Whether you’re climbing mountains or just go out for a thought-clearing walk in the woods, every outdoor excursion is more fun with a beloved dog in tow. It’s also an excuse to continue buying cool outdoorsy stuff. You’ve indulged in Gore-Tex boots, titanium hiking poles and a gourmet camping stove for yourself, now this shopping list will help keep your dog dry, comfortable and tick-free, too. After all, there’s no sense investing in a pricey, rainproof tent if you’re sharing it with a muddy, wet companion.
Here’s some gear to help your pooch go that extra mile.
1. Krebs Recycle Leash: These durable, lightweight leashes are made from repurposed nylon climbing rope. They dry quickly, won’t snag on thorns and are sturdy enough to guide the largest of working breeds. Like any quality outdoor gear, one is all you’ll ever need to buy. $16 to $20; www.krebsrecycle.com.
2. PetRageous Designs Kodiak Coat: If your friends tell you that dogs don’t need rain jackets, send them out on a rainy trail with your husky, then ask them to drive her home in their car. A good waterproof coat keeps your dog dry for your sake as much as his. This coat protects a dog from wind and rain, is easy to slip on and off, and has a warm lining for the coldest of hikes. You’ll be tempted to wear it yourself. $40 to $50; www.petrageousdesigns.com.
3. SmartDogUSA Collapsible Travel Bowl: Storage comes at a premium when you’re on the trail, and a bulky water bowl takes up way too much precious pack space. Enter this clever product: a rubber bowl that flattens into an easy-to-pack disk, saving space for more dog treats. It even comes with a small carabineer, so you can clip and unclip it easily from your pack whenever she needs a drink. $9 to $13; smartdogusa.biz.
4. NiteIze PetLit LED Collar Light: Don’t let darkness keep you from taking your dog along on night walks. This small but powerful LED light clips easily onto her collar, and with a simple twist, keeps your pet visible even on the darkest of trails. $4.50; www.niteize.com.
5. Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack: For longer hikes and multiday trips, your dog can pull her own weight with a roomy pack for her water, treats, bags and food. In addition to relieving you of extra weight, packs are also useful for working breeds and high-energy dogs that need an extra challenge or a job to keep them mentally focused. This pack is lightweight, padded and can be adjusted to your dog’s comfort. The dual zipper pockets are roomy enough for everything she needs, but you’ll want to gradually get your dog used to wearing a light pack before adding weight. $80. www.ruffwear.com.
6. Old bath towel and baby wipes: Dogs will be dogs, and after any hike, they’re bound to pick up mud, bugs and pretty much anything that’s not rooted to the ground. Of all the gear you pack, an old bath towel and baby wipes might just be the most important.