Earth Is Not Your Garbage Can

My biggest pet peeve when I’m out enjoying the beautiful great outdoors is when people think they can treat this earth like it’s a garbage can. I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to just toss their garbage to the side of a trail or leave all their beer bottles behind after spending a night in nature.
I love that people get out and do clean ups or keep a conscious mind on Earth Day, but it would be great if we’d just treat every day like Earth Day. So in honor of that, I’m listing ways you can help to reduce your negative impact on this beautiful planet while adventuring outside.

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  1. Pick up after yourself!
    This one is the most basic, but yet somehow so many people find it hard to follow. Pack out what you pack in! Instead of throwing your garbage on the side of a trail or campsite, put it in your pack, or pocket, or a bag. Even your car! I don’t know, it’s really not that hard to place garbage somewhere else besides the outdoors.
  2. Pick up after your dog.
    I’ve been over this a lot, but if you hike with a dog and they happen to need to go to the bathroom while you’re off on a trail, bag the poop and take it with you when you leave. Also, I know it’s gross to have it in your vehicle, but if they don’t have trash cans at the trailhead, don’t just leave it there. Take it with you and find the nearest trash. There is pretty much no purpose to you bagging poop just to leave it there. You’re just adding more waste.
  3. Plan ahead and prepare.
    If you’re going camping and brining lots of stuff for meals and cooking, plan ahead. Transfer your eggs to an egg holder, remove things from packages beforehand, and when possible, repackage food to minimize the waste you are bringing with you. Also, use a reusable water bottle. It’s better to keep filling up the same one than going through a bunch and having a ton of plastic to deal with.
  4. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
    Always have the goal of camping at established campsites and taking established trails. Sometimes it’s hard to find an established campsite if you’re backpacking where a lot of people don’t go. In that case, find a patch of solid dirt, instead of just sticking your tent where you think will make the best Instagram shot, so that you’re not crushing all the vegetation.
  5. Be mindful of waterways.
    Camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams. If you’re washing dishes, follow that same rule and never dump your water in or near those bodies of water. Also when needing to dig a toilet in the backcountry, always dig it away from these waterways (and trails)!

Now obviously I’m not perfect and I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but if you want to be conscious in your daily impact and not just when outdoors, here’s a list of things you can work on.

  1. Recycle. 
    Separate your trash from things that can be recycled.
  2. Don’t use plastic straws. 
    Did you know you can drink from the top of your cup?! That you don’t actually need to sip your beverage through a straw?! I get that some things are hard to drink without a straw, or that some people are diehard straw fans, but if that’s the case for you, then invest in a reusable straw.
  3. Be mindful of geotagging. 
    I normally only tag places that are already popular, but won’t tag places that not a lot of people go to. That’s slightly because I’m stingy and want to keep that place more to myself, but it’s mostly because I worry about the impact an influx of people will have on it. Some places just aren’t meant to be touched by all of mankind.
  4. Use reusable bags.
    Plastic bags are ugly and weak anyway.
  5. Don’t leave the water running when you’re brushing your teeth. 
    It’s really not that hard to turn the water off and then back on when you need it.

There are a lot more things I could cover, but it comes down to using common sense and putting in a bit of extra work to help reduce the impact you have on this planet. I feel it really comes down to most of us being lazy and not wanting to put in the extra work, not that we don’t care. But we need to remember this is our planet and we need to take care of her. So while we’re enjoying the outdoors this weekend, keep our beautiful planet in mind. You can even join one of the many groups participating in an Earth Day clean up, or make one of your own.

Happy adventuring and recycling 😉

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Miranda

Wilderdog Kibble Doggy Bag review

I’ve been looking for an actual bag to keep my dog’s food in when we travel and camp instead of plastic gallon bags because we’ve been working towards cutting down on using plastic. Although very sturdy, I was skeptical this bag would be the answer to my searches. Boy, was I wrong. If you’re in the same boat I was and looking for a travel bag for your dog’s food, let me tell you why I’ll forever use this one.

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1. I can’t smell anything through it.
One of the biggest reasons I hate using plastic bags to store their food is because I can smell the food through it. I would even double up on the bags to try and help, which it didn’t, and I felt more wasteful. I feed these dogs salmon kibble and it definitely smells like salmon so it’s not something I want my car or backpack smelling like. I was super surprised, and happy, that I could not smell a thing through the bag. Now I’m not saying this bag is safe to just leave out in the middle of bear country, but it definitely masks any smell to my nose.

