It’s no secret we love our dog and try to include him in some of our adventures. Harold loves trails and loves to camp, so it’s only fitting to take him hiking.
Although he’s not a large dog, he charges up mountains leaving me trailing behind in his dust!
Here are some tips if you want to take your dog hiking:
- Check park regulations. We generally hike in Jasper National Park in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Dogs are allowed in the park, on a leash. However, there are some trails where they aren’t allowed due to wildlife. Read up before you go and follow the park rules.
- Choose a trail that matches their ability. Know your dog’s fitness and activity level before choosing a hike. Take them on longer walks, up and down hills, and on various terrains before heading out.
- Read up about dangers in the area. Are there tics, snakes, poison ivy or other dangers to dogs? If so, what can you do protect your pet? Jasper has tics in summer, so we give Harold medicine before we go.
- Carry first aid tools. We take a pet first aid book with us that covers most topics. It’s also wise to take a mini first aid kit that can double for both humans and canines!
- Take food and water. You need to hydrate and fuel on a hike, and so does your pet! Take a collapsible bowl or a bottle with a large lid so your dog can easily drink.
- Understand wildlife in the area. Read up about local wildlife and their patterns. Jasper National Park posts bear activity on their website, and there are warnings posted at trailheads if there has been animal activity. It’s also good to know about the animals- where are bears more likely to be in spring versus autumn, when are elk calving and more aggressive, etc?
- Take the proper gear. Along with leashing your pet, make sure you have the proper gear. Will there be inclement weather and will they need a sweater, jacket or boots? Consider using a pet pack so they can carry some of their food and gear. (Be sure to start with a light pack and have them wear it a few times before a big hike.)
We have only taken Harold on day hikes, so that’s what this list is geared towards. Next summer we hope to take him on an overnight hike!
Do you take your pet hiking? What tips do you have to offer?
Have you had one of those workouts or days where you cheeks hurt from smiling and you don’t want it to end? That was our bike ride on Sunday.
The forecast wasn’t great for home or Jasper. I knew I wanted to ride 180km if we stayed in Edmonton or have a fun ride if we went to Jasper. Jasper wins every time.
It was only +2 at the start of our ride. Not very warm for my poor fingers! But the views more than made up for the cold!
After a ride into town and a quick stop at our favourite bakery (Bear’s Paw) for some fuel, we were on our way.
The sun was shining. Wildlife was out in full force. The lakes were a glorious aquamarine colour. And we got to ride on a newly paved road that was closed to vehicles.
It was seriously cyclist heaven! The road was 14km uphill, which was an amazing workout for me.
Kelly would ride ahead a bit and then come back to me. At one point, he said he could see my smile from so far away.
We loved every minute of it.
On the way back down we ran into a bear and cub! They were off to the side and scuttled up a tree; it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The cub’s face literally looked like a teddy bear!
It was an absolutely incredible day that solidified my love of cycling and made me realize how lucky we are to be healthy enough to enjoy the outdoors that way, together.
And my cheeks most definitely hurt by the end!
Tell me about your most recent memorable workout or day!
We had an amazing first camping weekend to kick off the season. Jasper is our favourite place to camp. It’s also one of our favourite places to visit, especially since we can take Harold!
Some highlights from our weekend excursion:
I went on a glorious 20 km run, which is the furthest I’ve gone since the Disney Marathon 16 months ago. The best news is that nothing hurt after even though there were lots in inclines! I also ran with a great new hydration pack that held water, bear spray, toilet paper, and my camera!
Once I got back and cleaned up we hiked part of the Overlander Trail. My legs were ready to give out on the climbs after my run, but the views and fun we had were more than worth it.
It was Kelly’s turn for a good workout early Sunday morning. (We have to take turns so somebody is with Harold at camp!) He took off for a gorgeous bike ride to Medicine Lake while Harold and I chilled out and read.
Once he got back we decided to take the scenic walk into jasper. These are some of my favorite trails in the area.
The rest of the day and night was spent reading by the fire and relaxing.
It was an ideal weekend that we hope to repeat this summer! You can do some amazing training in the jasper area. We’ll try to take Harold as often as we can and work our training schedule around it, but we’ll probably leave him at the grandparents a couple times too.
What were the highlights of your weekend? Do you like to camp?