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Banks-Vernonia Trail, OR

The Banks- Trail is a paved, multi-use 21 mile trail outside Portland, Oregon.Bike past lush forests of Douglas firs and cedars while crossing bridges and wooden trestles that let you take in the serene beauty of the area. Pedestrians, leashed dogs, horses and non-motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail. Horses will be on certain sections of the trail.

Banks-Vernonia Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Banks, OR 45.622113, -123.114080 Map
End: Vernonia, OR 45.856295, -123.194000 Map
Terrain: Paved, Boardwalk / Trestle
Elevation: Relatively Flight, Slight Incline, Small 11% Grade in Tophill
Dog Policy: Dogs must be on leash (6ft). Info

There are 6 access points with parking along the trail from Banks, Manning, Buxton, Tophill, Beaver Creek, and Vernonia. The Oregon State Park provides a printable map with parking information.

The Banks-Vernonia Trail is open year-round, however day-use hours vary by season. The park is open at the following times:
Summer May 1 – Sep 1: 7am-9pm
Fall Sep 2 – Nov 2: 7am-7pm
Winter Nov 3 – Mar 8: 7am-5pm
Spring Mar 9 – Apr 30: 7am-7pm

Interested in camping? Reserve a campsite at Stub Stewart State Park or Vernonia Lake (http://www.vernonia-or.gov/Recreation/parkdetail.asp?id=7).

The Banks-Vernonia Trail starts and ends at:

Banks, OR
GPS Coordinates 45.622113, -123.114080 Map
NW Banks Rd. & NW Sellars Rd.

Vernonia Lake City Park
1001 E Bridge St
Vernonia, OR 97064
GPS Coordinates 45.856295, -123.194000 Map
The trail loops around Vernonia Lake.


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Location: Banks | Vernonia | Manning | Buxton | Tophill | Beaver Creek | Oregon
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Sports – Winter, Fat Tire Biking

Katy Trail, MO

The Katy Trail is one of the longest rails-to-trails projects at 237 miles from Clinton to Machens, Missouri going eastbound. Half of the trail overlaps with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The trail is open year-round, however, the best time to go is during the fall. Dogs are permitted on leash. Horses are allowed in certain sections of the trail. Motor vehicles are prohibited on the trail.

Katy Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: http://www.bikekatytrail.com/
Maps & Access: Trail Map http://www.bikekatytrail.com/katy-trail-map.aspx  |  Parking http://www.bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx?tid=1&StartCityID=0&EndCityID=0&chkParking=on
Start: Clinton, MO 38.381203, -93.763199 Map
End: Machens, MO 38.903456 -90.331389 Map
Terrain: Gravel
Elevation: Mostly Flat, http://www.bikekatytrail.com/elevations.aspx
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. Info

Bikers can spend about 5 days biking the entire route. The trail is made of gravel so best suitable for mountain bikes and hybrid bikes. Plan your trip using the Katy Trail’s interactive map. Parking is very easy and accessible.

The Katy Trail starts and ends at:

Clinton, Missouri
GPS Coordinates 38.381203, -93.763199 Map
Clinton is southwest of Kansas City.

Machens, Missouri
GPS Coordinates 38.903456 -90.331389 Map
Machens is northeast of St. Charles.

The entire trail is relatively flat with a slight increase in elevation past Boonville, MO. The route passes through several small towns so, there’s a lot to see, eat, and do along the trail, including plenty of campgrounds and other lodgings.

Main trailheads are located in these cities: Clinton, Calhoun, Windsor, Green Ridge, Sedalia, Clifton City, Pilot Grove, Boonville, New Franklin, Rocheport, McBaine, Hartsburg, North Jefferson City, Tebetts, Mokane, Portland, McKittrick, Treloar, Marthasville, Dutzow, Augusta, Matson, Weldon Springs, Green Bottom, St. Charles, and Machens. A mileage chart is available at http://www.bikekatytrail.com/mileage-chart.aspx.