2. It’s sturdy!
Like I mentioned before, this bag is sturdy! It got thrown all around the desert and stayed the same, plus it was super easy to dust off and keep clean… IN THE DESERT! If you’ve been, you know everything gets dirty there. And as a bonus, we found out it also seems to be water resistant (after accidently spilling the water bowl on it).

3. It closes and compacts nicely.
If you don’t need to use the whole bag, just roll it down and clip at the top of the food and you are only using the space you need. It seals nicely to keep the food and stays where you clipped it. And it has a strap you are able to use to carry it, clip it to a bag, or clip the bowls to it. (We also love the bowls, they compact well and are sturdy like the bag.)

4. It comes with a measuring cup.
This wasn’t a make or break for us, but definitely a bonus. We do track how much we feed our dogs so it was super handy to have this come with the bag.

This review is not sponsored and was not asked for. I was sent the bag, but was not asked for a review in return. This is just me wanting to share how I feel about something I’d been looking for in case someone is in the same spot I was. I didn’t think I would love this bag, but that’s the way it ended up. Although this is not a sponsored review, I do have a coupon code if you would like to check out this bag, their bowls, or anything else at wilderdog.com
Just use “mirandashea” at checkout.

Thanks for reading! And click the link below if you want to check it out for yourself.

Doggie Bag

 

 

 

Gift Guide For Your Dog

Dogs are part of the family too, so don’t forget about them this holiday season. I’ve put together a quick gift guide featuring some of our favorite gifts I’ve gotten for Loki.

Zukes treats:
Of course the first one is my pup’s favorite gift to get… Treats. These treats are natural and grain-free, which is super important to me. A lot of them are low calorie and some of them have added vitamins and minerals. They fuel my dog on adventures or come in handy when we’re working on training. These are the treats I trust, Loki loves them, and I’m sure your dog will too.
Visit your local pet store, chewy.com, Amazon, or go to zukes.com to find vendors.

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Ruffwear toys:
The lunker and the hydro plane disk are Loki’s two all time favorite toys. It’s almost impossible to get him to leave these alone when they’re out. They both float on water, which is huge for us since he loves swimming so much. They also are good for playing in the snow, as the snow doesn’t stick and ball up on them. They are gentle on Loki’s mouth and super lightweight. They also come in fun colors to keep them visible.
https://ruffwear.com/collections/dog-toys/products/hydro-plane
https://ruffwear.com/collections/dog-toys/products/lunker

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Camping With Dogs bandanas:
Look towards these bandanas to add some fashion to your dog’s wardrobe 😉
No, they do look good, but we actually have a lot of practical uses for these too. In the summer before a hike, we soak these in water at the trailhead and wrap them around our pup’s necks to help keep them cool for a bit in the heat. In the winter they add more coverage and warmth to the neck. We also have used them to wipe a water bowl clean that was dirtied during a hike. There really are a lot of little uses for these and they add pretty much no weight to carry. Right now they come in green and red, which are both colors that look great on Loki 😉
https://campingwithdogs.com/collections/gear/products/elevation-bandana https://campingwithdogs.com/collections/gear/products/dog-bandana

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stocking stufferPhoto from Camping With Dogs @campingwithdogs

Wilderdog leash:
These leashes are made of climbing rope, so they’re super durable. They have a locking carabiner to prevent the leash coming off the collar or harness. They’ve held up great through the dirt, mud, rivers, desert, rocky trails, and everywhere else we’ve taken them. Plus, I love the variety of colors available.
https://www.wilderdog.com/

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Ruffwear Powder Hound Jacket:
This jacket is insulated, weather resistant, tough, light, packable, and just so insanely cute! Loki has 2 jackets, which I’ll cover the other one after this, but this one is the one we use more. It covers more of his body and does a better job at keeping him comfortable in the cold. It has a zipper and a tighter fit, while not being tight. He has room to breathe but keeps me comforted in the level of coverage. It doesn’t interfere with his ability to go potty and it also has reflective trimming as an added bonus. This jacket is just all around a great winter jacket for your pup. It’s expensive, but I have no regrets in purchasing it.
https://ruffwear.com/collections/apparel/products/powder-hound-jacket

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Kurgo Loft Coat:
This is the other jacket Loki uses. It too is everything above, except it isn’t insulated and it doesn’t cover as much of the body. I use this for Loki either on a cold camping trip or on winter hikes before it really starts to snow. It’s reversible and has a zipper top to allow access to a harness if your dog is wearing one. This option is under half the price as the Ruffwear, but you give up coverage. Both of these jackets are hanging for quick access in our outdoor room because they are both loved and used.
https://www.kurgo.com/dog-coat/loft-dog-coat/

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If you’re a last minute Christmas shopper, like most people are, hopefully this will help you in deciding on that perfect gift for your dog.

