Dogs make great adventure buddies. Depending on the breed, they’re energetic, fun-loving, and don’t complain nearly as much as your human companions might. When taking them outdoors, you can make do with an ordinary collar and leash, but building up your dog’s gear kit will make their time in the field (and yours) safer and more comfortable. We researched the market, read customer reviews, and relied on our own four-legged friends’ experience with some of these products while hiking, camping, and otherwise enjoying time outside. That’s how we know this gear will hold up on all your excursions.
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Kurgo Journey Air
The mesh lining of this athletic-fitting harness will keep your doggo comfortable after hours of wear. Kurgo offers the Journey Air in five sizes, each with four adjustment points for further customization once it’s buckled on. Loops on the chest and back give you options for attaching a leash.
Tuff Mutt Hands-Free
A hands-free leash is a good option for trail running, hiking with trekking poles, or other times when your hands are otherwise occupied. This 4-foot 3-inch leash stretches to nearly 5 feet 5 inches, thanks to the bungee section in the middle. That bungee extends slowly with a healthy resistance, which ensured less of a tug when our lab-mix tester Poppy maxed it out. Handles on both ends let us rein her in when we crossed paths with other dogs and their humans.
Nite Ize NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace
Keep an eye on your dog when it’s dark out with the NiteHowl. It’s available in five colors, and the two LED lights work in glow or flash modes. Our tester has been particularly impressed with the run time. Almost two years in, she hasn’t had to replace the batteries yet.
Most sleeping pads have just enough room for humans. Bringing something like Klymit’s Moon dog bed on your next camping trip will help ensure your dog doesn’t try to muscle in on your space. The 210-denier laminated polyester air pad is tough enough to withstand sharp claws, and the washable fleece cover adds more durability. Fully inflated, the Moon measures 2.5 inches thick, but backs down small enough to use in the backcountry (or save some room in your trunk while car camping).
Ruffwear Clear Lake
On cold nights, the Clear Lake can keep your pooch warm. The 75-denier polyester shell is slobber-proof and can handle light abuse. Inside, it’s got 500-gram recycled synthetic insulation. Ruffwear includes a stuff sack for easy transport to and from your campsite.
With proper training, there’s no reason your dog can’t carry some of their own weight on hiking and backpacking trips. This Mountainsmith pack holds six to 18 liters worth of stuff, depending on the size you choose. You can adjust the height of the panniers independently of the chest harness for maximum carrying efficiency, and mesh and perforated EVA foam padding lend comfort.
Remington Nickel Cow Bell for Dogs
This lightweight bell lets us locate our pup when she’s off lease. It’s as easy as threading her collar through the bell’s nylon loop. For greater precision (or if you’re that kind of dog helicopter parent), the Fi smart collar uses GPS and LTE to track your dog’s location and daily step count.
Wolfgang Man & Beast Field Dog Bowl
Portability is usually top of mind when you’re hiking and camping. The waterproof-lined Field Dog Bowl collapses down when not in use and has a D-ring for easy transport. If durability is top of mind, try Yeti’s stainless steel Boomer bowl.
Wilderdog Doggie Bag
Fit up to 40 cups of kibble in this reusable (and appropriately named) Doggie Bag. The roll-top design is secure, while allowing you to clip it to your pack and collapse it smaller as the food supply dwindles. Plus, Wilderdog includes a 1.5-cup mug to help you portion meals.
Musher’s Secret 2.1 Oz.
Before you set out on rough terrain, snow, or sand, slather some Musher’s Secret onto your pup’s paw pads. The blend of natural waxes and oils will prevent buildup of snow and reduce sensitivity to temperature. For even more protection, the Grip Trex dog boots from Ruffwear have durable rubber bottoms.
Adventure Medical Kits Trail Dog Medical Kit
Trail emergencies can happen to dogs, too. Be prepared with this first aid kit, which includes tweezers, wound wash, a syringe, gauze, and self-adhering bandages.
Ruffwear Pack Out Bag
Leave no trace with the help of the Pack Out Bag. Clip this poop-carrying pouch to your pack or wear it as a belt. Waste bags dispense from the back, and Ruffwear includes 15 of them to get you started. A waterproof lining, water-resistant zipper, and a burly nylon ripstop shell keep the mess contained until you’re back to civilization.
Ruffwear Float Coat
Not every puppy loves the water, but the ones that do should dive in with their own PFD. With six sizes available and three buckles on the harness, Ruffwear’s Float Coat is easy to fit and adjust. Loops on the back let you attach a leash and visibility light.
In cold climates and on winter days, your dog might need a little extra insulation. Kurgo’s synthetically-insulated Loft is reversible and comes in several color combinations, though we like this blue-orange one for hunting season. Reflective trim increases visibility. Between the five sizes and the Velcro attachment system, it’s easy to get a good fit, too.
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