Want to join a group that bikes from St. Charles to Clinton? The Missouri State Parks and Missouri State Parks Foundation hosts an organized ride event every summer.

Want to go one-way? You’ll need to make reservations. Several other service providers provide shuttles to access points along the trail. Amtrak also allows bikes on the trail with advanced reservation however spacing may be limited. More shuttle information can be found here: http://www.bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx?chkShuttle=on

The Katy Trail connects with the Rock Spur Trail at Windsor, MO – GPS Coordinates 38.540631-93.519752 Map. The Rock Spur Trail continues on towards Kansas City.


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Location: Clinton | Machens | St. Charles | Missouri
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Sports – Winter, Fat Tire Biking

George S. Mickelson Trail, SD

The George S. Mickelson Trail is in the Black Hills between Deadwood and Edgemont, South Dakota. This multi-purpose, gravel trail is 109 miles and 15 trailheads, open to bikers, hikers, horseback riders, fat tire bikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoeing. Dogs must be on leash.

It’s a great place to visit during the summer as you’ll get shade from the pine and ponderosa trees, prairie land, and along the trail. You’ll also see 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels. The trail closer to Deadwood travels close to several creeks and rivers – and a great spot to take a break and play with your dog in the water. A portion of the trail that passes through private land may be restricted to dogs.

George S. Mickelson Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Deadwood, SD 44.370657, -103.728618 Map
End: Edgemont, SD 43.311459, -103.818150 Map
Terrain: Gravel
Elevation: Gradual changes in elevation, Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. There may be restrictions on private lands. Info

Maps of the trail may be found on the State of South Dakota website, including locations of all 15 trailheads.

If you want to bike the trail in 3 days and go with an organized group, consider riding in the Mickelson Trail Trek held the 3rd weekend in September each year. Register early as spots fill up very fast.

The George S. Mickelson Trail starts and ends at:

Deadwood, SD 57732
Off CanAm Hwy 85
GPS Coordinates 44.370657, -103.728618 Map

Deadwood is also home to the many adventures of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, so you can always take a side trip and take a step back into the wild west with your dog.

Edgemont, SD 57735
Off Hwy 185, just north of Old Hwy 18
GPS Coordinates 43.311459, -103.818150 Map

Trail users over 12 must have a pass. The majority of the trail is flat, but a small portion may be challenging. The first few miles from Deadwood come with an elevation gain, so you may decide to start at a city farther south. Hours of operation are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunrise, year-round. Have more questions? Cell phone coverage will be very spotty. Call the Trail Headquarters office at 605.584.3896 or visit the website for more information.

Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and other wildlife along the trail. Poison ivy may also be present along the trail. Cattle and other domesticated animals may also be on the trail. Please respect their space and stay off private lands.

The trail does not allow for motorized vehicles. Snowmobiles are the only vehicle allowed on the trail, but restricted to the trail between Deadwood (Trailhead #1) and Dumont (Trailhead #5) in the winter. Users may bring electric powered wheelchairs and scooters.


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Lead | Deadwood | Edgemont | South Dakota
Activities: Biking, Mountain Biking, Fat Tire Biking, Walking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Great Allegheny Passage Trail, MD & PA

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail (GAP Trail) is the longest rails-to-trails east of the Mississipi River at over 150 miles through Pennsylvania and Maryland. The trail starts in Cumberland, MD and ends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The trail is made of fine crushed limestone and suitable for all bikes, but better for hybrid or mountain bikes. Many use this trail for biking, hiking, horseback riding (designated areas), cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Dogs must be on leash. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail. Electric mobility devices are allowed with slight restrictions.

Great Allegheny Passage Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Cumberland, MD 39.649859, -78.763565 Map
End: Pittsburgh, PA 40.441887, -80.013234 Map
Terrain: Gravel (Crushed Limestone)
Elevation: Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. Info

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Maps and elevation changes of the trail are available on the Great Allegheny Passage website. There’s a printable map available as well.

