If you and your pup are a dynamic, adventurous pair, you've probably taken a few hikes together. And what more do you need to explore the great outdoors than your soulful sidekick? No matter where you roam, it's vital to be prepared before you hit the trail. When you’re hiking solo with your dog, it’s especially crucial to make sure you have everything you need. Here are five essential items you should bring on a solo hike with your dog.
1. Water and a bowl
Staying hydrated is important for both you and your dog while hiking. Be sure to bring enough water for both of you, as well as a collapsible bowl for your dog to drink from.
You can also consider bringing a water filter or purification tablets in case you need to refill your water from a natural source. Researching the length, difficulty, and climate of the trail beforehand is essential so you don't under-pack.
2. First aid and evac kit
Accidents can happen, even on short hikes. Be prepared for any injuries by bringing a first aid kit. Include items such as gauze, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers. An evac kit can help transport an injured dog who may be rendered immobile and a muzzle allows you or a vet to render aid without fear of being bitten. Remember to also pack any medications your dog may need, such as allergy medicine or medication for motion sickness.
3. Leash and ID tags
Even if your dog is well-behaved off-leash, it’s important to have a leash with you in case you encounter other hikers or wildlife. Your dog should also be wearing a collar with ID tags that include your contact information. In case you get separated, this will increase the chances of being reunited with your furry friend.
Just like you need fuel for a long hike, your dog does too. Bring some snacks or treats to give your dog throughout the hike to keep their energy levels up. You can also consider bringing some high-calorie dog food in case you get lost or stuck on the trail for longer than expected.
5. Poop Bags
It’s important to follow Leave No Trace principles while hiking, which means packing out all of your trash, including your dog’s waste. Bring plenty of poop bags to clean up after your dog, and make sure to dispose of them properly.
Hiking solo with your dog can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be prepared. By bringing these five essential items – water and a bowl, a first aid and evac kit, leash and ID tags, snacks, and poop bags – you can ensure that your hike is safe, enjoyable, and stress-free for both you and your adventure pup.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.