Tips & Gear for taking your Dog Backpacking Hiking & Camping

Tips, Gear & our Experiences with getting a puppy / Dog into Backpacking, Hiking & Camping.

For an easier read check out my full blog post here:

Topics Discussed:

Dog training for trips, daily walks as a puppy etc.
Age to start hiking with a dog?
Trip planning and strategies your dog’s first backpacking trip.
Differences in trail selection, water sources, etc.
Hiking dog food – nutrition, packing options, need for increased consumption.
Usage of dog backpacks for hiking.
Sleeping arrangements, leashes and leads for around camp and on the trail.
Some discussion on each of our dog’s camping trips so far.
Items that we bring for our dog camping trips (see below)

Dog Backpacking Gear / Items Seen:
(using our Amazon links help support future videos – thank you!)

OutdoorMaster Bungee Dog Leash
One Tigris Dog Pack – Canvas Dog Backpack
Fleece Dog Jacket
Dog-Gone Dish – Collapsible Travel Pet Dish
Trail Buddy Treats – Freeze Dried Dog Treats for Hiking
Coghlan Bear Bell
Nite Ize Nite Dawg LED Dog Collar Cover
Kevlar 2.2 Tree Straps from Dutchware Gear used as an ultralight dog leash / lead around camp.
Weight rated / climbing grade carabiner (don’t trust your dog with the cheap key chain grade ones).
2T’s Hammock Chair
with Dutchware Whoopie Hook system – used as a mini dog hammock.

Want to help support the channel? The next time you’re about to do some shopping, go through the Amazon link on my website (or use this link & a portion of your session will help support the next trip …at no additional cost to you!

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PO Box 8163
Wilmington, DE 19803

Gear samples may be sent to my PO Box as well.

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  • Any chance you can do a video on hammock camping set ups how tos? It would be greatly appreciated

  • Great video! I would look into honest kitchen dog food. Also for a dog his size, I would get a ruffwear pack.

  • Hey Sintax, I was wondering after watching this video, if you have any thoughts or plans for getting a lighter dog pack. Id imagine that that canvas one is fairly heavy and even heavier when wet. I know there are some good ones out there made by ruffwear, granite gear, kelty, and mountainsmith. Would you want to consider getting a setup with removable panniers? Thanks for the awesome videos!

  • Hi, Shawn and Sara 👍🏻👍🏻 I would like to know what brand name collar is Denali wearing I did not see that listed. Thanks for sharing, enjoy and have a Great week !!! Danny

  • Great tips and help thank you guys. Also check out six point leashes they work around your waist or as a messenger bag style also convert into a tie out strap. And point number two you should add boots for his feet as something could happen to his paws on the trail specially in adverse terrain. Lastly put quick clot in your package specifically for him if he's to get attacked or a large cut you need to be able to seal it so he won't bleed bad trying to get him back down the trail to a vet. Good luck with your travels guys and keep posting we love it

  • Rad dog makes a collar with an internal retractable leash. It’s amazing.

  • MRo

    You are good dog parents. In Alaska, those bear bells are known as "Dinner Bells" (for Grizzly). For leashing your dog at night, string up a rope between two trees and use your tree hugger and another biner on the rope so your dog can move comfortably between the trees. Food for thought,, in bear country, horses are not tied to trees because they can not get away from a bear attack. There are foods that people eat that are toxic to them too. Research Lectins. Please research this, I enjoy you two.

  • Have you two ever thought about coming to Montana to hike the Bob Marshall Wilderness?

  • Seasons greetings you guys. What breed is Denali please

  • Great video! we have a mix of a ridgeback and pitt. She is about 8 years old and has hip issues so we don't take her on long hikes anymore. Stupid question, what is your dog chewing on? Our Maggie would love something like that.

  • Great video, thanks for sharing! have you looked at the ruffwear packs? must be so much fun for the whole family to go out!

  • I have just got a hurtta extreme warmer coat for my pitty. May want to look into them for winter hiking. Glad to see you have a pitty as they get a bad rap but our awesome hiking dogs with so much energy. I do have a question. How a Denali nails in the hammock?

  • Hey Yall! love your Vids! keep Posting and give extra kisses to to the pup for me!

  • Stupid very stupid, those dogs are good for nothing,

  • Poor Denali while you were handling his pack, he was ready to go on a hike!

    "Are we going yet?"

    While I'm not a doge person I love Denali being part of the hiking trio. Thanks for the hiking inspiration, home it warms up soon so I can get back out on the day trails.

  • I love pitbulls – I used to have one and she was a wonderful hiking and camping partner. Denali is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • I camp where there is no shortage of mosquitoes. Any thoughts on dogs sleeping outside at night and mosquitoes? I love the little dog hammock idea, could even stitch a diy bug net for it, but in my experience dogs damage bug nets in a hurry. Oh, and I have tried sleeping with my 55lb pooch in my hammock – not easy. Maybe a tent for me and my dog is the way to go – but I am a hammock guy at heart. . .