If you are choosing a westbound path to go on with your dog, we would avoid the Cumberland, MD to Deal, MD route. Obviously, if going eastbound, it would be between Connellsville, PA and Deal, MD. You can find a trail access area on the GAP Trail website. Shuttles are also available in certain cities along the trail.

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail starts and ends at:

Cumberland Visitor Center – C&O Canal National Historial Park
Western Maryland Railroad Station
13 Canal St, Cumberland, MD 21502
GPS Coordinates 39.649859, -78.763565 Map
This is actually the end point of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath Trail.

Great Allegheny Passage (Western Terminus)
Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
GPS Coordinates 40.441887, -80.013234 Map

Interested in camping? There are many campgrounds along the way.

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail actually connects to the 184.5 mile Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O – http://bikewashington.org/canal/) Canal Towpath Trail at Cumberland, Maryland all the way to in Washington, DC for a total of 335 miles. The C&O trail is very flat (1.4% average grade) so a perfect option for dogs and families.

The Montour Trail will connect to the Great Allegheny Passage Trail at McKeesport, PA and go towards Pittsburgh International Airport and Coraopolis.


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Location: Pittsburgh | Homestead | McKeesport | Boston | West Newton | Connellsville | Ohiopyle | Confluence | Rockwood | Meyersdale | Deal | Frostburg | Cumberland | Maryland | Pennsylvania
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Cowboy Trail, NE

The Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail, or Cowboy Trail, is the longest rails-to trails at 321 miles. It travels across northern Nebraska connecting from Norfolk at the east to Chadron in the west. The trail is used exclusively for recreational use and very flat. During the winter, visitors may use the trail for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and mushing.

Traveling the Cowboy Trail is like taking a step back in time. Explore several small towns along the way. You’ll also see a lot of prairie flowers, sunflowers in the late summer, farms, and wooden bridges (converted for recreational use). 2 miles south of the trail above the Niobrara River in Valentine, NE, you can get on an old railroad bridge (see cover photo). Animals along the way include elk, deer, buffalo, prairie dogs, muskrats, and monarch butterflies.

Cowboy Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Norfolk, NE 42.003530, -97.426620 Map
End: Chadron, NE 42.828751, -102.949715 Map
Terrain: Mostly Gravel, Some Paved
Elevation: Mostly uphill going westbound. http://www.bikecowboytrail.com/elevation.aspx
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. http://www.nrtdatabase.org/trailDetail.php?recordID=2419

This multi-purpose trail is a mostly gravel, but some areas are paved. You’ll want to use either a mountain or hybrid bike on the trail. The most developed portion of the trail is between Norfolk and Valentine. Dogs on the trail should be leashed.

The Nebraska Games and Parks Commission puts out an interactive map to help bikers plan their routes.

There’s even an interactive trip planner and event listing that will help you further, however, the planner goes all the way to Valentine instead of the entire way to Chadron.

The Cowboy Trail starts and ends at:

Johnny Carson Blvd Hwy 8, north of Elkhorn River
Norfolk, NE 68701
GPS Coordinates 42.003530, -97.426620 Map

Slim Butte Road, north of Crazy Horse Memorial Hwy 20
Chadron, NE 69337
GPS Coordinates 42.828751, -102.949715 Map


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Norfolk | Chadron | Valentine | Nebraska
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Erie Canalway Trail, NY

The Erie Canalway extends 360 miles through much of upstate New York starting in Buffalo and ending in Albany.

The trail is both paved as well as gravel. Portions of the trail runs along or passes through the Erie Canal, Hudson River, Mohawk River, Niagara River and beautiful Adirondack Mountains. The park also passes through many parks, giving you a place for you and your dog to stop and play, rest, and eat.

Erie Canalway Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Buffalo, NY 42.878394, -78.880998 Map
End: Albany, NY 42.649998, -73.749547 Map
Terrain: Paved and Gravel (Stone Dust)
Elevation: Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. Info

Dogs should be on leash. The trail is open to other pedestrians and horses (at Old Erie Canal State Park). Cross-country skiing is allowed during winter months when snow is on the trail.

