-- the Hiking Backpack. This is an ancient, beaten-up, grubby old backpack that I've had since law school. The back pocket is fraying and held together with safety pins.
It is thoroughly filthy and disreputable and the dogs love it because they know what that gross old backpack means: that we're going to be going out! hiking! somewhere long enough that I expect I'll have to haul around their dirty poop bags. Which is, of course, why the trashiest available backpack has been designated the Hiking Backpack.
-- a bottle of water (or two) and a lightweight stainless steel bowl for the dogs to drink from.
-- poop bags. Sometimes the mutt monsters poop off the trail (yay!) and sometimes they don't. When they don't, the considerate thing to do is pick it up, so pick it up I do. And then I put the bags in the back pocket of the Hiking Backpack and carry them out of there.
Leaving poop is bad manners, unsanitary, and causes enraged non-dog people to lobby to keep dogs out of hiking areas, so if my guys poop within about 30' of the trail I will go get it and carry it home.
-- band-aids for me. I really should make a doggy first aid kit (and here: Be Prepared: A Tiny First Aid Kit for Hiking With Dogs | Team Unruly
is an excellent
blog post about how to make a tiny, efficient one that will fit inside a pill bottle, plus extra tips on hiking with dogs) but I just haven't mustered up the wherewithal to get around to that yet.
-- a camera, because I always want to take pictures.
-- treats, in case the dogs get hungry or I want to do an impromptu training/recall session on the road.
-- when appropriate (read: I'm not driving home and it's an easy hike), a bottle of pre-mixed vodka sours for me, because I'm a big responsible grown-up now and that means I can get a nice buzz going while I'm hiking with my idiot dogs.