The Hike Life, part one

October 1, 2017

Sunday Funday seems like the perfect day to start this part of the blog up. In this series, we're going to send you out to some new adventure spots and talk gear! That sounds fun, right?


Today, we're going to go straight into the dog gear portion. We have some staples in our household, and think you should too!



You will very often see photos of Hudson in his bright orange backpack. It is from an awesome company called Ruffwear. They basically have anything you will ever need for gear, trust me. Everything from your standard collars and leashes to skijoring set ups; these guys design stuff to last through you on all your endeavours into the great outdoors, and I have never been disappointed with any of their product. They also do a ton of cool work with different canine and outdoor programs (like partnering with organizations who rescue hard-to-home dogs and giving them jobs).I highly recommend checking them out. 


Why we love this:

  1. It's incredibly durable. Hudson rips through the bush and this thing has yet to lose a stitch.

  2. It has big pockets, so he gets to carry his own gear. That means I'm not lugging around all my own stuff and his.

  3. When dogs carry a pack it actually gives them a sense of purpose! Bet you didn't know that; I didn't. Cesar, the king himself, taught me. Yup, turns out your dog really wants to contribute to his pack (which is you!). So carrying a pack gives him a job to do. You can actually just use it on regular walks. It can redirect energy that would normally go into bad behaviour. That's a massive win.

  4. The colour! Not only does the bright orange make him easy to spot when he goes after a deer (or whatever else), but Hudson has been mistaken for a wolf or bear on multiple occasions... please do not shoot my dog. 

  5. It slows him down. I swear if it wasn't for this thing, I wouldn't see him for most of our hikes. When his dad takes him on long ones, he goes too hard and then is beat when they're not done yet! This is nice to remind him he's gotta relax a bit.


Bear bells. Oh, yes, honey. Not only can you hear them if they run off, but wildlife knows where you and the dogs are (so they can get outta there). The one and only time I didn't put a bear bell on my old dog, Tia, we ran right into a young black bear. All 3 of us were quite surprised, and luckily the bear was the one to run off into the bush. Lesson learnt.


I've gone through enough of them to know what works best. They're actually not as easy to find as you'd think. Velcro? No good. Not if you're dogs are like mine. It will just get snagged in the bush and rip off. You want a proper way to fasten it on there. Round bell? No good. As soon as there is snow in it, it stops making noise. Useless.  These are the ones you find everywhere. They work great if you want one on your own coat or backpack. You're looking for a cowbell style for your dog. 


The one I love belonged to my old dog, my dad can't remember where he bought it, and I haven't been able to find them anywhere else... very helpful. But, I found their website. Unfortunately, Silverfoot (which is out of Squamish), looks like they no longer carry my cowbell style ones. I'm emailing them, as we speak. This might call for a craft night.


Lights. These are especially handy as our days get shorter. Night Ize make a rad little clip-on LED light with replaceable batteries. Admittedly, I did not know the batteries were replaceable for ages, and therefore have about 10 laying around our house. You can get tons of colours and they stay solid or flash. I find the plain white is the brightest. My aunt is a kennel owner and she swears by these. 


Those 3 things are something I think all dog owners should own. Even if you're not going out in the bush, backpacks and lights are a great way to have your dog be visible as we head into winter months. 


Do you have things you won't leave the house without? Let us know!




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©2017 by The Okanagan Pet Project. 

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