  • Great idea using a Kevlar strap! I typically use amsteel but I have to replace them every 6 months or so due to friction points. I use Kevlar straps for hammock suspension and never thought of it for dog leash!!! FYI if you didn’t know you can use ritmore dyemore to dye the Kevlar straps if you want something other than white! Thanks for another great video!

  • Excellent info. As the owner of my second hiking dog (both Golden Retrievers) I found that early off leash training is key. Piper did her first mountain hike at 6 months (Mt Cube on the AT in NH) Both have done numerous 4000 footers in the Whites. I recommend the Ruffware Palisades pack as it can be removed for breaks without the hassle of removing the harness. It also comes with two collapsible water bladders that fit the pack well and has a compression system to streamline the load. If she is not carrying pack a harness will give you handle you need to assist occasionally. As a tent camper I don't worry about nocturnal wondering but keep her tied up in camp as others don't appreciate a dog wading in the water source or her nose in there cook pot. By the way my dogs have been drinking from streams for years and have never gotten sick. They have been loyal and enjoyable trail buddies!

  • Enjoyed your video as usual. Love you two, love Sara's perky attitude. All you suggest is true and especially how you care that your beautiful dog is warm & safe while hiking. We have been hiking with our dog Alice who is a rescue terrier mix (40 lbs) and born to hike. She has hiked most of the AT except for the smokies, we are particuarly concerned for her safety. She carries her own food, (no more than 5 lbs per trip) and we use the dehydrated and freeze dried foods. She has her own mat and sleeping bag, we sleep in tent or in shelters and she is placed between us to keep her extra warm. I think the most important factor for hiking with your dog is the dog's temperment. If your dog is agressive or you are unsure of its behavior with other dogs or other hikers stay off the trail with the dog. Alice loves people and every hiker "thru" or section has loved meeting Alice and had their picture taken with her. Look forward to your videos and particularly enjoy the drone viewings. Looking forward to warm weather, Colorado Trail next for us (with Alice)

  • I enjoy all your videos. Thanks for putting out useful, valuable and entertaining content – seriously love you guys! I think the most important thing when starting out hiking with a dog is to KNOW your dog – this includes it's personal behavior, physiology, health, etc… all of which can go a long way in preventing/identifying potential issues along a hike. Also – and most importantly – when hiking or backpacking with dogs is the understanding that your hike is no-longer a HYOH, but it is now the dogs' hike. This is especially true when pack-hiking with your dog. If your dog is physically unable to pack all it's supplies/gear, you must be physically able and willing to do so. For those people considering bringing a dog on an longer duration or multi-night hike, learn some basic first-aid. A dog can bring so much more enjoyment to your hikes (mine do!)…but they can also make them potentially miserable and challenging.

  • My plan is to take my small poodle mix with me this April through SNP. I expect that I will need to carry her some of the way. She is about 8 lbs. She eats freeze dried poultry at home, so will be fine with food. When she was about 6 months old, we did some car camping and she did fine in the tent with me using a puppy pad during the night as needed. She handles planes and trains and public restrooms well. Crossing my fingers that it goes well….for us both. 🙂

  • Hey, Sintax….anybody ever tell you that Baker Mayfield looks a lot like you? Go Dogs!

  • My 125 lb Great Dane loves the trail. Frequent day hikes and one overnight in 2017. She did pretty well w/ no issues did about 11 Miles total on a moderate trail without a pack (her’s broke before we left the car. Lucky me). Got her a new one that she’s done a day hike or two with that she loves. (Ruffwear Palisades). Only important thing imo is to have excellent recall training just in case.

    As always great vid and spot on with all your info and required gear for pups on the trail.

  • I have been inspired & learned much about gear and how to use from watching your great videos. Although one important aspect of A-Z seems overlooked: campsite selection and setup. Perhaps this isn’t a concern for others but I would like to see more examples of how you choose campsites that are comfortable & safe.

  • Thanks for this! I’ve been thinking about getting a dog to go with me hiking. As I’m always a solo hiker , because none of my family will go with me, I’ve been thinking a dog would be a great hiking partner

  • Happy New Year to you all!!!! I look forward to Sara, Denali, and your 2018 adventures. Great fire side chat. Please do more. Great information. Dogs are like children, you are always learning. Thank you for the info on the hammock for Denali, I just purchased one (dytchware 2T's hammock chair). You should have a code on Dutchware so you can get credit for these sales.

    I would like to know how you protect Denali from ticks as he seems to run in the the brush a lot. My dog Neptune has more hair and we use both oral and cream to protect him from ticks. It takes longer to check him from ticks after a day of hiking.

    When hiking with Neptune we keep him on a leashed at all times, he would chase after anything.

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