How to pack for a camping trip with your dog

By Eric Wright

Spending time exploring vast national parks and the great outdoors is an ideal way to bond and create long-lasting memories with your furry best friend, but we all know that packing for a camping trip can be tough—especially when the trusty pooch is tagging along for the ride. The checklist can seem overwhelming at times, so here are some essential items to make sure you and your pup have an unforgettable time and stay safe out in the wild.

1. 20-foot cable leash and stake

Whether Fido is a dependable, free-roaming spirit or a little hard to keep under control, having a long leash and a reliable stake is crucial for owners and their pets to make the most of the scenic landscape. Once that epic peak has been conquered, take some much-needed rest while your four-legged pal has a nap, safe in the knowledge he's not going to be running off on an impromptu quest to meet more of the locals!

2. An ID tag

With the incredibly inquisitive nature of our canine companions, one of the most critical items to remember, the ID tag, is the last line of defense if the unthinkable happens and your pooch does wander off. Make sure to provide all relevant contact details so you can be reunited if your furry friend decides to explore a bit by himself.

3. Dog backpack

Photo courtesy of Ruffwear.

Hiking in the mountains can be exhausting, so why not make your companion work a little for his supper? These handy dog backpacks allow pets to pick up some of the slack and help their owners have a more relaxing day out. The packs come in a selection of sizes, from dainty Chihuahua varieties to heavy-duty Saint Bernard ones, and remembering to pack one of these on your next getaway will be a weight off your shoulders—literally.

4. First aid kit

With seemingly endless mountains, rivers, and lakes on the agenda for most camping trips, there's the outside chance of your pup getting himself in a sticky situation. Make sure you're ready for any potential hiccups by preparing some essential medical supplies, including bandages for any scrapes, hydrogen peroxide (in case anything toxic is ingested), antibiotic ointment, and tick medication.

5. Portable dog bowl

Photo courtesy of Ruffwear.

One of the most basic items for our pets is their bowl, and on a camping trip, less is more in terms of space. These useful bowls are collapsible, sealable, and small—making them a vital piece of equipment to take on those long treks. Be sure to pack some of your pup's favorite treats to reward them for their hard work on that adrenaline-pumping hike in the peaks.

6. Dog sleeping bag

If your pup's used to some of the finer things in life, you may want to pack one of these water-resistant sleeping bags to keep little Baxter happy and warm after a day out exploring. The handy bedding comes in a range of sizes to suit any dog and affords some of those creature comforts of home, even while on a wild adventure in the mountains.

7. Collar light

Photo courtesy of K9 of Mine.

Exploring new terrain and discovering natural wonders is top of the list a lot of camping trips and after sundown, keeping an eye on what the pooch is up to can be difficult, especially if your pet has a dark coat. These cheap and simple LED collars are the perfect solution to avoid any unnecessary night-time panic.

8. Dog coat

Whether your pet's fur is shaggy and long or short and straight, as dusk approaches and temperatures drop off, Fido may be feeling a tad on the chilly side. These trendy, weatherproof, and waterproof coats offer a simple way for pets to stay toasty warm even on cold winter nights, as well as temporarily turning your pooch into an enviable fashionista!


For more tips on traveling with your dog, keep on reading, with a guest post by Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends.