Guide to Camping With Your Dog

what to bring camping with your dog

Camping with dogs is lots of fun but make sure to keep your dog safe.  The dogs always love sleeping in the tent and being outdoors. We love roadtrips, hiking and camping – traveling with Fido is lots of fun!  For those outdoor adventure trips, we have some favorites that we use for an awesome experience.

Dog Car Hammock

We always travel with the car hammock, both for our car and rental cars. If you are renting a car, it’s a good idea to bring a lint roller too!

Portable Bowl & Water Bottle

Keeping your pup hydrated is important during those long hikes!  You have two options for portable water bowls: silicone or fabric.  We prefer the fabric bowls because these can be folded into any shape. We use the P.L.A.Y collapsible bowl.

Dog Saddle Pack

The more you can have your pup carry, the less strain you’ll put on your back by carrying their things. Most full grown dogs can carry up to 25% of their body weight, so for Calvin that is 15 pounds. We like the Ruffwear Webmaster Pro Harness (Size Medium) and the OneTigris Saddle Bag for Calvin to carry his things and our water. For a cheaper version of the Ruffwear Harness, check out the Outward Hound Alternative (<$25).

Waterproof Mat

If you are going camping, getting a waterproof mat, lightweight mat is a great way to provide Fido with a place to rest at the campsite. We use the P.L.A.Y Outdoor Chill Pad (get a size L for a Lab). Check out their outdoor collection for more camping accessories (Code CALVIN will get you 20% off). The outdoor pad that we have folds up and attaches to our backpacks.

Dog Booties

Boots are a must for protection against the elements – snow/salt, sharp rocks, heat. We have heard great things about the Ruffwear Booties, but started out with the cheaper alternative. The cheaper boots lasted about 4 hikes before ripping so we upgraded to Ruffwear.  The cheaper booties probably would have held up nicely if we had only used them for walking in the city. Be sure to get exact paw measurements so the boots don’t slip off.  We sized down for our second pair and they fit perfectly.

Food Travel Container

An airtight travel container is great for keeping kibble fresh on trips (and away from bears). This travel container can clip onto a backpack hook for easy transport.

Waterless Shampoo & Wipes

Waterless/dry shampoo is great for a quick touchup and wipes can be used to wipe off paws. We use this Burt’s Bees combo pack which includes the dry shampoo and wipes.


If your pup is going to be dipping paws into a creek or swimming, your car will thank you if you bring an extra towel. Any towel will do!

Long Line Dog Leash

Calvin loves the outdoors, but sometimes he wanders. He gets especially interested in nearby campers but they do not always reciprocate those feelings  When we set up camp, we like to have him on a 20-30ft long line so that he can explore but not get away from camp.

Outdoor Dog Toys

Last, but not least, we always make sure to bring Calvin’s outdoor toys with us.  He has a great bumper and disc that we carry with us every time we travel.  We keep these toys hidden away until we travel so that he is even more excited to see them.  The key to outdoor toys is for them to be easy to clean, we have put these through the washing machine without any damage.

First Aid

Our most frequently used first aid items for Calvin are pet antibiotic ointment, vet wrap, and non-stick gauze.  Amazon also has pet first aid kits available that includes are potential needs

Happy Adventuring!
-Your Pal Cal