An interactive map is available on the Parks & Trails New York website. The map also gives you information on trail conditions, visitor information, parking, trailheads, connections to other trails, and attractions. Thanks New York – very useful!

The Erie Canalway Trail start and end points are:

Veterans Park
Along Marine Dr.
1 Naval Park Cove
Buffalo, NY 14202
GPS Coordinates (estimated) 42.878394, -78.880998 Map

Based on the Parks & Trails New York interactive map, the trail starts along Marine Dr. Some parking is available along Marine Dr.
Head northwest towards Erie St. on your bike. Then, make a right on Erie St and a left on Lakefront Blvd to remain on the Erie Canalway Trail. Alternatively you can start at Erie St. & Lakefront Blvd. Parking lots are convenient around the area.

Jennings Landing (In Corning City Preserve)
Along Maiden Ln.
1 Quay St
Albany, NY 12207
GPS Coordinates (estimated) 42.649998, -73.749547 Map

Based on the Parks & Trails New York interactive map, the trail ends along Maiden Ln. This is slightly west of Jennings Landing. The trail here is renamed the Mohawk-Hudson Hike Bike Trail. Parking lots are convenient around the area.

Need some help deciding what section of the trail to bike? It may be helpful to see what else is happening in various areas and plan for a weekend trip! The Parks & Trails New York website breaks up the trail into 4 segments: 1) Buffalo to Rochester 2) Rochester to Syracuse 3) Syracuse to Little Falls and 4) Little Falls to Albany. Each area brings a different experience to your bike ride. The best trails for dogs are usually ones for kids as well. The National Heritage Corridor gives some great tips what to do in each city and on kid friendly trails.


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Buffalo | Albany | New York
Activities: Biking, Mountain Biking, Fat Tire Biking, Walking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

East Bay Bike Path, RI

The East Bay Bike Path is a 13.8 mile paved, relatively flat road that starts in Independence Park in Bristol, RI and India Point Park in Providence, RI. The views from the road are relaxing. The trail runs mostly along Providence River, with some also meandering through the city and residential neighborhoods.

Eat Bay Bike Path Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: http://www.dot.ri.gov/community/bikeri/eastbay.php
Maps & Access: http://www.dot.ri.gov/documents/bikeri/maps/ebbp2018.pdf
Start: Bristol, RI 41.675242, -71.279070 Map
End: Providence, RI 41.818107, -71.390918 Map
Terrain: Paved
Elevation: Flat
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. http://www.riparks.com/PDFFiles/Pet%20PDF.pdf

The Rhode Island Department of Transportion has a map of the trail (http://www.dot.ri.gov/documents/bikeri/maps/ebbp2018.pdf) as well as a list of places you can park your car (http://www.dot.ri.gov/community/bikeri/eastbay.php) along the trail.

They also provide a map of all bike paths (http://www.dot.ri.gov/documents/bikeri/RI_Statewide_Bicycle_System.pdf) in Rhode Island.

Dogs must be leashed along the trail. For more information refer to the Rhode Island pet policy (http://www.riparks.com/PDFFiles/Pet%20PDF.pdf).

It’s very easy to get off the trail and stop by for a bite to eat. If you have your dog, you can even spend some time playing along several parks along the trail. Snow is not removed during the winter. All types of bikes are allowed on this road.

The East Bay Bike Path start and end points are:

Independence Park
Thames St. & Oliver St.
419-459 Thames S
Bristol, RI 02809
GPS Coordinates 41.675242, -71.279070 Map

India Point Park
India St.
201 India St
Providence, RI 02903
GPS Coordinates 41.818107, -71.390918 Map


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Bristol | Providence | Bristol County | Rhode Island
Activities: Walking, Biking, Running, Fat Tire Biking

American River Bike Trail, CA

The American River Bike Trail (Jediediah Smith Memorial Trail) is a paved 32 mile-long road running from Discovery Park (Jibboom St) in Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake at Beal’s Point. Much of the trail is shady with abundant trees and wildflowers. Horses (in some areas) and pedestrians share the road. Entrance fees apply depending on where you park. Dogs must be on leash.

