Now that we’re a few weeks into 2020, you’ve had some time to think about the new hikes you want to explore with your dog this year. Now is also the perfect time to upgrade your pup’s adventure gear to make sure she can keep up with every activity. You’ll even have enough time to give the gear a trial run before hiking season begins in a few months.
Here's a list of all my favorite must-have hiking items:
This versatile harness is great for everyday walking and hiking because it also converts from a sturdy harness to a dog backpack with Kurgo’s MOLLE-compatible accessories like the RSG Pack Pannier. The RSG Dog County Harness lets you pick and choose what your dog carries on the trail, so you can customize it for each trip depending on what terrain or climate you’ll be encountering.
The saddlebags attach securely thanks to the MOLLE-compatible system. The harness itself features two handles, chest and back leash attachments, and adjustable front and belly straps for a custom fit.
Hopefully you’ll never need to use a first aid kit on the trail, but it’s one of my 10 Must-Haves for a reason. You don’t want to find yourself without it when the time comes.
The RSG Dog First Aid Kit attaches securely to the RSG Townie or County Harness and the RSG Active Utility Belt for easy transport on the trail. The kit includes 49 pieces, including an emergency blanket, tweezers, gauze, and a cold pack.
It’s about time we made Fido carry his own water! The RSG Hydration Flask is a handy MOLLE-compatible saddle bag that integrates with the County Harness. The internal BPA-free bladder holds 12 oz. of water that you can open without having to unzip or remove a thing. Just pull down on the nozzle and voila! Fresh water for your pup.
The nylon loops on the side of the Flask can also hold a Zippy Bowl so you don’t have to embarrass your dog with the old poop-bag water bowl trick.
This go-anywhere dog water bowl zips into a triangle small enough to fit in your back pocket. It also straps to the side of the RSG Hydration Flask, to create a full water system for your dog on the trail.
Most dogs will tell you that treats are a non-negotiable on the trail, but the YORM bag lets you choose. Short for “You or Me” the MOLLE-compatible pouch attaches to the RSG Active Utility Belt and will fit your beer can in lieu of treats.
The bag features a drawstring closure, carabiner to attach to a belt loop, and a zippered back pocket.
Go hands-free with the RSG Active Utility Belt, which has an integrated leash hook that pairs perfectly with just about any leash. The MOLLE-compatible system means that you can also attach necessities like the YORM Dog Treat Bag or the Dog First Aid Kit.
This lightweight bungee leash is perfect for hands-free hiking. Attach it to the RSG Active Utility Belt and give your dog 6 extra inches of freedom with the bungee stretch. The paddle handle is comfortable in the hand and the traffic handle allows you to grab your dog quickly if the need arises.
Your car deserves some love when it comes to muddy, wet, or dusty hikes. Keep your car clean and protect the interior with Kurgo’s car products line. Additionally, Kurgo makes dog car safety harnesses to keep your dog safe in the event of an accident. A must-have for any trip in the car!
Turn almost any plastic water bottle into a portable shower. Just screw the Travel Shower on and give your dog a rinse before he thinks about getting those muddy paws all over the car.
Keep the Mud Dog Travel Shower in the car along with a soda bottle filled with water and you won’t have to worry about keeping the car clean after hikes. A 2-liter bottle shower lasts two minutes, which is plenty of time to get mud and dirt off your pup.
Tip: Keep two water bottles in the car: One filled with water and another filled with dog shampoo to get really clean.
Protect your back seat with the Coast to Coast Hammock, which hangs from the rear and front seat headrests to provide full coverage and prevent dogs from sneaking up front during the drive. Or, if you prefer, remove the front part for a rear seat cover only.
The waterproof and stain resistant material is super easy to clean with either a shake every now and then or by wiping with a damp cloth. Side flaps cover the edges of the seat and the super durable Rufftex® rubber material covers the floor.
Eight connection points secure the harness securely to the seat and a large storage pocket keeps dog gear like leashes organized.
If you have passengers riding in the back, the hammock features hook-and-loop slots to allow for easy buckling.
We all know that it is important for humans to buckle up, but what some don’t realize is that it’s equally important for dogs to be secured in the vehicle. The Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness keeps your dog safe in the event of an accident. It also prevents them from wandering around in the car while in motion, which could potentially cause a wreck.
Based on rock climbing harnesses, this strong harness is crash-tested for dogs up to 75lbs. Five adjustment points mean a custom fit for your dog and the padded chest plate adds additional comfort and protection.
The harness includes a 10” seatbelt tether with a steel carabiner that is compatible with most automobile seat belt systems.* There are a couple different ways to attach the seat belt. Take a look at this video for guidance.
As a bonus, the Tru-Fit Harness has both a back and chest leash attachment point, and can be used as an everyday harness.
*Not compatible with Volvo. Not recommended for Ford F-Series trucks
Jen Sotolongo is a writer and photographer and runs Long Haul Trekkers, a blog about independent, responsible travel with a pet. Over the past 1.5 years, she and her partner have taken their dog, Sora on a cycle tour spanning across Europe and South America, proving that adventures can include your dog, no matter where in the world they may be.