What gear which is essential for making your camping experience as easy as possible?
The options depend a bit on your dog. I have two Viszlas with very short hair and while this makes them easy to keep clean it means I have to carry a warm jacket or extra bedding to keep them warm, especially in winter.
Here are my seven essentials that Brew and Rein take with them when we head out into the back country tracking Kiwi on the West Coast.
Collar with ID tags and your contact number - Your dog may become lost and so having a way to contact you if someone else finds your dog is a must.
First Aid – Yours will usually do the trick, but some antiseptic solution and some good blister tape will usually be enough to improvise a dressing if required.
Poo bags or shovel – no one likes encountering a poo in the wilderness so pack it out or bury it well.
Optional, but recommended depending on your needs.
Insulation – Sleeping mat and sleeping bag to keep your pooch off the cold ground. Again, this depends on your dog’s coat and the time of year but keeping them warm and comfortable helps to keep them in one place and quiet in your tent.
Dog Pack – by now you’ve realised that this list is going to add a bit of weight to your pack and so finding a pack for your dog helps to spread the load a bit. Dogs aren’t designed to carry a heavy load but with a good pack positioned correctly they can carry their own food and water quite comfortably.
Dog boots – I’ve never had an issue with injured feet in the bush but my dogs work with me all week so their paws may be well seasoned. On the other hand when there is snow about even a few hours running through it can be enough to tear up your pups paws. If you are thinking of venturing into the snow or scree it’s definitely worth while looking into a set of boots for your dog and spend a bit of time getting them used to them before having to use them for real.
Light- Keep an eye on your dog in the dark! A small light that attaches to their collar is ideal for when the sunsets.
If you have any questions the team at Further Faster will be glad help you out, you can even bring your dog to the store for a fit out! There is no where better to get all your adventure gear for humans and dogs.
Next time I talk about advanced tips and techniques for back country adventures!
Written by Iain 'Backcountry' Graham:
Iain, and his two Kiwi Conservation Dogs Rein and Brew, thrive on the challenge of a good adventure, and over the past 12 years they have been camping, hiking, climbing, canyoning and mountain biking their way around our backcountry. For them, adventure is a way of life and as each one ends there's always one lined up!