Hi, my name is Sally Manikian. I’m the Backcountry Resource Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. I am also an avid dog lover and dog musher.
There are 10 key items that I regularly bring with me into the woods when I’m hiking with dogs. One item is a leash I like my leashes not more than 6 feet in length.
One modification that I make to all of my leashes is that I add a strong, sturdy carabiner. This makes it easy to snap my
onto my pack when I need to be hands-free while the dog is on the leash.
An additional item is another section of rope. What this is handy for is if you do need to anchor the dog around a tree or tie it off to an eyebolt on a platform while you’re camping, if the first leash fails you have a backup. Another item that may seem obvious is a
collar with your dog’s rabies tag, you dog license, as well as another tag that has the dog’s name and your phone number on it. Those identifying tags will be very important
should you and your dog be separated during your hike. The dog’s collar should be tight enough
that the dog can’t slip out of it. Another item that I rely on is dog brush or comb. The general approach to brushing any dog is a firm but gentle
stroke from front to back, while holding onto the dog’s collar or head.
If you encounter any burrs or knot, remove them gently. Don’t try to pull them or snag them. A small pair of scissors may become handy when removing those tougher parts. Just like you, your dog is always at risk of
dehydration. It is a good idea to carry about a quart of
water for your dog over the course of a day hike.
I always carry a water dish with me. My preferred kind of water dish is
a Tupperware container. It’s lightweight, I usually have a bunch of them
around the house, and also with the lid on you can have the dog’s food inside and it’s all in one spot and you know where everything is.
Going out during the day I usually don’t bring a lot of dog food, maybe just a few treats in my pocket. When I’m going overnight I usually bring slightly
more than what I would normally feed them due to the increased amount of activity.
When you are camping
overnight, be aware that your dog is out of their routine and out of their element, so they may not want to eat when you offer them food. That’s totally normal. Just try feeding them a few hours later when they may have calmed down and settled into their surroundings. There are two reasons why I booty a dog’s feet. The first is because of injury to the dog’s pad, the dog’s toe, or the dog’s toenail. The other is because of conditions: new snow, heavy rocks, ice. There are certain conditions that really require covering your dog’s feet. It make sense to have multiple little
bags rather than one big bag for when your dog does their business, because they will do their business. And always have them ready and at-hand and easily accessible. Many of the items in your personal first aid
kit can transfer to a first aid kit for dogs. The items that can
transfer and be used on dogs include povidone iodine, it includes a lot of first-aid oinments, and adhesive tape, gauze—the same stuff can be used in case of a dog injury. Footcare is of utmost importance, keeping their toenails short. Always check your dog’s toenails before
and after a hike to make sure that their feet are OK. An additional lotion is Desitin, which is high in zinc which is good for their feet and also
repels water so it’s good in snow and prevents snowballs. Those are the key I carry with me into the woods when I’m hiking with a dog. For more information on hiking with dogs, visit AMC’s website outdoors.org.