What Gear Should you Bring While Hiking with a Dog?

Updated May 2018

I wanted to do a quick write-up on all of the gear that Sierra, our dog, currently uses when we go on our hiking trips.  Just like you have probably heard about being prepared yourself before going out into nature, it’s just as important for your dog to be prepared as well.  This is not an all-inclusive list of everything you will need while hiking, because each hike is unique and requires different equipment based on length, terrain, weather, and much more.  However, everything on this list has been a huge help for us, and will hopefully give you some ideas on what to look for, so you too can be prepared before you go outdoors with your dog. Continue reading →

Camping in Big Bear With Your Dog

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When you first think of Big Bear, most people immediately picture one thing, snow.  I am hear to tell you that you need to look at Big Bear for much more than your annual ski trip. Big Bear offers year round outdoor adventures, for you and your dog, and over the last two years, I have found some great campsites out there.  I don’t know what has stopped me from camping up here frequently in the past, but I have been up to Big Bear a few times in the last two years, and I must stay, there is something for every type of camper.  The campgrounds range from sites with potable water and outhouses, to the more primitive, Yellow Post sites, which only have a fire ring and a table.  So whatever adventure you’re in the mood for, Big Bear probably has it.

Now, even though some sites are available year round, in my opinion, the best time to camp in Big Bear would be either late spring, or early fall.  During these times, temperatures are in the 70’s during the day, and 40’s at night, and oh ya, no snow! This is perfect weather for almost all outdoor activities, including my favorite, hiking. Speaking of, All Trails has a great list of some of the most popular hikes in the area, all of which should be dog friendly, here is a link…All Trails Big Bear.  In a soon to be released post, I will review one of the hikes we went on, as well as some other activities do do while at the lake.  So now let’s get to actual campgrounds…

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Is Joshua Tree Dog Friendly?

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The short answer is the same as most national parks, which is, not really.  We do, however, go here about twice a year with Sierra because it’s conveniently located about 2 hours from Orange County and still makes for a nice weekend get away.  As long as you go into the park with the expectation of just hanging out around the campground and relaxing for the weekend, you can make it into a worth while trip for you and your dog.

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Trabuco Canyon Trail

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Over the last weekend we completed our latest dog friendly hike.  This was, by far, the most scenic and secluded trail that we have hiked so far and it was located off of Trabuco Creek Road in Trabuco Canyon, CA.  There are a few different trails here, but we chose a decent 5.4 mile out and back trail called Trabuco Canyon Trail.  Now, before we get to the actual hike, there are a few things you need to know to prepare for this hike.

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Catalina Island Adventure with Your Dog

Over the last weekend, we decided to take a day trip to Catalina to explore the island and to see how dog friendly it was. I have heard and read a lot of mixed reviews on Catalina’s dog friendliness and wanted to get some first hand experience. Overall, we had a lot of fun but definitely learned some lessons on where to go and how to get there with a dog. We started our day at the San Pedro Catalina Express port. The Catalina Express is the main ferry that will take you to the island and runs out of Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. Many people, including myself, are pleasantly surprised when they find out that the Catalina Express does allow dogs on their boats. They do have a few restrictions when bringing a dog on board, but they are minimal.

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Yosemite Part 2 – Hiking in the Valley

So now that we have reviewed the planning and traveling to Yosemite, lets move on to what to hikes and activities you can do while there.  Like I stated in the previous post, dogs are limited to paved trails in Yosemite.  At first you may think this would severely limit what you can do, but in Yosemite, there are plenty of places to hike that are not only easy to access, but have great views and get you into peaceful and relaxing presence of the great outdoors with your dog.  I have been to Yosemite more times than I can remember with my family and friends, but this was the first time we took the dog and it provided us with a completely unique experience that I will never forget.

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Yosemite Part 1 – Planning and Getting to the Park

Taking a vacation with a dog, a good idea or bad?  I would say that it depends.  There are pros and cons to taking a dog with you, and we’ll discuss them here.

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