Tips for the Great Outdoors with your Dog

Do you have a bucket list of places to explore?  Do you have a dog?  If you’re like me, you have both.  Have you ever thought about bringing your pooch along for your adventures?

MI OLA ambassador Becca (@roamwildandfree) and her husband roam the United States in an 18ft foot RV, and they travel with their two dogs as well. From Oregon, Utah, Montana, to California, Becca’s two pups certainly live the good life. Here are Becca’s best tips for exploring the great outdoors with your dog!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree


Tips for the Great Outdoors with your Dog

My husband and I live and travel full time in our 18ft RV with our two little American Hairless Terriers. Both dogs are under the age of 2 and need lots of exercise every day! My husband and I have been living a nomadic lifestyle for over 3 years and have our two pups while traveling. We made the promise to each other that our dogs wouldn’t rule our life choices, but we would give them the best love we could. Where did that lead? Lots of research on how to backpack with dogs, how to rock climb with dogs, how to fly with dogs, and a lot more “how-to’s”. I’ve condensed what I’ve learned into a quick list below to save you time and get you out exploring with your 4 legged friend!


Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree


When you’re getting out there, really out there, YOU are responsible for your dog’s safety. You would never go out on a hike without necessary preparations, neither should your pup! Whenever I take the dogs out for a hike, I always make sure to pack the following items for them.

  • Collapsible, lightweight water bowl
  • Dog First Aid Kit – I love this one from REI
  • Food/treats
  • Leash and Harness (even if your dog is trained off leash!)
  • Wag Bags – Clean up after your pet!

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree


Where to Go

Dogs can’t go everywhere that humans can, even in nature. National Park trails are off limits to dogs and many National Monument trails as well. Some city parks, beaches, and even outdoor patio restaurants don’t allow dogs. So where can you take your dog? Lots of places, you just need to know where to look!

  • National Forest hiking trails are perfect for dogs. Many trails allow your dog to be off-leash and under voice command.
  • Dog-friendly beaches are puppy heaven. There are even beaches specifically for dogs where your pup can run and play to his/her heart’s content with other dogs. It’s like a dog park on the beach! Bring Fido is a great resource to seek out these types of beaches.
  • Dog Trekker and Puppy Mama is another valuable resource to find dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, and events.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree


Road Trip or Fly?

Flying with your dog can be a daunting task but sometimes the only option. If your pooch is small enough and can fit in the carry-on space under your feet in the airplane, this is a good option. We use a Sherpa airline approved carrier and our dogs can travel with us wherever we go. I personally would never put my dog under the plane in the checked baggage. A road trip with your dog is also a fun way to see the country! To our dogs entertained as we travel, we always have a box of toys and chew bones for them to play with.


Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Don’t Forget!

Dogs are pretty incredible and resilient creatures, but they are not superheroes. Be realistic with their athletic abilities and plan accordingly if you are going on an adventure that may be too much for your dog. Our dogs can’t hike for more than 8-9 miles without getting a split pad on their paw so we make sure to bring a backpack that they can ride in if they get tired. When we are rock climbing, we secure each of them in a backpack so they can come along with us.  At the end of the day, have fun! Bringing your dog into the great outdoors is something you both with never forget.


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