Thanks for reading,

Miranda + Loki

DIY Paw Print Ornaments

Every December we look for fun Christmas dates and activities. It’s always a bonus when we can incorporate the dogs into whatever we’re doing. Here I’m going to walk you through how we did our DIY paw print ornaments so maybe you can make some too! 🙂

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What you’ll need:

1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
Paint
Paint brushes
Ribbon
Parchment paper
Optional: Glitter, sharpie, and a straw to make your ribbon hole.

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What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 F.
    In a bowl, mix together the hot water, salt, and flour. Kneed it with your hands until it forms a ball. Start off with the cup of flour, but if it’s too sticky feel free to add some more flour as you form the ball.
  2. Roll out the dough until it is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
  3. You can keep your dough together or section it into pieces which I find easier to get your dog’s print. Wipe off your dog’s paw and then gently press it into the center of your dough to make the paw imprint. Since most dog’s don’t like their paws being touched like this, use treats as a bribe 😉
    Get a cup or small bowl to cut the ornament circle with your dog’s print in the middle. Use a straw or some other small object to create a hole for the ribbon.

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  4. Carefully transfer the circles to your baking sheet lined with parchment paper. We got our dog prints with the dough already on the parchment, so for the ones we didn’t feel like we could safely pull off, we just cut around.
    Bake for 2-3 hours until they are solid and dried out.
  5. Once they are done and have completely cooled, break out the paint! This is where you can get creative and do whatever you want. Decorate your paw print ornament and then set aside to dry. When dry, tie a ribbon through the hole. We also wrote our dog’s names and the year on the ornaments right before hanging.

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  6. Hang your ornament and admire your work! Just remember, even though these are salty, they are technically edible. Keep them high enough so your dogs can’t get them.
    Now it’s time for us to decorate the rest of the tree…

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    Hope you have as much fun as we did!
    Thanks for reading,

         Miranda + Loki

Roadtripping With Your Dog

Taking your dog on a roadtrip is definitely fun, but it does take a little extra work. I’ve written something like this before, but I decided to do a refresher. Here are our top tips when roadtripping with your dog:

  1. Don’t forget about safety!
    When taking your dog on the road, you need to think about their safety. It’s up to you to decide the best way to protect your dog, but for us, we use a car harness. Remember that accidents definitely happen and it’s super important to keep your dog’s safety in mind.seatbelt
  2. Do your homework.
    Make sure where you’re going is dog friendly. Trails, campgrounds, hotels… You need to research wherever you are going to know if your dog is even allowed. Check that your campsite allows pets and if the trail you’re hiking is fido friendly. If you’re booking a hotel room, most places have rooms specific for dogs. You need to make sure the hotel is aware you are bringing a dog so they can get you in a dog friendly room to avoid any problems at check-in or a hefty “undisclosed dog fee” that most places charge.hotelroom
  3. Keep your dog comfortable.
    I know all circumstances are different, but try your best at this one. Try to keep your dog hydrated. Give them a place to lie down. And when it comes to food, avoid feeding them at least 30 minutes before a car ride. A lot of dogs have a bit of anxiety when on the road (even if it is just minor), so feeding them right before you leave could really upset their stomach.
    If they are on a feeding schedule, try to stick as close to it as possible while working with your plans.
    It’s super handy to know how your dog handles car rides and the signs they give. Some people result to using a calming aid when taking a roadtrip with their dog.
    Also think about keeping their favorite toy with them. It may seem silly to some, but little comforts can go a long way.img_4134
  4. Bring a first aid kit.
    I learned the hard way how important a dog first aid kit is. Don’t underestimate the importance of them!
    I have 2 dog first aid kits. A small one that goes in my pack and a bigger one that stays in my vehicle.
    The small kit consists of the very essentials: tweezers for ticks, dog aspirin, Benadryl (talk to your vet about this one), gauze, vet tape, and a wound care spray.
    The car kit has all of this as well, plus a handful of extras. Make sure the things you are using in your kit are made for dogs or are safe for dogs.firstaid
  5. Let your dog have fun.
    Don’t jam-pack your days with so much that you’re constantly on the move. Let your dog get out to stretch their legs and smell the smells. I believe dogs enjoy the views just as much as we do, if not more 😉
    So get out and have fun with your furry best friend!IMG_9577
    Miranda + Loki

Being Your Dog’s Best Friend

Loving your dog is great, but building a strong bond with them is so much better! Loki is my best friend and I encourage you to make your dog your’s as well. Here are some tips you can use to help become best buds with your doggo:

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Be loving. For us, this means lots of hugs and cuddles. There are many dogs that don’t like that though, so you could go with speaking kindly to them and ear or belly scratches. They take simple things as big gestures. Giving your dog a body rub shows them your attention, which is huge. And yes, talking to your pup is highly encouraged. Your dog is not just a dog, they are family.

