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9 “Must Haves” for People who Hike with Their Dog

9 “Must Haves” for People who Hike with Their Dog

Is there a birthday or holiday coming up and you have no idea what to get your dog loving hiker… I can help! Here are a few must have gift ideas for any occasion.

1. Ice cleats.

Whether it’s the end of fall or even early spring, take a look if their ice cleats need a replacement, or they just need a pair to start with. By the end of last winter, my ice cleats had completely fallen apart. I ordered a new pair of icetrax’s, which were highly recommended and I found them on an end of season sale. I can’t wait to give them a try next winter.

Ice cleats are a must if hiking in the winter or early spring when the snow starts to melt. There is nothing worse than slipping and falling 5 km in on your hike. I forgot my ice cleats on a hike in February and spent two hours sliding all over the place and bracing for impact on each small hill. Thank goodness I didn’t fall, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable hike.

2. Tick comb, tick socks or a tick kit

If you live anywhere that has ticks, you know they are a pain. I do a fair amount of field work, and yes I have been bitten by a tick and yes I find them on my clothes on a regular basis. There have been days that I have had to strip down in the washroom stall and shake them out of my pants and shirt at lunch. I have also found them on Nala after our hikes.

As soon as the weather gets to about 4’C or above, I have made a habit of checking Nala and myself before we get in the car after our hikes.

I’m very grateful I have these tick combs, they’re amazing. The ticks are very small in April, and today I gave Nala a quick check after our hike and didn’t see anything. We got home, and I started brushing her. The first brush under her ears, I pulled this tick out from under her fur.

Tick kits to safely remove a tick if it bites you or tick socks are also a worthwhile investment and take up little space in your hiking backpack.

3. Collapsible water bowl

I know every dog is different, but my dog Nala drinks a lot of water! If we go on a hike, she drinks about 500 ml per 1-3 km depending on the temperature and difficulty of the hike. I find it easiest to carry a collapsible water bowl that I can pour the water from the bottle into. There are also bottles that have a ‘cup’ attached that are also great. Personally, I also use the collapsible bowl when we travel as her water bowl.

4. Hands free dog leash and harness

Although we do the majority of our hiking off leash, there are many locations that we also enjoy hiking on leash. We have a hands free leash that clips around my waist and then onto Nala’s harness. I find Nala is a puller, so I clip the leash onto the front of her harness, and she tends to stop pulling, making it a much more enjoyable hike for both of us.

5. Paw cleaner

I love my dog, but I will admit the muddy paws are my pet peeve. I have dark hardwood floors and the slightest bit of mud makes prints all over the house. I absolutely love this paw cleaner, and use it after hikes or even when Nala has been outside in the backyard on a rainy day.

I’ve seen them advertised on Amazon and Canadian tire, but I will admit, I bought mine at the dollar store and it does the trick just fine. All you have to do is fill it about 1/2 way with water and dip each of her paws in and out of the container. The gentle plastic numbs take the mud off and then dry them with a towel. It only takes a moment, but saves me running after her cleaning the floor.

Paw Wash

Who can stop at only 5 gift ideas for your hiker, here are a few additional bonus ideas for your dog lover.

6. Back Pack – for hiker or for their dog

When the kids and I were in Belgium, we all got the perfect little backpacks that I carry around on almost every short hike. I can’t imagine hiking without it! It perfectly fits our collapsible water bowl, water bottle, poop bags, my keys and phone with space for snacks or other small items.

Hiking Backpack

There are also dog packs available that fit similar to a harness with pockets to carry light items such as water bowl, poop bags or treats.

7. Mini First aid kit

Depending on where you are hiking and how remote the trail, a small first aid kit with a few essentials could be a life saver. They don’t need to be expensive, I’ve seen several available for a few bucks, and well worth the money.

First Aid Kit

8. Dog treat pouch

If your hike is long enough that you are bringing snacks for yourself, perhaps you should consider a few for your pup as well. You may also appreciate a few dog treats if you are working on some training and taking the opportunity to practice their new skills in different surroundings.

We’re running the Ruff Mudder this June, and I pre-ordered this dog treat pouch that I am excited to try out.

Treat Bag

9. Poop Bags or Poop Bag Holder

I don’t have one particular poop bag brand, there are a few that I purchase, depending what I find on sale. But I love the plastic holders that attach onto the handle of her leash. With that said, this is one item you get what you pay for, and dollar store ones are not a bargain, they are so thin, I find I need to double bag them on every use.

Beggars can’t be choosers, I appreciate any poop bags that are given to me, as I’ll end up using them eventually. Not to mention, I normally keep a spare roll in my car, at the back door, coat pockets, on Nala’s leash and in my hiking backpack. That is one item I don’t even want to be without when walking Nala.

Poop Bags
Karen Callery
Karen Callery

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