Hiking as a form of exercise or sport

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Hiking as a form of exercise or sport

Hiking is a great form of exercise, but if you are outfitted for long hikes, is your dog? You can take your dog along with you on hikes and backpacking trips, but make sure you follow a few rules and your comfort and experience can be maximized.

First, make sure the trip is appropriate for the dog's ability and size. Just about any dog could walk a few miles down a logging trail, but only good climbers with lots of stamina can climb mountains or go on extended trips. Make sure you have enough food: dogs can carry their own food and water in their own dog pack.

And if you're a gear head, you can outfit your dog, too, with appropriate dog clothes. Doggles, dog boots, dog coats and dog jackets are all appropriate, depending on the trip and how much you (or the dog) are able to carry. Remember to keep the dog well watered, especially during the summer. But also remember that dogs can drink from any spring or stream without having to worry about the same bacteria that can end a trip for their human companions.

Most of all, enjoy the trip. It's a great time for you and your best friend to be alone for an extended period, with plenty of exercise and fun for both of you!



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