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We love camping and it's even better when we can bring our pups along! Most of the time we go camping with at least two other dogs so planning can get a little stressful. But if you are prepared and have everything ready to go beforehand, there shouldn't be any issues! There are actually many items that overlap between our tent camping with dogs list and bringing your dog to the beach!
Research dog friendly campsites.
Our favorite place to search for new dog friendly campsites near us is Bring Fido. You can also pet friendly hotels, restaurants and other fun events!
Buy a light up collar.
This is one of the most important tips we received from our friends before our first time camping. Jade is black and white so once the sun goes down it is almost impossible to see her. We purchased a LED Dog Collar and it makes it so much easier to keep track of where she is at all times. I would suggest getting the rechargeable one so you don't have to worry about changing the batteries. But we also have one that is not rechargeable sitting in the camping box just in case we forget to charge the collar the first night.
Pack a bag (but pack light).
If you plan on hiking or adventuring around your campsite, you'll want to make sure that you bring enough water. Just not too much! You don't want tons of weight holding you down. If you're going on a longer hike, consider getting your dog it's own pack to carry a couple bottles of water in so that you don't have all the weight on your shoulders. Gabe and I are usually with at least another group of people so we all can help carry water and snacks along the trail.
Keep up on training.
Make sure that your dog is well trained and will listen to you if called. There are many distractions in the woods that can cause your dog to run off. Just keep a close eye on them. If you feel uncomfortable or they have a tendency to run off, I would consider getting them a long leash and attaching it to a stake in the ground when you are posted at your campsite. This will allow them to feel a little more comfortable and independent without the chance of them running off.
Pre-portion their food.
This is probably a little unnecessary... but I do it for my own peace of mind and organization. Jade gets 1 cup of food for breakfast and 2 for dinner. Before we leave I just go ahead and measure out enough food (in cups) for our trip and seal each portion in it's own Ziploc bag. It just makes it quick and easy to dump the food into her bowl without the hassle of bringing another giant bin of food. We have a separate plastic bin specifically for camping that holds all of her leashes, extra bowls, food, toys and treats. The individually filled bags of food fit easily in there and we are able to reuse the baggies for the next trip!
Decide on your sleeping arrangements.
This is an important step when bringing your dog camping. Will you allow them to sleep freely in the tent? Or will you need to keep them in a crate inside the tent? Jade never sleeps in a crate so we also don't bring one camping. We will just make her a bed in the corner of the tent with lots of blankets to cuddle up on. It gets pretty cold at night so sometimes she will make her way on the bed to sleep with us and keep warm.
Invest in good wipes for both you and your dog.
If you like to keep your tent somewhat clean while camping, you definitely need to invest in some wipes. Our friend gave these to us as samples our first camping trip with Jade and we love them! The brand is Dog Bath in A Pack and they work great. They open up much larger than normal wipes and they make it so much easier to quickly clean up dirty paws before coming into the tent. Let's be real... there's no way to get completely around dirt in your tent while camping. But it's nice to have a little less dirt coming inside.
Photo Credit: @laneseven
What is your #1 camping tip?
Let me know in the comments below!