We love to hike with our dog Loki. Hands-down, it’s our favorite and most frequent family activity. Over the years, in addition to learning all of the off-leash dog trails in the area, we’ve also tried out a ton of great dog hiking gear. Our list of favorites is never complete, but we thought we’d share a few essentials for a perfect afternoon of hiking with your four-legged friend. And if you’re looking for a great trail, you can check out our blog post on the best off-leash dog hikes, the interactive map on our Resources page, the map board on our Pinterest page, or the City of Boulder’s Open Space & Mountain Parks dog regulations map. Happy hiking!
We love having a rugged leash like the Ruffwear Roamer, which includes a strong Talon Clip for easy, one-handed attachment to your dog’s collar, an elastic core that expands and contracts, and a buckle clip that allows the leash to be worn around your waist worn for hands-free hiking.
Voice and Sight Control Dog Tags (Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks)
At the beginning of 2015, the City of Boulder updated their “Voice and Sight Tag” program, which allows your dogs to be off-leash on Open Space & Mountain Parks trails as long as they’re wearing the correctly-colored collar tag (blue for 2015, orange for 2016, etc). Each year, you’ll need to renew your license by paying $5 and the city will send you a new tag.
To participate in the program, you must attend an education class about the City of Boulder’s expectations for voice and sight control. Boulder residents will also need to have a City of Boulder dog license for each dog to be registered and non-Boulder residents will be required to provide proof of a current rabies vaccination for each dog to be registered. In addition, you’ll also be required to pay registration and annual renewal fees.
Portable Treat/Ball Bag
Portable treat/ball bags are a great accessory for hitting the trails – especially for dogs that need a little extra encouragement or a distraction away from wildlife on trail. Divided pockets that stay open make training with multiple treats easy and multiple clips and loops let you attach your clicker, remote trainer, or any other training tool. The additional pockets are helpful too, especially if you don’t have another pocket for your keys, phone, etc.