Camping and Hiking with Your Dog: Must-Have Pack Items They Don't Tell You About

By Leena Chitnis, Founder Timberdog®

It’s nearly 5 pm on a Friday and you keep glancing anxiously at the clock. The open road and all its adventures beckon, and you’re itching to dash out of work. But before you hit the highway, you swing home to pick up your dog. After all, what’s a road trip without your furry co-pilot hanging her head out the window?

OUT IN THE ELEMENTS

My dog Kashi and I are cold-weather freaks. While some folks may be home sipping on hot chocolate and marshmallows (no shade, I love a good hot chocolate), we’re hiking muddy trails, wading through half-frozen creeks, and searching for a good vantage point for lunch, both our noses running.

As much as I love the invigorating cold, however, I’m not a fan of bedding down in it, and avoid sleeping out in freezing temperatures. But even in the spring, summer, and fall, nighttime temps drop fast and I start to feel the cold creep into my bones. When the sun starts to set, I know it’s critical to begin layering.

STRATEGIC LAYERS

I’m a huge fan of Alpine Fit when it comes to expedition wear. Their products are made in the US, use recycled fibers, are UPF 50+ sun-protective, and resist bacteria and odor as silver is woven into the material. The owner lives in Alaska, as well, so I trust them when they say their products will keep me dry and warm!

alpine fit rendezvous ridge long sleeve

As always, I’m a practical, judicious packer, and Alpine Fit’s Rendezvous Ridge Long Sleeve more than earns a place in my rucksack. It’s excellent on its own as a standalone shirt, as it’s wrinkle-resistant and is nicely-fitted without feeling clingy, and works great under layers, as well. I’m most impressed by the thoughtful seam placement which allows you to strap on a backpack without the seams chafing at you, as well as the two body shapes the shirt comes in. Each shape ranges in size from XS to XXL.

The Back Country Base Layer Bottoms, meanwhile, provide a complimenting match. With the same specs as the Rendezvous Ridge Long Sleeve, these athletic, cool-weather leggings go great under ski pants, but I have to admit that I love wearing them as pajama bottoms or even all-day loungewear at home!

For trekking, Alpine Fit’s Bushwhacking Leggings are perfect. They have everything - combining the comfort of leggings and the sturdiness of hiking pants, with interlocking, recycled material which makes them abrasion-resistant. Like everything else made by the company, they’re made to fit two different body types, something I appreciate as it’s hard to find clothes that fit me. I love the large cell phone pocket (my phone’s huge) sewn on the side of the leg, and the thoughtful touch of putting the waistband’s drawstring on the side, so you can tuck it away without creating an unsightly lump right over your tummy. The best part of these pants, though, is that they do a surprisingly good job of not collecting pet hair!

DOG BEDDING AND PACKING FOR KASHI, MY BEST FRIEND

As mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of sleeping out in freezing temperatures, and occasionally love the carefree ease of three-season car camping. Once my tent is set up, I like to keep my dog’s bedding separate from mine with the RuffRest Ultimate Pet Bed™, by Timberdog®.

timberdog ruffrest camping with your dog

The perfect road-tripping, travel, and camping dog bed, RuffRest® has been an integral part of my journeys not only as an outdoorswoman, but as a jet set entrepreneur and avid road-tripper. I invented it because nothing in the market existed that would suit my needs when it came to traveling with my pet. In other words, I needed something substantial for my dog to sleep on when we went places, and those roll-up dog mats were not going to cut it. Neither was the bulky, orthopedic foam dog mattress from home. I needed the Goldilocks middle, which was sleek in a nice hotel room, compact for the trunk of my car, and rugged for camping.

So, I created it.

Part dog bed and part dog travel bag, RuffRest® is the world’s first complete sleep and travel system for dogs and adventure cats. When zipped up, it’s a streamlined, lightweight, and compact pet bed with memory foam for softness, and high-density foam for support. Meanwhile, the corners of the bed have colorful nylon loops, which reflect at night and provide a place to attach carabiners during the day.

The bed opens up like a suitcase to reveal a storage compartment inside, replete with an at-a-glance organizer which can detach and be hung up. Large pockets allow you to compartmentalize your dog’s toys, treats, food, waste bags, wipes, medicines, and more. No more rifling through the dark recesses of old backpacks! Now, everything is visible immediately, and at eye-level, just like the rest of your gear. The best part of the organizer to me, however, is the safety feature: each one comes with a large medical/emergency ID card. This is a critically-important element if you have to leave your pet with friends, the vet, or the kennel.

What people love about RuffRest® is that the whole bed can roll up like a burrito when it’s fully packed for travel. It has a carry handle, but if you don’t like carrying things by hand, it comes with a shoulder strap that also doubles as a handy, reflective leash. In fact, most features on this pet bed have a dual function: the colorful trim around the bed is not just an accent, for example. Its true purpose is a thick zipper hood to keep your pets from chewing on, or being poked by the zippers.

But the pièce de résistance, the feature that makes everyone gasp when I unfurl it from RuffRest®, is the hidden, integrated blanket which converts into a sleeping bag. It’s got something for every dog. For those dogs who don’t like feeling “housed in,” you can keep it as a loose cover over them. But for those pups who like to be extra cozy or who love to burrow, the blanket adheres to the sides of the bed, forming a sleeping bag and cave dog bed. It even has temperature control vents and sealing buttons, so you can adjust the toastiness level for the pickiest of pooches.

I don’t know what I did before the RuffRest®, but now that this invention is a reality, I never leave home without it.

timberdog ruffrest car camping with your dog

REACHING CAMP

Camping should be a joy. And setting up camp is an artform. Revel Gear's Trail Hound Camping Light is my new favorite campsite addition and makes me feel like an Instagram influencer whenever I set them up! Lightweight at only 1.6 ounces, and using high-efficiency LED lights, the Trail Hound provides an elegant, 30-foot strand of twinkle that will cast a warm and stunning glow over your entire set up. I love being the envy of the campground and having fellow campers walk over to ask me where I got my lights, which come with a dimmer (as well as other modes!) and are waterproof for those soggy days.

The Trail Hound Camping Light is also great when I don’t feel like lugging around flashlights or having to stumble around trying to find them in the dark. When the fire dims down, these lights keep going. It’s a game changer which allows me to extend ghost story hour or having beers and s’mores well into the night. Watch the demo here and buy them - you won’t regret it.

revel gear lights for your campsite

What’s your favorite camping and hiking gear! Comment below to let us know what we’ve missed!

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