The Best Gifts for Adventurous Dogs (and their humans)

Every year, as the leaves fall, the evenings get crisp, and the holiday season approaches, I like to take a moment to list out my favorite dog gear from the summer hiking season. It is also a fun time to share items that are on my want list. So I have broken this gift guide into two parts. 1) Gear that I have and LOVE! 2) Gear that I want.

*There are affiliate links included in this article. I am an Amazon Associate and will earn from qualifying purchases. Additionally, I am an affiliate with Ruffwear and REI through Avantlink and am an affiliate for Zouga Dog Gear. That being said, I only recommend gear that I truly like and use (or in the second half of the article – gear that I am truly considering purchasing).

Throughout this holiday gift guide, the following price guide may be helpful.

  • $0-50 = $
  • $51-100 = $$
  • $101-150 = $$$
  • $151-200 = $$$$

So without further ado, here is Pawsitively Intrepid’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.

My Favorite Gear from 2021

These are all products that I have tested out and love! High-quality pieces of dog gear that I have no regrets about purchasing for Glia, Sasha, and/or me.

Hurtta Expedition Parka ($$)

Hurtta is one of the premier companies when it comes to dog coats and jackets. I guess it makes sense that a company based in Finland would be good at creating really warm dog gear. Last fall, I added a Hurtta Expedition Parka to Glia’s closet and I have been so happy with this purchase.

Glia and I live in Minnesota. And Glia is a short-haired dog who gets cold really easily. The Hurtta Expedition Parka keeps her warm and cozy. The lining is a soft fleece material, while the outer layer is weatherproof and can be worn in the rain.

In addition to wearing this parka on most of our winter hikes, I also like to pack this along on our shoulder-season backpacking trips. Glia can wear the parka at night and in the morning when the temperature dips. It really reduces her shivering and means that I don’t have to share my own coat with my pup.

You can purchase the Hurtta Expedition Parka on Amazon. Glia is wearing the Beetroot color in a size 22.

Ruffwear Flagline Harness ($$)

Most adventure dogs end up doing a lot of hiking, so a good all-around hiking harness is a necessity. While there’s nothing wrong with your dog just wearing a collar while hiking, a good harness can give you a handle to assist your dog up a scramble or help them navigate a ladder. It also provides a comfortable leash attachment point for those hiking on a leash.

Glia has had a lot of harnesses over the years and our current favorite all-around harness is the Ruffwear Flagline. This is a lightweight harness with a full belly panel for comfortable lifting. It has 3 leash attachment points (chest, back, and end of harness) and is highly adjustable for a good fit.

You can purchase the Ruffwear Flagline Harness at any of the retailers listed below.

Zouga Wayfarer Leash ($)

Zouga Dog Gear is a new company whose goal is to make strong and secure dog gear. The dogs and I tried out both the Zouga Wayfarer Leash and the Zouga Rambler Leash this fall and were really impressed.

t features of these leashes are that they are strength tested to withstand over 500lbs of force and they both come with an auto-locking carabiner clip to attach the leash to your dog. Making them both strong and secure!

Both leashes are convertible from hand-held to waist-worn. The biggest difference between the two styles is that the Wayfarer is longer and has a bungee component to help absorb impact.

Use the coupon code PAWSITIVELYINTREPID at Zouga Dog Gear to get 20% off your order.

West Paw Toppl ($)

My favorite indoor item (although technically it would hold up to trail use just fine too) for this year is our West Paw Toppl treat dispensing dog toy. Glia has had some intestinal issues this year and is currently on a hydrolyzed diet. This means that she can’t have her normal dental chews in the evening. So we had to get creative.

I have been stuffing this Toppl (and some Kongs we already had) with a wet version of her new dog food and then freezing them. The result is that she has a tasty evening treat that takes her several minutes to lick at, consume, and enjoy. The bonus is that after use, the Toppl is dishwasher safe!

You can purchase a West Paw Toppl on Amazon.

