Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pooches Picks: Gearing Up

We're gearing up for a camping trip (hopefully the first of many) with both pooches.  We already bought a variety of gear (not all just for camping) and we're stoked to go sometime in the next few weeks.  This is definitely one of the biggest benefits of living in Southern California!

Here's what we've got so far and our first impressions:

This is a rockin' travel bed for the pooches.  We have one in our family room and one goes in Nigel's crate at night.  They LOVE the soft top part and I love that I can throw it in the washer and it keeps its shape.  It also dries quickly.  If you keep it in your Amazon cart, watch out for a sale at some point for about $26 a piece.  It's pretty big, Nigel can lay on it comfortably with lots of extra room (he's 56 pounds and pretty long).  It also comes with a stuff sack so you can put it away just like our human sleeping bags (which honestly makes them very cute too).

"It's cool, we both like this half of the backseat. And the travel bed is here, sooo...."  Also note Maggie's use of the arm rest as a head rest.  Good thinking, kiddo!

Chaco Collars and Leashes

While I am definitely stalking the Sirius Republic website for collars for both pooches, we needed something now before we make our final decisions (this is serious, people...or Sirius, bahahaha).  I found these Chaco collars and leashes at REI and I love that they're so light.  We're graduating from the regular old nylon leashes you buy at Petco or Petsmart and I'm totally digging these leashes.  And they're super cute.  The collars were $12 a piece so if they get trashed while camping, I'm not going to be too upset.  They also have a nice little area to put the tags so I don't have to struggle to get the tags on the metal loop.  The leashes are $20 each and they have a cool buckley thing so you can use it like a regular leash OR make it into a belt leash for hiking!

Nigel's new leash

Maggie's new collar

We didn't get ours at REI but at Petco.  This water bowl is great in its collapsicity (that's not a word but I like it) and it's lightweight so it's easy to throw in Maggie's backpack.

We looooove the Kurgo Car Harness.  It's easy to put on and doesn't rub under their arms.  I bought both on Amazon and weirdly, Nigel's has the "nesting" metal buckles while Maggie's uses plastic buckles.  Both work and both keep them safe and separated in the backseat of the car.  The red also looks quite dashing against Nigel's dark as night complexion.

I love this picture of her.  She was stoked for our road trip to AZ!  This was also about 20 minutes before she had an allergic reaction and her muzzle blew up to twice its normal size.  Panic attack (for me) and a trip to the emergency vet (for her) ensued.  99% of all of those kinds of reactions are an insect bite or sting according to the emergency vet.  Giving 1.5 regular Benadryls to help calm the swelling before leaving the house is totally fine for a 40 pound dog.

Side view of Maggie's harness.  I like that it comes with a seat belt loop with a sturdy carabiner.

We originally bought a 2 person tent at REI which would have been big enough for both of us and Maggie (we know because we opened it in our apartment!) BUT with the acquisition of the bigger Sir Nigel, we need some more space.  This tent is on sale for $200 right now (we had a gift card, thanks Mom-in-law!) and its rain fly is a bright, sunny yellow.  It's pretty small still while in its bag.  We haven't opened it yet, our apartment isn't THAT big, but we're excited to use it because REI tents are super easy to put up and take down.

Coleman Steel Belted 54 Qt. Cooler

We needed a cooler before heading to AZ so we could pack up Maggie's crazy raw food diet ahead of time.  We were staying in a hotel and didn't want to futz with chopping raw meat when we got there.  We were trying to buy a much cheaper and smaller cooler but alas, REI actually didn't have that cooler in stock (even though it's mean website SAID that it did! Shenanigans!!).  Instead, we sprung for this incredibly expensive retro cooler that honestly keeps ice icy for two to three days at a time.  It's actually pretty incredible.  We didn't need to change the ice out on either trip to and from Chicago over winter break.

That's what we've got so far!  The only thing we haven't found yet is some kind of easy tethering device.  Anyone have any recommendations?!  

Have you camped with pooches?  Anything we seem to be forgetting that's a must pack??


  1. Oooohhh very fancy things you got for your camping trip! I "Bahahahaed" at the same time that you "Bahahahaed" about the Sirius joke!

    We have never been camping with Athena...I'm not as much of the outdoorsy type as I should be for living in Oregon. I've only ever been camping two times myself! Maybe someday we will take Athena...but, she's kind of not the outdoorsy type either!

    I can't wait to hear about how your trips goes! I hope you take lots of pics!

  2. Last year's Christmas present for the Hubster was an 8 person tent with vestibules. It's gi-normous. With the Hurley monster now, our 4 person tent just wasn't big enough!

    We use the Kurgo harnesses in our Jeep too. They are great at keeping the dogs secure (Sadie, however, is a Houdini and will wriggle out of any harness if left alone in the car long enough).

    The only other things I always bring is bug spray. We don't use regular flea preventatives like Frontline so when we're out in the Great Outdoors, using an insect repellent is key to making sure they stay flea and tick free. I like Happy Tails Spa's Flea the Scene - mosquitoes avoid our dogs like the plague and we've never had a flea outbreak after camping.

    1. Good call, Sarah! I'm going to go buy that now so I don't forget!!

      I'm impressed that Sadie wriggles out...those things are pretty secure! Maggie managed to get one arm out once and we were trying to figure out how that happened. I'm impressed with the 8 person tent, I'm sure there's plenty of room for everyone to cuddle!