Letting a Dog Inspire Your Adventures

If you’re lucky enough to own a dog, you know just how excited they are to get outside. It doesn’t matter what the weather is — outside is always more interesting than inside. There are squirrels + trees + rocks + dirt + some other critters poo outside. It needs to be explored, stat!

Now, this isn’t always awesome for you, the doting human. Sometimes we just can’t match the excitement our dog shares for the great outdoors. Whether it’s work responsibilities, horrid weather or sidelining injuries we can’t always bounce out the door alongside our four-legged friend. But don’t let this get you down. Fight past that guilt trip those eyes are sending you on right now!

Instead, use some of your dog’s enthusiasm to inspire your next adventure. Not sure how to do that? Fret not, we have a few ideas to get you started.

Chase Squirrels

Well, maybe not literally as that may be unsafe [albeit, quite entertaining for the rest of us]. Let your dog’s enthusiasm about finding other creatures in the wilderness infuse your own motives. The next time you head outside pay attention to the world around you. Notice all the other critters you’re sharing the trails + forests with. Even if you can’t see the creatures, what have they left behind as evidence of their existence? If you keep your peepers peeled you’ll see rabbit prints hopping across the snow, woodpecker holes in trees, elk scat along the trail or a hawk’s nest high in a tree.

While we don’t recommend chasing after these creatures [+ we definitely discourage you from allowing your dog to chase after them!] this is a great opportunity to see your regular neighborhood trails in a new light. Better yet — make it a practice to head outside with this creature seeking mindset. You’ll be amazed as you watch the animals’ habits change with the seasons.

Roll in the Mud

Okay, we did it again…we got figurative on ya. If you’re into rolling in the mud we aren’t here to stop you, but if that’s not your thing don’t run off just yet. Does your dog baulk at the idea of hiking in the rain? Of course not! They’re gleeful about the chance to splash through puddles, plop into muddy streams + shake it all off as soon as they get near you. Follow their led. Assuming the trails are open for hiking [hitting up trails that are really muddy actually damages them, permanently!] head outside regardless of the weather. Toss on a few extra waterproof layers + splash after your dog! This idea applies to snow, wind + sunshine too. Don’t let less-than-fair weather deter your adventures, just plan accordingly before you head outdoors.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure both you + your pup are playing it safe. Keep tabs on the changing weather, be sure you’re both warm enough + stay away from rushing streams!

Take a Seat

If we’re being honest, we know that not every dog is up for a long adventure. We’ve all at least heard stories of that dog that bounds out the door, gets two miles from home + stubbornly takes a seat, refusing to budge. Whatever the reason, they’re done. As reasonable humans we fully understand that this is not a logical option for us. However, we can still use it as a bit of inspiration on how we head out for adventures. Just because we hyped the adventure up to unrealistic highs doesn’t mean it will pan out that way. While we can’t justify giving up in the middle of the trail two miles from home we can temporarily take a seat. Use this time to recoup — either mentally or physically. Eat a snack, flip through your mental notes of goals, adjust your game plan for the day + carry on.

Even the most stubborn dogs can be coaxed back to their feet after an hour of chilling in the shade, eating snacks. If they can do it, you can do it too!

Those little nuggets of furry inspiration should help you get out the door next time you’re struggling to convince yourself it’ll be worth it. We all know we rarely regret a trip into the woods, but that doesn’t always make tying on our shoes any easier! Sometimes the outdoors are just a challenge + that’s okay. That’s what we have overly excited adventure pups for, right!?

Now, if only we could bottle up that excitement our dogs exude every time we near the door with shoes on, regardless of our actual destination, we’d all be rich! Until then, we’ll just sneakily snag a few puffs of energy by following them out the door!

About the Author


Heidi Kumm

Heidi Kumm is a trail runner, world traveler, mountain climber, and all around adventure enthusiast. She is so stoked on adventure that she has made it her career as the owner of Adventure Feet First, a travel company that focuses on getting people outside to explore the world around them. Over the past years Heidi has spent months living abroad, volunteering around the world, living out of a van/car/truck, and finding new ways to explore on foot, by bike, or with a backpack. She has learned the ins and outs of self propelled exploration the hard way, so she's here to help us learn from her mistakes and to help us become more informed on how to make your own mistakes, safely.