Complete backpacking packing list for you and your dog

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So you’ve finally decided to go on a backpacking trip with your dog? No more leaving your pup behind but finally going on adventures together. I’m grateful that you got to this point, I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

But wait a minute, what do you actually have to bring? Even if you’ve been backpacking before, you might wonder: did I think of everything for Fido?

I’m a very frequent and experienced backpacker. During the last 10 years I was backpacking in about 30 countries, half of them by myself. With every trip I’ve learnt to pack lighter and more efficient. Now I’m down to a 45l backpack that is mostly fine even with Baloo coming along. Only for camping with Baloo I rely on my boyfriend to carry the tent and some of the cooking stuff. But other than that I’ve managed to downsize a lot. Since 2 years ago, I managed to only fly with carry on, which is perfectly possible with a 45l backpack and saves you a lot of money. Hence, I only take the most necessary liquids with me and buy the rest (like shampoo, shower gel etc.) when I’m at my destination.

However, before I took Baloo on our first trip together, I kept checking if I’ve got everything. And even for short weekend trips I tend to forget things which is really annoying. Something that really helped me is to always have his most important things for Baloo in one bag. I leave the things in the bag even when I put it away at home. But then I need to add things depending on where we go, so it’s still a mess.

This is why I’ve created this packing list for you and your dog. It’s partly for myself, in order to double check before a trip. This packing list is specifically targeted towards backpacking trips with small dogs. If you’re going on a city trip, you might not need the exact same things but I think it’s still a good indicator. If you go camping, check out my complete (tent) camping packing list for you and your dog.

Anyway, I thought maybe some of you can use it, too. So here it is.


Of course, first of all you should always check if your dog needs any kind of vaccinations to enter a specific country. Check this well in advance!

Then, I also recommend you take a picture of YOUR vaccination card and save it on a cloud. That way you can always show it in the hospital in case of an emergency. Save all emergency numbers on your phone.

Also very important, download the app. This is literally my favorite app of all times 😉 It allows you to download offline maps that are insanely detailed. You can find literally anything on it, even drinking water spots! I couldn’t survive without it. So get it beforehand, download the specific country or part of it where you’re going and already look for your hotel or airbnb on there. Makes it much easier to find it.


Since I wanted this to be a complete backpacking list, I’m starting with the things you need to pack to go backpacking. In my opinion, backpacking should be as minimalistic as possible. You’ll have to carry all of your things and all of your small pup’s stuff as well. If you have a medium or big dog, he can carry some of his own things. But a small pooch won’t be able to help you with that. Clothes, e.g. can be washed anywhere, so just take the bare minimum.


First, some general remarks: I highly recommend to use woolen clothes. They keep you warm even if they’re wet, they don’t smell so easily and dry very quickly. All my shirts, thermo underwear and sweaters are woolen, makes travelling light much easier.

Warm climate:
  • 1 pair of hiking trousers
  • 1 pair of jeans/nice trousers
  • 1 pair of shorts or loose trousers
  • 2 tanktops
  • 2 shirts
  • 1 light sweater
  • 1 thicker sweater
  • 1 piece of swim wear
  • underwear and socks for 5 to 7 days
  • 2 pairs of hiking socks
  • 2 pairs of pyjamas (just take a light shirt and shorts)
  • 2 light scarves (can double up us sarong, beach towel or head protection)
  • 1 pair of Flip Flops/slippers
  • 1 pair of neat everyday shoes (Ballerinas in my case)
  • 1 pair of hiking shoes/boots
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 rain pants
  • (optional: 1 dress)
Cooler climate:

In cooler climate I prefer to wear different layers of lighter clothing over each other. This keeps you much warmer than just wearing one really thick sweater. Also, it needs much less space.

  • 1 pair of hiking trousers
  • 2 pairs of jeans/nice trousers
  • 2 tanktops
  • 3 shirts
  • 2 light sweaters
  • 1 thicker sweater
  • underwear and socks for 5 to 7 days
  • 2 pairs of woolen socks
  • 1 pair of long woolen underwear
  • 1 pair of pyjama (the long underwear can double up as a second one)
  • 1 light and 1 thicker scarf
  • 1 pair of Flip Flops/slippers
  • 1 pair of neat everyday shoes (sneakers in my case)
  • 1 pair of hiking shoes/boots
  • 1 down jacket
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 rain pants
  • 1 pair of gloves
  • Ear warmers/hat

Toiletries and towels

As I’ve said before, I only take the most necessary liquids. If I’m only leaving for the weekend, then I usually take liquids in small quantities. The things listed here, I’m taking on all my backpacking trips, though.

  • 2 micro fiber travel towels
  • 1 ice towel (can double up as a dishwash towel for camping)
  • Toothbrush and small toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant roller
  • Make up
  • Make up remover pads
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair bands
  • Small sun cream (to start with)
  • Tampons
  • Raser
  • Contraceptive (pill, condom etc.)
  • Plasters
  • Ointment
  • Antiseptic hand wash
  • Baby wipes
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Necessary medicine (inhaler in my case). I don’t take anything else apart from the absolute necessary, the rest can be bought wherever you’re going.


  • Phone charger
  • Bluetooth headphones and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • Ipad and charger (I have my travel guides as pdfs)
  • Camera and charger
  • Travel adapter


  • Daypack
  • Sunglasses
  • Small sewing kit
  • Small Swiss Army Knife (blades up to 2.36 in/6cm are allowed for carry on luggage)
  • Plastic bags
  • Pen
  • Spork (can always come in handy)
  • Playing cards


  • Passport or identity card
  • Visa (if required)
  • Drivers license
  • Insurance cards
  • Credit card
  • Debit card


Alright, so you’ve got everything for you. Now let’s see what Fido needs. You should still have about ⅓ of space in your backpack left. Baloo is a very light traveler because he doesn’t eat a lot. That’s very useful of course. But if your pup is a big eater, his food can make for huge part of your luggage’s weight. This is why I recommend that you check if you can get his food at your destination in case you’re going for more than 1 week.

  • Vet passport
  • Leash, collar and/or harness
  • Poop bags
  • Blanket or dog sleeping bag
  • Carrier (Dogpack or bag carrier)
  • Food for 1 week
  • Treats
  • Chewing treats
  • 2 foldable bowls
  • 1 small microfiber towel
  • His favorite toy
  • Clicker or training tools
  • Retrieve bag
  • Tick remover
  • Brush


What do you usually pack for a backpacking trip with your dog? Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments down below!

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