#Gear,  Dog Gear & Tips

#Gear – Dog Sleeping Arrangement

So, you want to go on an overnight adventure with your pup, but also want to make sure they sleep well and stay safe!
This is what we take backpacking to ensure Nova is comfortable and warm enough on the overnights…

Please remember Nova is 140lbs and has the body to prove it. Curled up, Nova and I take up the same space, so what works for us/her might be heavier or bulkier than what you need if you have a 40lb dog!00000IMG_00000_BURST20181118120330952_COVER

The Gear:

  • Bed: Z-lite sleeping pad – Chosen for a few reasons:
    • It is foam so no matter how she sits, plops, digs or scratches she can’t pop it
    • Fairly light weight (14oz)
    • It folds, making it easy to strap to my pack
    • It is for people, so it was large enough for Nova
    • It was well reviewed by the humans, so one would assume a dog would also sleep well on it!
  • EMS sleeping bag: EMS Bantam 30 Degree 
    • After deciding Nova would need a sleeping bag I decided on this rectangular EMS 30deg bag.
    • The bag is large enough for Nova to be snuggled into like a blanket or snuggled into like a burrito if it is cold enough.
    • The bag was also inexpensive (we paid ~$60) and still rated for 30 degrees, which we felt was warm enough for Nova in most conditions we would take her in.
  • Jacket:
    • Nova used to sleep in, and still hikes in the Kurgo Loft Jacket, which works great. Unfortunately, her chest has grown quite a lot, making the jacket seem tight around her torso when she is sleeping.
    • My Mother-In-Law is a saint, and made Nova some custom fleece jackets (such as the camo one photographed above & below) which is what she sleeps in now. I can get the info on how to make this if you guys are interested, let me know in the comments below!
    • We carry 2 jackets (The Kurgo Loft Jacket, and a the fleece one) on all cold weather backpacking trips for Nova. We worry that if one got soaked while we were hiking that should would need a dry one to sleep in.

IMG_20181013_172715As you can see, sometime we improvise if we can’t get the sleeping bag arranged perfectly. In this photo we have Zack’s rain jacket on top of her. It was particularly cold this evening (the weekend of pemi loop that we canceled due to weather), so we wanted to make sure she stayed extra warm!
Just a side note… We tend to always carry her sleeping pad so she is comfortable and well rested. We make the decision on what/how many layers she will need (sleeping bag/jacket) dependent on what the forecast says … same as you would when deciding what you want to sleep in! Part of hiking with your dog is knowing them and how hot or cold they sleep in general.
Tell me what you do for your furry friend in the comments below!


  • Gretchen

    Backpacking with a large dog can be a bit overwhelming until you figure out what you’re doing- it looks like you’ve got your setup nice and refined! I do lots of weekend trips with my Doberman and she insists on being in MY sleeping bag WITH me. Even if she has her own, she wants to be inside mine, so I’ve started carrying a couples’ zip-together bag instead of 2 separate bags, and I do the two coats thing too, along with boots if it’s REALLY cold. Thanks for reminding me that I’m not crazy for carrying a bunch of extra stuff for the pup!

    • andistillhike

      I totally agree! Even just having a big dog can be overwhelming sometimes! That is adorable that she wants to be in with you, but I can imagine that is challenging, sounds like the double bag means you both get a little space! We have toyed with the boots for the bitter cold/snow and traction, but haven’t committed to a specific pair (We got the ruff wear grip trex and polar trex and can’t decide which we want to keep, any recommendations would be awesome!)
      Absolutely, it is wonderful to hear someone else does too, they want to be comfortable and warm just like the rest of us!!

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