When you’re hot-pawing around town from one pawbiz event to another, it's nice to let your fur down and enjoy some dog-friendly adventures in the woods. That’s what #BigEarsBoysClub founding members Basil and Winston did on a recent trip to Epping Forest – an endless landscape of dog-friendly fun.
With Winston being located in East London and us in Essex, Epping Forest works for us, and at less than 30 minutes on the London Overland from Liverpool Street to Chingford train station, I highly recommended it for London pet parents in need of an escape. Once you reach the station, simply roll down the hill for 10 minutes and you’re there. If Epping is no good for you, the Woodland Trust website has loads of places listed on their site – just enter your postcode to discover what’s nearby.
Taking heed of some of the Woodland Trust’s excellent hints and tips – go out as a group, Myself, Rachel, Winston and Basil – check. Definitely the Fantastic Four and it’s safer to go with someone else right? Leave the woods as you found them – we still used our poo bags for mess ‘cause it’s kind of gross not to. Be aware and safe. In the most part Basil and Winston enjoyed off-lead fun but as the area is popular with horses, dog-walkers and groups, the dogs got put back on their leads when things got a little crowded. Go prepared! Damn right. In fact Basil had his very own harness rucksack to carry all his essentials. Keep scrolling to discover the contents of our kit bag…
OUR DOG-FRIENDLY KIT
Collar: this Two-Tone Cotton Collar in Navy & Camel is made from 100% cotton so you can chuck it in the wash should it get muddied up in the woods. Without a traditional buckle or clasp, it's styled a bit like a bag adjuster for a super sleek and minimal, which Basil seemed very happy wearing. Priced £20 > Vackertass.co
Lead: the Two-Tone Cotton Lead in Navy & Camel to match. Priced £20 > Vackertass.co
Basil’s Bandana: with ears like a Bunny, it feels likes East End Best Friend’s Blue Bunny Rabbit Dog Bandana was made for Basil’s woodland fun. I’ve said it before but a wet bandana is great for keeping your dog cool. Priced from £17 > Store.styletails.com
Dog Backpack Harness: sadly Basil’s is no longer available but I have found this style, which I really like. Priced £19.58 > Amazon.co.uk
Winston’s Bandana: White / Black Neckerchief. Priced from £10 > Vackertass.co
Toys: these Woodland Friends toys by House of Paws could not have been more perfect for the dog’s forest fun. Chuck and squeak the Fox and the Hare. Priced £3.99 each > Fetch.co.uk
Hydration: Evian’s mini bottles are great for walks, as they’re not at all heavy and fit easily into your pocket or bag. It's for the same reason we like the Raleigh Travel Waterbowl For Dogs plus it’s incredibly hardwearing and good-looking too. Priced from £23 > Houndworthy.com
Eat: available in assorted flavours, these Natural Snack Bars For Dogs, are a great for refueling your dog after an epic forest walk. Priced from £1.29 > Lilykitchen.co.uk
Freshen up: many dog like to roll, jump or swim in some pretty unpleasant things. Hownd Yup You Stink! Emergency Dog Wipes are made for such occasions! Priced £2.95 > Dogslovehownd
Pick up the poo: with Earth Rated Poo Bags. Lavender scented and super strong, these are unquestionably my favourite brand of bag. Priced £5.49 > Amazon.co.uk (also look out for them in TK Maxx)
All photos are credited to Racheloatespetphotography.com