American River Bike Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: http://www.regionalparks.saccounty.net/Parks/Pages/JedediahSmith.aspx
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Sacramento, CA 38.600979, -121.507664 Map
End: Granite Bay, CA 38.720797, -121.168461 Map
Terrain: Paved
Elevation: Going Eastbound – Starts Flat to Uphill starting midway until Granite Bay.
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed (6ft). http://arpf.org/pdf_files/ARPmap.pdf

Am interactive trail map is provided by the American River Parkway Foundation. There’s also a great printable map available as well of the area. (http://arpf.org/pdf_files/ARPmap.pdf)

The start and end points for the trail are:

American River Parkway Trailhead
Sacramento, CA
GPS Coordinates 38.600979, -121.507664 Map

Beal’s Point Recreation Area
Granite Bay, CA 95746
GPS Coordinates 38.720797, -121.168461 Map

There are plenty of other parks that you can go to for access to the trail: Discover Park, Howe Avenue River Access, Paradise Beach, Riverbend Park, Rossmoor Bar, Sacramento Bar, Sailor Bar, Sarah Court, Upper/Lower Sunrise River Access, Waterton Access, Watt Avenue Access, William B. Pond, and Beal’s Point Recreation Area.

Some dog owners reported that bikes go pretty fast on this route. Electric bikes are permitted on the road as well. If your dog needs frequent breaks or can’t run fast for a longer period of time, this may not be the best place for your dog.

 


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Sacramento | Folsom | Sacramento County | California
Activities: Walking, Biking, Running

Best Hiking Water Filters For You & Your Dog (2018) – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we looked at water filters and bottles that you can use for your dog. These fit easily in their dog backpack or in yours. Water filters are great if you are going on a multi-day hike or backpacking with a lot of reliable water sources.

We cover three main hiking water filters and purification systems that we consider the best for hikers. Each system comes with a few additional options to consider that may be suitable for your particular needs. We think these systems suit our readers the best. They are easy to use, portable, and highly functional.

To learn more about travel water bowls and bottles that may complement your water filtration system, read our article Best Travel Water Bowls and Bottles For Dogs.

Need to know how much water to bring for your dog? Read our article, How Much Water Should I Bring For My Dog Hiking? to learn more.

Products Covered: Hiking Water Filter, Portable UV Water Purifier, Water Bottle

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


BACKPACKING WATER FILTERS

 

Katadyn Befree Water Filtration System

The Ketadyn Befree 1.0L Water Filtration System* features a water filter inside a flexible and collapsible water bottle. It’s the perfect individual portable water filter for you and our dog. It can serve for a day hike or backup water supply source for a weekend backpacking trip. The whole thing is 2.3 ounces in weight, which is great if you just want to go out running, biking, or backpacking and weight is important to you. It’s also nice to take with you when traveling overseas.

Since the filter is already inside the bottle, all you need to do is fill up your bottle and drink as you normally would. There’s no need to wait for all the water to get filtered. This system has a wider mouth making it easier to fill. The flow rate on the system is 2 liters per minute which is one of the fastest on the market. The filter removes 99.9% of bacteria, giardia, and cryptosporidium exceeding EPA standards. Filters last for 1,000 liters of water. To clean the filter, just swish it in fresh, clean water.

This water filtration system also comes in two other sizes; a smaller 0.6L (20 oz)* and a larger 3.0L (101 oz)*. The small system can fit in any dog backpack. The larger system can be shared between you and your dog. The MSRP of each system are as follows: 1) 0.6L at $39.95 2) 1.0L at $44.95 and 3) 3.0L at $59.95.

If you don’t want to leave the filter on, you can cap it with a standard bottle cap which is useful if just storing water in your dog’s bag. When filled, you can see water through the bottle. A little water is all that is necessary to make the bottle stand up.

