The Dog Field Owners Tool Kit: Everyday Essentials

The Dog Field Owners Tool Kit: Everyday Essentials

I’ve written a list of stuff that I think changes the game for dog field owners (or gives you brownie points with customers). Here are a few things that can make life as a dog field owner easier and I wish I’d had them sooner!

Silicon Spray

Whether you’re using a traditional combination padlock or have opted to upgrade to the fancier push-button mechanical locks, you’re up against Mother Nature.

So how do you stop locks from getting stiff and/or freezing during the winter?

The first thing to know is NOT to use ordinary WD40 – it’s not the right tool for the job because it gets goopy when it dries out making the whole situation worse. What you need is a silicon spray – they’re available everywhere and one can last you the winter. The one we use is the WD40 Silicon Lube – All in One does the same job but the fancy new lid on the WD40 one is better.

Thermal IBC Tank Cover

If you use a white IBC to provide water in your field the main reason you should invest in a tank cover is to reduce the chances of getting algal blooms (without adding chemicals) – it’ll save you so much time sterilising your tank in the summer and it looks marginally less unsightly too.

However, the secondary benefit is that it will marginally slow down the rate of freezing in the winter! Not completely but it will fend off all but the most determined of winter blasts.

As a dog field user, there’s nothing that will motivate my dogs to get in the car filthy than Mr Slushy from an IBC so I appreciate it when the washing-off water isn’t crunchy!  

You can get really cheap ones – £15 or so that do the summer job but if you want it to fit nicely and have some thermal properties, these ones are worth the investment.

Rural View

I’ve always hated CCTV. I even have my laptop camera turned off unless I’m using it (I have a flap) and the same with Alexa. I’m one cookie short of putting on a tinfoil hat and declaring my garden an independent state.

However, I’ve come round. Using CCTV in a secure dog field parking area just makes sense. I wrote a whole article on it but if you’re ready to jump on board and invest in a few cameras, check out Rural View. No power? No problem, we use a full solar kit as we don’t have sure power to our property.

I tried a bunch of the most popular devices and services and the main reasons we settled on Rural View for our property are as follows:

  • Set up and run by a young farmer in Kent and UK Customer Support
  • They are ALWAYS RECORDING – one of the biggest failures of their competition
  • The Rural View solar kits are up to the job!
  • Super easy-to-follow video instructions – we tested this on a total technophobe, and they even managed to connect the cameras to the solar panel via a battery with no drama. They are all plug-and-play
  • Black cameras! There’s nothing that makes you feel more watched than a white camera set up!

They have great package deals and you can add on extra bits later if you want to expand your set up. Have a look at their full range here.

Boot Brush And Scraper

I love a boot brush in a dog field however most of them are useless! Get a good one and it’ll get well used. Here are my top tips for getting and maintaining a boot brush for your field:

  1. Bolt it down! Whether that’s to a concrete slab (or a paving slab) or you fix it some other way, make sure that even the most vigorous boot brush (or attempt to nick it) doesn’t dislodge it from its anchor. You need one that is designed to be fixed so if a) doesn’t get nicked and b) actually works on big hoofs like mine!
  2. Clean it – sometimes I seem to paint my boots with additional mud using a communal boot brush but I’ve found that either a regular brush off with a stiff bristled handheld brush or a blast with the hose (if you have one with decent enough pressure) does the job
  3. Positioning – seems obvious but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to walk through mud after brushing my boots off in a dog field!

Here’s one we coughed up for – it’s more industrial, bolts down and I like its simplicity.

Yeti mug

I feel like one of those evangelical preachers when I talk about Yeti Mugs. I spent 20 years using travel mugs in every imaginable scenario before I found Yeti.

When we purchased a ridiculous contraption for mowing our fields, we got a ‘gift box’ (that tells you what you need to know about this toy, sorry – “tool”) and in that box was a Yeti Mug. I nearly chucked it – we don’t need any more travel mugs. I thought we had good ones…… nope!

A few years on and I still get daily text updates from my partner at work to tell me how hot his coffee still is at 4 pm….. it continues to blow his mind.

I also like the colours😊

BDF Tip: Make sure you get one that fits in your cup holder!

Head torch

Ugh. Dawn and dusk field checks. I prefer dawn.

I shudder to think how much cash I’ve spent on crap head torches. I even went with the philosophy that you get what you pay for and that doesn’t seem to have worked either.

I started my head torch journey in 1995 and I think I cracked it last year. You’re always going to be weighing up lumens and power and battery life and weight so prioritise and go with what’s important to you.

Personally – this is my ‘best of the best’ – it’s a Petzl Swift. It’s not the cheapest but it’s not the priciest either. Decent battery life, super bright and light enough so I don’t feel like I’m doing ‘neck day’ at the gym. The best bit is that it has reactive lighting – adjusting to the light – funky feature for dawn walking.

Other Everyday Essentials (time to upgrade?)

Amazon Prime

I have dipped in and out of Prime membership a few times – I think I’m making myself a saving – I’m not. The truth is I have got used to the convenience of free fast delivery on almost everything and Clarkson’s Farm is so repeatable that I just think it’s worth the subscription fee.

If you’re a lapsed member or thinking of trying it – here’s a link to the free 30 day trial:

Free 30 Day Amazon Trial.

None of these things are essential – far from it, but sometimes it’s the little things in life, isn’t it?

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