compression stuff sack helping to keep your bag as small as possible within your pack.