 

WHY WE LOVE: It’s just so portable and there is very little extra training or extra parts to carry. Everything is self-contained.

Take me to the Ketadyn Befree 1.0L Water Filtration System* now.
Or the 0.6L* or 3.0L* version.

 

SteriPen

Don’t like the slow process of filtering water or transferring to a bottle? Consider getting the SteriPen, an ultraviolet light water purifier. While pricier than standard water filter systems, the extra cost is well worth if you intend to use it a lot. It will last you through about 8,000 liters of water.

All SteriPens are backed by a three-year warranty. They work with a wide variety of bottle sizes so can be more versatile than water filter systems.

One of the best aspects of the SteriPen is that it’s just so easy to use! All you have to do is to fill up a small-mouth water bottle (like from a Smartwater bottle) and stick the SteriPen in the bottle. And it takes about 90 seconds to do so for 1 liter (or 32 ounces) of water! That’s pretty fast. Don’t worry, the SteriPen lets you know when your water is ready to drink so you don’t have to guess.

The UV-C light emitted by the SteriPen treats more than 99.9% of microorganisms, including Giardia, bacteria, viruses and protozoa Protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. In fact, the Water Quality Association awarded the SteriPen with a Gold Seal for water safety and effectiveness.

One downside is that the SteriPen only works with water that is already pretty clear and sediment free. It’s also possible to get contaminated water on the outside of your bottle, but you just need to wipe these down before you drink. For some models you do have to carry extra batteries or a power source. You don’t need these with water filters.

SteriPens are probably the best system to use in the winter. They are fast and can be used with wide mouth bottles that don’t freeze as easily as small mouth bottles. Just make sure you don’t use Alkaline batteries which contain liquid inside that can freeze.

There are a few varieties of the SteriPen. We think the SteriPen Adventurer Opti and SteriPen Classic 3 are the best options for frequent and multi-day hikers. We provide some more information on each model below. If you are looking for a USB rechargeable option consider the SteriPen Ultra or ultra-light SteriPen Freedom.

SteriPen Classic 3 with Pre-Filter

The SteriPen Classic 3* is the upgraded version of the original SteriPen. It treats water and comes with a removable twist-off lamp cover and prefilter to separate out debris from your water.

Their SteriPen Classic 3 can be used with 4 AA alkaline batteries, not included, to treat up to 50 liters of water. If you use a lithium battery it will treat up to 150 liters of water. A NiMH battery will treat up to 200 liters of water. According to SteriPen, each battery set will last about 80 treatments.

This model is only 2.9 ounces – that’s pretty light! The SteriPen Classic 3 also fits bottles with a minimum diameter of 22mm. The MSRP is $69.95. Remember, batteries are not included with this model and will actually bring the total weight to 6.3 ounces.

WHY WE LOVE: We think this model is suitable for most hikers. We also like the inclusion of the filter. It’s just so easy to use and you can continue to use your favorite bottle or use on multiple bottles with ease.

Take me to the SteriPen Classic 3 with Pre-Filter* now.

SteriPen Adventurer Opti

The SteriPen Adventurer Opti* is a higher end model of the SteriPen built specifically for use in mountain and river water sources. It won the several awards and can be used even if you are off the power grid for a few days. The SteriPen Adventurer Opti has a water sensor that can also be used as a flashlight. This model does not come with a prefilter.

The battery source on this SteriPen is different than other models. It actually uses CR123 rechargeable batteries which will last you up to 50 liters of water. According to SteriPen, each battery set will last about 30 treatments. While this is a shorter life than batteries of the SteriPen Classic 3, it’s still a long enough time for most people.

If you plan on doing a lot of mountain hiking or adventuring through remote areas of the world this is the best SteriPen for you. The low weight may appeal the most with backpackers. It weighs about 3.8 ounces with included batteries. The SteriPen Adventurer Opti works in bottles with a minimum opening of 35mm. The MSRP is $89.95.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a better option for the ultra-adventurer – those that love to travel and trek off the beaten path. Get peace of mind knowing you are drinking safe water anywhere.</em

Take me to the SteriPen Adventurer Opti* now.

