Spring adventures in the mountains provide two things you don’t get any other season. You have access to snowy trails as well as your favorite summer paths. The water cascading down from the mountain also gives spectacular scenery. Before you decide which trails, consider the gear you need. There are so many items that should at least be considered for one afternoon hike. I was prepared but I could have used Snow Shoes yesterday! Here are some tips:
#1: Pet First Aid Kit -you may not think it’s necessary but Bruiser, our doxie, got stuck on a branch (he’s very close to the ground) and while he didn’t get impaled he did get scratched up and having some antibiotic ointment in the car came in handy.
#2: A long lead: Our other doxie, Walter is two years old and while he has decent recall- the Pacific Crest Trail is STEEP with edges that he could easily slip on especially since it’s Spring and the mud is slick.
#3: Water: I always bring collapsible dog bowls made by Ruff Wear Dog Gear. I offer it during our hike or at the end. This is an easy one to forget.
#4: Refer to the experts when deciding where to go — we know the Salmon River Trail is a great hike but we’ve been coming up to Mt. Hood for years. We also know the Barlow Trail is great as we used to stay at a mountain house near the entrance so we got lucky. There are so many great places to go so look in two of my favorite dog hiking bibles.
#5: There are dog coats, dog boots, leashes – all designed for adventures in the great outdoors. Don’t leave rain coats behind as even your furry friends want some protection from the elements. My favorite are Ruff Wear’s Sun Shower jackets recently launched. The doxies are completely dry even after a rain soaked hike.
Most importantly, don’t overdo it. I always think we’re been walking for only an hour and two hours have gone by. Have fun this Spring! Just remember your check list before you head out the door!