How we take our cat hiking with us

When we decided we were going to live in a van, we knew that we would be doing a lot of hiking. Even though the van is fully insulated and we have temperature control, we still wanted to be able to bring Big Chungus with us on certain hikes.

Cat Backpack

Big Chungus spends most of her time during a hike in the backpack. We went through a bit of trial and error to get a backpack that would be good for hikes that were longer than one hour. We ended up chosing “The Navigator” from Your Cat Backpack. It had more pockets, space, and a spot for a watter bladder. We started taking her on little walks once we got the backpack, which was about 5 months before we moved into the van. As of right now, her time limit is about a 1.5 hour hike before she’s over it and wants to go take a nap in the van.

GPS Tracker

When we started vanlife we assumed that BC would try to bolt from the van anytime the door opened, so we got her a GPS tracker. After living with her in the van, we now know that she rarely attempts to risk it all, and when she does, it’s to go roll on the ground. Either way, we still have her wear her GPS tracker. We got the Tractive GPS for pets. It looks giant, but it’s actually very lightweight and she doesn’t seem to mind it at all. It has a couple options for a sound or light if we didn’t have cell service for the GPS.

Harness & Leash Training

Our goal is to eventually have Big Chungus be able to go on walks with her harness and leash. However, she thinks otherwise. We started the harness training a while back, but she still seems to melt into a puddle whenever we put it on her. We’ll keep trying and see if she’ll eventually get used to it!