The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System

The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System* has a Sawyer Point One water filter with a cap you can drink directly from or use with other bottles to clean water to 0.1 microns. The system comes with a reusable pouch bottle (up to 3) and a syringe for cleaning the filter. Total weight for the system is 3 ounces.

A great aspect of this system is its lower price point. You can purchase a a filter, syringe, and 3 pouch for $39.99 on Amazon.com. That’s a great value and as a bonus, you don’t need to change the filter. Sawyer claims that the filter can last for up to 1 million gallons.

While this system isn’t as fast as the other two Ketadayn Befree Water Filtration System or the SteriPen, it’s still pretty fast with a flow rate of 1/2 liter per minute. It’s also a better system if you are trying to filter a large quantity of water for more than one person. You can use the Sawyer Squeeze with a variety of small mouth soda-sized bottles and hydration packs.

 

WHY WE LOVE: A great value! This is the filter to get if you are going backpacking with someone else. Share the load and bring one filter for all.

Take me to the Sawyer Squeeze Filtration System* now.


WATER FILTER ACCESSORIES & MORE

 

Stay safe out there on the trail and it’s always worse to bring too little water than too much!!

If you use a hydration bladder and purchase either the Sawyer Squeeze, Sawyer Mini, or Katadyn Water Filtration System, consider purchasing the Sawyer “Fast Fill Kit”* to help you fill up your water bladder. This is currently 50% off on Amazon as of May 2018! A great deal if you use the Ketadyn Befree Water Filtration System.

 

No matter what water filter and purification system you end up going with, always bring a backup. A great backup option is to carry water purification tablets. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets*. These are so small that you’ll forget about these until you need it most. Keep them in your first aid kit so you always have them handy.

Do you have any other tips or experiences to share with others? Please include them in the comments below!

Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Hiking & Backpacking Trail Food For Dogs

Hiking & Backpacking Trail Food For Dogs

Food on the trail? It’s important to take food for your dog if you are going on long hike. You need to replenish your dog’s energy and strength. Extra protein is great for your dog.

There are several trail food options for your dog if you are out doing a day hike or multi-day, backpacking trip. We give you an overview of each option.

You’ll need to try different options to see what works for you and your dog. It’s also important to try things on a shorter hike before going on a long one. You don’t want to be surprised if your dog has an adverse reaction to what he eats.


HOW MUCH FOOD DOES YOUR DOG NEED?

 

We are not veterinarians or food nutritionists, so we don’t provide specific recommendations and amounts of food required for your dog. Every dog has different nutritional needs, so please consult your vet.

Find out from your own vet how many calories your dog needs on a daily basis and while hiking. Use the information your vet provides as a baseline and adjust from there. You can mix and match any treats and food so long as it totals up to your total calorie goal.

If your dog is very active, he will need more food. A good rule of thumb is to give about 25% more kibble than your dog’s normal meal for hiking, however, for a lengthy backpacking trip your dog may need 50%-100% more food. It all really depends on how much you hike and in what conditions. Use your best judgement by observing your dog on shorter hikes over time. Keep your vet in the loop so they can best advise you further.

Erin Tuveson’s dog, No Shame, needed about twice the amount of calories per day while hiking the Appalachian Trail! That’s a lot more than most people think is enough for their dog.


HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR DOG NEEDS FOOD?

 

A sure sign to tell if your dog needs more food is if he becomes sluggish, if you can feel his ribs, or if he loses weight over time. Unfortunately, It takes time, close observation and experimentation with food to tell for sure. Keep a journal of how long and difficult your hike is and how much you are feeding your dog. Start with shorter hikes and apply whatever you learn to longer hikes.

