I thought I’d share some Christmas gift ideas for outdoorsy dog owners, talking through some of my favourite purchases from this year. I must confess I’m not a huge fan of getting dogs Christmas presents. They aren’t human and don’t understand the festive traditions at this time of year. I know Woody for one is definitely more excited by the leftover wrapping paper on Christmas Day than the actual gifts themselves!
DOGSCLOSURE: This blogpost contains a complimentary Canicross Starter Kit from DogFit UK. You can read more about the brand partnership in the main body of this post.
I use everything in this guide on a near daily basis (so long as its seasonally appropriate of course!) and each item has truly enhanced my experience as a dog owner. Collectively they help me enjoy more time outdoors in all weathers with the dogs, which is always a bonus. Particularly when you own spaniels!
A Down Jacket
I purchased my down jacket back in summer, which may sound crazy but generally outerwear is cheaper at this time of year! I’d been looking for a down jacket for years but had always been put off by the price. Katie from Cockapoo Marley finally convinced me and I found the perfect one on our trip to the Lake District earlier this year. Now winter has rolled around I well and truly live in my jacket and can’t imagine life without it now!
The jacket in question is the Mountain Equipment Skyline Jacket in Tasman Blue. It’s a lightweight down jacket that’s perfect for all round adventures. It packs down into its own pocket to form a pillow too, which came in handy when hiking the Cornish Coast Path this year. I was able to save space and precious weight in my backpack, while still having something comfy to sleep on in the tent at night! Mountain Equipment are also part of the Fair Wear Foundation, meaning their garment workers are paid a fair wage in return for their hard work. Their down is 100% traceable too and the company aims to have the ‘most transparent auditing system of any outdoor brand, anywhere in the world,’ which is reassuring!
A Day Pack
I’d be lost without a backpack when out hiking with the dogs. I definitely don’t have enough hands or pockets to carry everything without one! For long distance hiking, I use my 50L Berghaus backpack, which I’ve had since I was 13 and has since been discontinued. However, for shorter day hikes or overnight adventures, it’s a bit of a faff to carry. So, I recently purchased the Osprey Talon 22 Litre Rucksack and absolutely love it.
The hip belt is my favourite feature, as it means I can easily walk the dogs hands free. I simply slip their lead handles into the strap before fastening. It makes such a difference when we’re out exploring together! The pack is incredibly lightweight and breathable too, with plenty of pockets and compartments to stash all the essentials. The top pocket is even big enough to fit my DSLR inside, keeping it safe and separate from all our other belongings.
Canicross Set | GIFTED
DOGSCLOSURE: We were gifted a DogFit UK Canicross Starter Kit in exchange for this blogpost.
Up until recently I’d been using the EzyDog Road Runner Lead to hike hands free, which was fine but kept hurting my hips and digging in whenever the dogs jolted the lead. In contrast, the DogFit set is far supreme and I’m so glad I’ve made the switch. The harness sits lower on your body, around your butt, which takes the pressure off your hips and waist. It’s far easier to direct the dogs with the harness and as a result I feel more in control.
The dogs and I are relatively new to Canicross (canine cross-country running) however we’ve definitely caught the bug! I’d never been a huge fan of running in the past. However, having the dogs pull along too made the experience so much more enjoyable. The Canicross Set has been a game-changer on our daily walks too. Woody is a nightmare with pheasants at the moment and always goes off to chase them. Being able to walk and run with him hands free means we can all enjoy stress-free walks together.
I live in my beanie come winter time. Cornwall’s weather is unpredictable at best but it’s usually a mixture of strong winds, horizontal rain and general cold temperatures. My beanie helps keep me cosy while out walking with the dogs, making miserable morning walks just a little bit more bearable. I’m allergic to wool, which makes shopping for knitwear and winter accessories a bit of a nightmare. As a result, I have to stick to cotton, acrylic or synthetic fibres. These aren’t the most sustainable materials for the planet but unfortunately it’s something I can’t compromise on. As a compromise, I try my best to be intentional with my purchases and only buy with longevity in mind.
I’ve owned my Poldhu Cothing beanie for just over a year now and it’s a firm favourite. In fact, it’s the only hat I own and I absolutely love it! I picked it up from the beach café at Poldhu Cove on the Lizard Peninsula. I feel happier knowing I’m supporting a local family through my purchase, rather than a big corporate company. The beanies are available in a variety of patterns and colours. You can also purchase other outerwear items including hoodies, scarves, gloves and flasks too.
What are your Christmas gift ideas for outdoorsy dog owners? Let me know what your must have items are in the comments!
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