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Hip pack for walks and dog parks

When I set out for a walk with Chloe, my pockets are stuffed with treats, a clicker, the house keys, a roll of poop bags, my phone, deterrent spray and a Gulpy. If I’m going to the dog park, I might also wedge in a mini tennis ball. At night I add a flashlight. All’s well (or well enough) when it’s cold or raining, because I have jackets with endless pockets. But when the summer rolls around — and it does, even in Seattle — things get awkward. Then I’m down to two pockets (or none, if I’m wearing a skirt), and our walks become a juggling act.

I generally sneer at hip packs, but I’ve never regretted buying my OllyDog Walker. It has a built-in poop bag dispenser, a holster for a water bottle, and a small zipped pouch with a mesh outer pocket. I carry a toy, treats, Kleenex and a flashlight in the pouch and put my phone in the mesh pocket. The Walker came with a water bottle, which I promptly gave to Goodwill and replaced with a Gulpy (which fits perfectly). There’s enough room on the fabric portion of the product to clip on a small can of citronella dog deterrent spray. [4/25/10 Unfortunately, the OllyDog Walker is no longer available. The company now offers the OllyDog Hiker, which is bigger (it holds two water bottles), but would still be my choice.] [1/12/12 And I’ve just noticed that the OllyDog Hiker is no longer available either — alas!]

It’s a bit bulky, but every time I leave it behind, I regret it. I’ve seen a sleeker alternative — DOOG’s Walkabout Waist Pack — but I’m happy with my choice. I want a holster for the Gulpy (hanging it off my waistband is annoying), and I don’t need a handiwipe dispenser (I don’t pick the poop up with my bare hands, after all).

My only gripe with the OllyDog Walker is that although it provides a clip inside the zipped pouch for a key, the clip isn’t on a tether, so you either have to press your belly close to the keyhole to get your door open, unclip the key altogether (and that’s one stiff clip) or remove the whole belt (which then becomes a heavy and awkward key fob), or fashion a lame-looking tether from a random piece of elastic you have in your sewing basket (my solution).

Amazon link:
Doog Dog Walking Utility Belt