Consult your vet at all times. They may give you recommendations on better dog foods to meet your dog’s nutritional and caloric needs. Dandruff or scratching, dry coat, loose stool, stomach problems and repeated refusal to eat food are all indications that it’s time to change your dog’s food.

If you are trying a new brand of food or treat, give your dog a little at a time to try. Mix in old food with new food. Over time, gradually increase how much new food you put in until you transition over completely off your dog’s old food. Give your dog a little bit of a treat and wait at least half a day before giving him more.


IS YOUR DOG STILL HUNGRY?

 

As long as your dog is at his idea weight over time he should be fine. That should be your gage for how much you need to feed your dog – not a longing puppy dog stare to get your food! You may want to break up your dog’s meals up into more frequent dog meals. This is helpful if your dog has a tendency anyway to gulp down his food all at once too fast.

If you are heading out on the trail in the morning, bring your dog’s food with you and give him a little at a time while out on the trail. Going out with a full stomach can lead to stomach aches and uncomfortable hike anyway.

Don’t forget that drinking water is just as important as giving your dog the right amount of food. Read our article How Much Water for Hiking & Backpacking With Your Dog? to learn more about carrying and drinking water with your dog on a multi-day hiking or backpacking trip.


ENERGY BARS & TREATS

 

If you run and hike with your dog on the trail, energy bars are perfect. You really don’t want to carry so much bulk while you are moving around a lot. Many energy bars can actually be supplemented as an entire meal for your dog. They can be broken up into smaller pieces as well.

Steer clear of store bought dog biscuits and regular treats. These don’t provide nearly as much nutritional value as energy bars.

Read our article Best Energy Bars For Dogs to find specific food recommendations for your trail dog.

Sometimes your dog still wants a tasty morsel. You can always bring along a few! At least you’ll have room for it if you carry energy bars with you.


KIBBLE

 

For a short day hike, bring along some extra kibble (just your dog’s normal fare) as a snack. Start with about 1/3 the daily amount of your dog’s daily intake of dry kibble.

For a very long hike, you will want to feed your dog a meat-based kibble that provides more calories, protein, and less grain.

Ideally, you want to find the right type of kibble that doesn’t end up with you carrying so much extra weight and bulk. Many specialty dog store carry better brands of kibble.

You could also consider feeding your dog puppy kibble which often comes with more calories and nutritional content then adult kibble or adding in supplements such as peanut butter or oil to your dog’s food.


FREEZE DRIED FOOD

 

If you normally feed your dog raw food, this may be the best alternative to bring while on a multi-day hike. In the freeze-drying process, food is not cooked and still looks like what it does with water inside. Read the ingredients of the food that you buy to make sure that there are no artificial additives. Make sure it also has a AAFCO statement which states that food is “complete and balanced.”

Dogs loves the taste of freeze-dried food, so they can be used as a tasty treat.
Freeze dried meats are expensive, but could mean carrying up to a half less kibble and a lot less weight. Freeze dried foods generally contain better ingredients and made directly from raw foods. Cooked foods often have depleted nutrients.

Freeze dried food can be given without adding water, but some brands suggest that you add water to rehydrate the food.


DEHYDRATED FOOD

 

Dehydrated food is processed by cooking at very low heat until water evaporates.

It takes 2-3 times longer to rehydrate dehydrated food than freeze-dried food. Once dehydrated food is hydrated, it can grow 3-5 times in size.

Like freeze dried food, dehydrated food can be expensive. You also need to wait to have boiled water before you can heat up the food, and then some additional time for the food to cool. Add that to food you need to cook yourself and your dog will be begging for something to eat. To tie him over, give him a bone or treat while you prepare the food.

It’s probably best for you to carry the dehydrated food if your dog loves to romp around in the water. If the food gets wet, your dog will have to eat it or it will spoil.

 

Well there you have it! There’s quite a lot of dog food options. Choosing the right kind of food depends greatly on your dog’s preferences, dog’s nutritional needs, how much you want to carry with you, and activity level.

What do you bring for your dog to eat while on the trail?


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