Packing lite is arguably the biggest struggle of the everyday backpacker. You don't necessarily want to wear the same thing every day and have to do laundry constantly, but you also don't want to carry more than you need. Backpacking, and in turn Barkpacking, requires a lot of walking and long journeys with your bag on your lap.
Here are a few necessary items if you want to cut down on the weight but still have everything your pup needs.
1. The only food / water bowl you should bring traveling
This water / food bowl collapses and zips into a pouch. It even has velcro at the bottom of each bowl so you can take them out for longer stays and easy cleaning.
2. Blanket or Bed
Your pup may be low-maintenance and able to sleep anywhere, but this international transition will be tough on them and anything that smells familiar to them will help. A blanket is a big thing to carry and can get really annoying.This dog blanket zips up and turns into a dog bed.
You can also bring a thin blanket or sarong but it won’t be a comfy bed for your pup if they require that. Packing whatever blanket or bed you bring in between your clothes can help them feel comfortable when using it because it will have more of your scent on it - especially packing it with your shoes (gross I know, but don’t forget they’re still dogs).
3. Bone / chew toy
The most vital part here is to not bring a chew toy that makes noise. You will really annoy everyone around you. Remember, the only way we can continue to have some sort of freedom while traveling with our furry friends is to make as little disturbances as possible. A bone is a great way to distract your pet on travel days and even make them feel more comfortable in a new place. Toys are also good because they will want to play at some point in the trip I’m sure. I bring a ball with a chuck-it and a bone. The chuck-it is definitely takes up extra space but it’s my dog's’ favorite thing so I couldn’t leave without it.
To each there own with this one but make sure your dog LOVES it. Also try to make sure it’s not too stinky. You’ll be using these treats to calm them down on flights, trains, buses, in new sleeping environments and more so you don’t want to anger people by bringing out a super stinky treat that lingers in the air - and have a sealed package for it.
5. Poop bags
This is obvious but make sure you're stocked up.
6. Doggy backpack?
Again, this is up to you but I personally had my dog bring her own backpack. In the pack she held poop bags, treats, a bone and a water bowl (from the collapsible bowls mentioned above). The idea was to have anything she would need at a given moment on hand.
Pro tip for doggy backpacks: the backpack should not weigh more than roughly 10% of your dog's weight.
7. Food for one week
You won't know the food situation when you get to a new country so bring something they know and something you know they'll eat. making pre-packaged baggies with meal sizes goes a long way when you've got so much more on your mind. Once you've gotten over the jet-lag and started to get used to traveling with a dog, you can figure out a local food brand he/she likes and go from there.
8. Potty pads for the flight
The flight abroad is likely to be long. Whether your dog was trained on them or not (mine wasn't), bring potty pads and try to have them used on flight.
Pro tip: A week before leaving I left 2 potty pads outside in the dirt so they would have an outside smell on them.
9. Muzzle / carrier
For trains and buses, many companies state that dogs must be muzzled or in carriers for their journey. While most don't enforce this rule as long as your pup is quiet and small, it's important to at least have one of those items on hand.
Pack like a minimalist but make sure you're not being stingy either. Know that the first week will be the hardest (lack of sleep, getting used to travel, etc.) so be as prepared as you can by thinking 2 steps ahead. What is crucial in your dogs everyday life? What kind of climate / environment will you be in? Think these things through and pack accordingly.
Pictured below: all Items I brought for my dog and her backpack for the plane journey (not including all items - inside was also a bone and water bowl).