Dogs make the best adventure companions. They’re always down for anything, they don’t complain, and their daily stoke levels are high enough to make a 15-year-old chugging Red Bull on a powder day look bored. Below are a few of my favorite pieces of gear will help enhance the experience for both of you when you take your pup in the forest.
1. The Nite Ize PetLit, which is bright enough to be spotted more than 100 feet away. The half-dollar-size LED clicks securely to your dog’s collar and has a 24-hour battery life. This device is bright and allows you to see fido at night.
2. Ruffwear Highlands Bed on a backpacking trip—it weighs just 14 ounces. This 35-by-26-inch mattress has 1.6 inches of loft to keep your dog off the cold ground and packs down small enough to fit easily into a canine-appropriate pack. This thing packs really well and allows fido to have his / her very own place at camp.
3. The Mountainsmith K-9 Backbowl weighs only 2.5 ounces and packs down flat but can hold an impressive 1.25 liters of water. This thing is great and is not very expensive compared to other bowls.
4. It doesn’t matter how well your dog swims, he should be wearing a life jacket like the NRS CFD if you’re going to be on the river. The burly 10,000-denier Cordura vest gives your dog up to 7.9 pounds of potentially lifesaving buoyancy and provides an easy handle to grab when pulling him back into the raft. This device is not big or bulky at all!
5. Have your dog pack in his food and bed with the saddlebag-like Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack. The easily adjustable chest, stomach, and back straps ensure a well-fitting pack that won’t snag on branches while your dog carries his gear. This pack allows fido to pack everything including the kitchen sink!
6. The Ruffwear K-9 Overcoat is made from a rugged polyester designed to hold up to years of bushwhacking. While the exterior is rough and abrasion resistant, the interior is lined with a soft fleece that will keep your best friend comfortable and warm on the coldest days. Reflective trim makes you both more visible if you’re on the trail at night. If you have lots of scrub and briars where you live your dog will love this. I also sewed strips of leather on mine to make it all the more bullet proof.