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Be their companion. Spend time with your dog! Don’t always go out and do stuff while leaving your dog locked up or home alone. It drives me absolutely crazy when someone gets a dog and then barely acknowledges their existence.
One of the biggest bonding moments I have with my pup is spending time in the outdoors. Playing in the wild together really strengthens our connection.
Also, when I’m on the couch reading, I scratch my mutt’s fluff butt with my foot. That action right there is so simple, but speaks volumes to him.

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Be a safe haven. Don’t push your dog too far; build an environment that makes them feel cared for. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and study it in all situations so you can have a better read on how they’re feeling. This will help you react appropriately and help them back into their comfort zone if needed.
When disciplining Loki, I go with the “firm, but loving” technique. Instead of anger, I use disappointment. When he does something wrong, in a strong voice I ask him why he would do that. I show disappointment in him, like placing my hands on my hips and making eye contact while I ask him why and he goes crazy with guilt.
Never beat your dog. You hit them, I hit you.
I kid. But seriously.

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Be encouraging. Give your dog lots of praise and be super over enthusiastic about it. I’m talking about if he sits when asked, pretend he just saved the world. The tone in your voice usually says a lot more to a dog than the words themselves.
Show them you are happy to be in their company.

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Building a strong bond with my dog is honestly one of the best things I’ve done. It makes all of our adventures so much better. It even makes our hanging-around-the-house moments so much better too.
Treat your dog like a family member and a best friend, and get to spending more time with them!

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Miranda + Loki

Basic Guidelines: Camping With Dogs

The weather is warming up around here so “camping season” is within reach. Here I’ll share with you some basic guidelines to camping with a dog.

  1. Practice could make perfect.
    If this is your dog’s first time camping and you’re worried about how they’ll do in a tent, don’t be afraid to try it out first. Set up a tent in your living room or yard and encourage them to go hang out in it with you for a little bit. Bring some toys and treats and let them know a tent is a positive thing!

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  2. Be aware.
    If you’re camping at a campground, make sure you know their rules for dogs. Most places require your dog to be leashed while in the campground. If you’re in the backcountry, the rules are more relaxed, but please try to make sure when choosing a place to camp that it is already a campsite. Follow the “leave no trace” guidelines.

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  3. Be prepared.
    Check the weather report, possible wildlife in the area, and if the campground is even open and allows dogs. It’s good to know the possible setbacks or dangers that your pup might face. Bring a doggy first aid kit just to be safe.

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  4. Know your dog.
    There are a couple things that fall under this category. For starters, it’s good to know the signs your dog gives to tell if they are too anxious or scared. That can be tricky if this is a new dog, but the more time you spend with them in the outdoors, the faster you catch on to their tails…
    (See what I did there? Tails, tells… No? Okay, moving on…)
    The second thing is definitely optional, like all of this since you can do whatever you want, but think about deciding if a dog sleeping bag is for your dog. Does your dog have short hair? Do they get cold easily? Do they like to be covered? Are they small enough to fit in it? Dogs get cold too, but that doesn’t mean they want a sleeping bag.
    Loki does not like to be in a sleeping bag and doesn’t fit in any that are made for dogs anyway, so that problem was decided quickly for us.
    The final one here is to bring something that could feel like home to your dog (besides you), like their favorite toy or treat or pillow.

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  5. Don’t forget the food!
    This sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve actually heard a handful of stories where people forgot to pack dog food when going camping. I always make a list and check it twice 😉
    When camping, we always have other activities planned. We don’t just hang out at the campsite all day, so since my dog is active, I always pack more food and water than I’m expecting we’ll need. The more active they are, the more food and water they’ll need.

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  6. Spend time with your dog. Duh.
    So now that you have a basic picture in mind of how you’ll go camping with your dog, pack up your stuff and go! Make sure you curl up in a tent with your furry BFF and try to get in some cuddle time while enjoying your night in the great outdoors.

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    Miranda + Loki