We’ve all got our go-to gear; the stuff we tote along everywhere because chances are it’ll be needed at some point. I decided to compile mine into a list.
1. Harness and leash – These kind of go without saying. I prefer using a harness over a collar for comfort and safety, plus if I want to go for a boardjoring run Suki’s all equipt to go.
2. Dog boots – I’m not 100% sure what brand Suki’s current boots are, but I picked them up at a store for just $15. They’re soft-soled fleece with a textured rubber sole and toe cap. I like the soft boots because their squishability minimizes the space they take up in my bag. I keep them (along with a set of socks) in a mesh Tek towel bag so they don’t roll around my pack and possibly fall out when I open the zipper.
3. Ball – I like having a ball for impromptu games of fetch. I used to carry along a tennis ball but recently swapped that out for a hollow rubber ball that can double as a treat dispenser. When buying hollow balls make sure there’s two openings to avoid a seal forming around your dog’s tongue.
4. Slip lead – Sometimes I don’t feel like clipping Suki into her harness, say if we’re just running into a store or around the block, which is when I pull out the slip lead. It also comes in handy when your walking partner forgets her dog’s leash or if you need to wrangle a loose dog. I originally purchased my slip lead just for agility, but now I take it everywhere. Slip leads are a one size fits all item and I highly recommend keeping one around.
5. Water bowl – Being stuck away from home with a thirsty dog and no bowl sucks. Rather than scrambling to find a McDonalds to get a cup of water I like to pack my own along.
6. Clicker – I use this to train Suki. I kept losing it around the house so I put it in my bag, which actually comes in handy because now I can go practice agility without having to run home first.
7. Poop bags – Collected from the town’s free bag dispensers. They’re biodegradable, so they won’t clog up the landfills. I’ll admit that picking up after my dog and carrying her bagged poop around is something I’d prefer not to do, but I just remind myself that the alternative of drawing bears and cougars into my favourite hiking spots is worse.
Aside from the harness and leash I keep them all stashed away in my MEC sling bag, and amazingly the only thing that doesn’t fit into the front pocket is the ball. This way I’m set for pretty much any kind of activity at any time of day. Now that I’ve pulled everything out I realized the only things in my sling bag that are for me are my wallet, glasses case, and camera… And the wallet and camera are kind of for Suki too.
Do you have any go-to gear you just couldn’t do without?