I haven’t taken a lot of photos of our Toppl yet, so for pictures of these toys in use, I recommend checking out Tori Mistick’s Instagram account.

Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster ($)

One of my most random favorites from my 2021 adventures is the Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster. This relatively inexpensive, magnetic, silicone box has made my leave-no-trace efforts much easier this year. And definitely less smelly.

We probably all visit a few trails throughout the year that don’t have any trash collection options at the trailhead. So when you come out of the woods and off the trail, you have to put all of your full dog poop bags into your car. And then drive home with the stench.

The Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster is designed just for this purpose. It attaches to the outside of your car with magnets and will hold 3-4 full poop bags (depending on the size of your dog). Once attached, you can then simply drive home with the smell of dog poop safely secured on the outside of your car. When you get home, just dispose of the bags in your garbage bin.

We’ve used this prodcut for about a year now and it stays secure, even at highway speeds. But do make sure to attach it to the back of your car where it will receive the least amount of wind.

The Kurgo Tailgate DUmpster is available for purchase on Amazon.

Alright, now let’s take a look at the gear I am hoping to add to my collection over the next few years. There is some really neat, high-quality gear entering the dog market these days.

My Gear Wish List

All of the following items are items that look amazing, but that I have not personally tried yet. So purchase at your own discretion.

Red Bark Shop ($-$$$)

I have followed @mywhiskeygirl on Instagram for several years. The account was originally created for a beautiful Viszla named Whisky, but the account now also features Whiskey’s sister, Bourbon. This account is a great one to follow for beautiful outdoor pictures of the two Viszla’s romping and posing in the backcountry of Canada.

Recently, this account also started an online shop, called Red Bark Shop, and if money grew on trees, I’d have an order in already. I mean just check out those gorgeous sweaters on Bourbon and Whiskey. If you aren’t ready to purchase a $140 sweater for your dog, you may enjoy the great hiking hat options ($41/hat).

MuttRuk Phoenix 14L Backpack ($$$$)

The other day I was hiking with both Glia and Sasha and was lamenting the lack of hip belt pockets on my current day pack. I remembered seeing an Instagram post about a day pack designed specifically for those hiking with dogs. And wow, I am blown away by the features of this backpack.

The Phoenix 14 L Backpack by MuttRuk has a water bladder compatible design, two waist pockets with zip-out liners, an accessible dog waste bag dispenser and so much more! Just check out the video below.

Whyld River Sleeping Bag ($$)

Whenever we tent camp or head out on a backpacking trip, Glia prefers to sleep on my sleeping pad and sleeping bag. So I have been working on upgrading her sleeping system. And right now, the Whyld River Original Sleeping Bag is at the top of my wish list for Glia.

And for those interested in an ultra-light version, Whyld River just created a lighter sleeping bag. The video below is for the original Doggy Bag.

Whistle GO Explore GPS and Fitness Tracker ($$$ – $$$$)

I have been interested in purchasing a GPS collar for my pups, but haven’t made the purchase yet. And to be honest I have been having trouble finding a small enough one for Sasha. Although the Whistle GO Explore is still made for dogs over 25 pounds, it has both GPS location monitoring and all the features of a great fitness tracker.

You can monitor your dog’s health, set fitness goals, track location, and chat with a Tele-vet! The Whistle is waterproof, has a built-in night light, and has up to 20 days of battery life.

Dog Gear Review has a great review of this GPS/fitness tracker if you want to read a 3rd party review with a lot of details.

The Whistle Go Explore GPS and Fitness Tracker can be purchased on Amazon.

Happy Gifting!

We hope you found a fun gift idea for an adventurous dog (or human) in your life. But if you didn’t, feel free to check out our recommended gear list from 2020 for some additional ideas. Or you have some good suggestions add, leave a comment below.


Kate is the writer of Pawsitively Intrepid. She has spent the last 9 years working full-time as a veterinarian, treating dogs and cats. But as of June 2023, she is taking a year to travel with her dog, volunteer, and work on some passion projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts