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5 Reasons Why Backpacking With Your Dog Is The Best

Dogs make great tent-mates

By: Anna Cohen + Save to a List

It’s true what they say: dogs really are man’s best friend. Your dog is your loyal companion and a member of your family. He is always happy to see you and would follow you anywhere your adventures take you. Leaving your dog behind when you go on your backpacking adventures is hard on both of you. You miss him when you’re apart and you know he's at home missing you. Well, why not bring him along on your next adventure?! Here are five reasons why it’s a great idea to bring your dog backpacking:

Photo: Steve Yocom

1. Nothing beats seeing your dog run free

What dog owner hasn’t delighted in the sight of his pooch running carefree and off leash, tongue lolling and tail wagging? Maybe it was at the dog park, or maybe it was just in your backyard, but seeing your dog free and happy makes you happy. Taking your dog backpacking allows him to run off leash in the backcountry. Of course you have to make sure that you are in an area that allows dogs to be off leash, and you obviously need to keep an eye on him to make sure that he doesn’t disrupt or chase wildlife. But all that a given, backpacking is a great opportunity to give your furry friend some freedom to roam, explore, and run to his heart’s content.

Photo: Jason Zabriskie

2. Your dog offers an element of safety

Having your dog with you in the backcountry will help to scare off curious critters from wandering through your camp. He can also alert you to potential danger, such as a predator or an unwelcome human intruder. If your dog is curledup and relaxed, you can pretty much rest assured that no danger is near.

Photo: Dusty Klein

3. You’ll bond like never before

You and your dog will form a deeper bond than ever as you explore together and depend on one another. You might have to lift your dog up over ledge that is too high for him to jump up, and your dog might lead you on a path that is easier than the route you had intended to go. You two might share a fun dip in an alpine lake together and then enjoy drying out in the mountain sunshine side by side. You’ll make memories with your pup and you two will find a new appreciation for one another.

Photo: Steve Yocom

4. Tent-mates

Dogs make great tent-mates. Waking up at sunrise only to look over and see your dog sound asleep, curled up and cozy in your tent is the best. It will make you smile first thing in the morning, and that is always a good thing.

Photo: Steve Yocom

5. Happier together

Your dog is always happiest when he gets to be with you. So bringing him along on your backpacking adventure allows the two of you to be together, rather than leaving him behind to pine for you. And, let’s be honest. You’re happiest when your furry friend is around too. Win win.

Photo: Anna Cohen

As always, be sure that the area you are planning to go backpacking is dog friendly before you head out on an adventure with your best friend.

To see all of Anna's adventures and articles, check out her Outbound profile.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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