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Best Dog Hiking Gear for Every Skill Level - Wag!


Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 08/25/2022, edited: 08/21/2023


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. The devoted pet parents on the Wag! team conduct independent research to curate products our own pets would pawsitively love! All prices are current at the time of writing.

Few things are more enjoyable than exploring the outdoors with your canine companion. But in order for your pup to be safe and comfortable on the trails, they need to have the right gear. Preparation is essential, whether you’re going on a short hike in your neighborhood or a multi-day trek in the wilderness. 

Aside from the basics like food, water, insect repellent, and doggie waste bags, what else should you pack for your four-legged hiking buddy? Check out our list of the best dog hiking gear for every skill level, from newbie explorers to accomplished adventurers, to include on your next expedition!

Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash

Skill level: Beginner
Average cost: $24.97
Average rating: 4.5 stars on Chewy

Made for medium- to large-sized pups, this leash from Tuff Mutt is worn around your waist, allowing you to keep your hands free while you’re exploring the trails with your best friend. It stretches out to 5 feet when fully extended and features a shock-absorbing bungee that minimizes pulling. It also has two handles that are very useful for guiding your pup in tight situations. 

And unlike other hands-free leashes where the leash is fixed to a single spot on the belt, this one has a gliding belt clip that lets your dog move from side to side. Offering a nice balance between freedom and control, the Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash is available in several different fun colors.


Outward Hound DayPak Dog Saddleback Backpack

Skill level: Intermediate
Average cost: $24.75 -$49.49 
Average rating: 4/5 stars on Chewy

Whether your pup is a beginner adventurer or a seasoned weekend warrior, this dog backpack will allow them to comfortably carry their hiking essentials. Made with breathable mesh fabric, the Outward Hound DayPak features four expandable storage compartments (two on each side for even weight distribution), adjustable straps for a comfy fit, and a padded handle for giving your dog a paw when needed. It also doubles as a harness—simply attach your dog’s leash to the D-ring and you’re good to go. 

The Outward Hound DayPak comes in medium and large sizes and two bright colors for high visibility. Like many accessories, your pooch may find wearing a backpack strange at first, so some training may be needed before you hit the trails.


LumoLeaf Collapsible Dog Travel Bowl

Skill level: Beginner
Average cost: $14.99-$24.99
Average rating: 4.6/5 stars on Amazon

Created for canines on the go, the LumoLeaf Collapsible Dog Travel Bowl allows for mess-free water breaks and trailside meals. This lightweight, leakproof fabric bowl barely takes up any space in your backpack when folded, and it can also be attached to the outside of your pack for easy access. Once your pup is done eating and drinking, it can be wiped clean and folded back up. 

The large bowl can hold up to 8 cups of food or 68 ounces of water, while the extra-large version can hold up to 10 cups of food or 80 ounces of water. The LumoLeaf Collapsible Dog Travel Bowl can be purchased individually (one large bowl), as a set of two (one large bowl and one extra-large bowl), or with a travel food container (one large bowl and one tall, sealed food container).


Embark Adventure No Pull Dog Harness

Skill level: Beginner
Average cost: $29.99-$33.99
Average rating: 4.6/5 stars on Amazon

Built to withstand any adventure, this harness from Embark was designed with active doggos in mind. It features military-grade rip-stop nylon for durability, reinforced D-rings and buckles for safety, and soft padding for all-day comfort. There are two places where you can attach your dog’s leash, and the one in front can be used to teach your pup not to pull. Another nifty feature is the control handle on the back, which lets you assist your pooch on challenging terrain or grab them quickly when needed. 

Easy to put on so your pup is ready to roll in no time, the Embark Adventure No Pull Dog Harness comes in four sizes and four eye-catching colors. 

Related: Best No-pull Dog Harnesses



Nite Ize SpotLit Collar Light

Skill level: Beginner
Average cost: $7.59-$19.99
Average rating: 4/5 stars on Chewy

The Nite Ize SpotLit Collar Light is a small but indispensable accessory for evening outings. This weather-resistant LED easily clips onto a collar or harness with a stainless steel carabiner, keeping your pup safe and visible after the sun goes down. Simply squeeze the housing to turn the light on or off; the regular version can last 20 to 25 hours before the batteries need to be replaced. 

The Nite Ize SpotLit Collar Light is available in multiple colors, as well as a Disc-O model that lets you choose the color. If you have a bigger canine companion, you may want to go for the XL version.


Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots

Skill level: Intermediate
Average cost: $39.95 per set of 2
Average rating: 4.3/5 stars on Amazon

Protect your pup’s paws on rugged trails with the Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots. These babies have a Vibram outsole for traction on varied terrain, as well as a breathable mesh upper that provides ventilation and keeps dirt out. The wide opening makes the boots easy to put on, while the hook-and-loop closure ensures that they stay on. If your dog isn’t used to paw wear, they will likely need to practice wearing these at home first before you set off on your hike. 

The Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots come in four colors and eight sizes. Unlike other dog boots that are sold in sets of four, these are sold in sets of two for dogs who have different size front and rear paws.


Rex Specs V2 Dog Goggles

Skill level: Advanced
Average cost: $84.95
Average rating: 4.7/5 stars on Amazon

Avid canine explorers need eye protection from the sun, brush, rocks, dust, debris, and other harmful objects. The Rex Specs V2 Dog Goggles are the ultimutt in dog eyewear, boasting a breathable mesh vent, durable TPE frame, and interchangeable impact-resistant lenses. Each pair comes with one clear lens and one smoke lens, both of which block 99.9% of UVA and UVB light. 

Designed to accommodate different head shapes, the Rex Specs V2 also features a dynamic strap system and foam edge to ensure a comfortable, tailored fit for every dog. Your pup will likely try to remove their doggles at first; check out the training tips on the company’s website to help them get used to their new gear. The Rex Specs are available in five sizes and a variety of colors.


dog standing on rock overlooking lake - Best Dog Hiking Gear for Every Skill Level

Just like for us, having the right hiking gear can make all the difference for your pup. Don’t leave home without these furbulous additions to help make every trek a pawsome experience! 

What’s your favorite dog hiking gear? Share your hiking stories and pics by tagging #wagwalking or @wag on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our feed!

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