Love the great outdoors but worried how well it’ll all work when you take your four-legged friend? The romance of stargazing in front of the campfire with your K9 companion sounds too good to be true and unless you have the right dog camping gear, it could well be. Whether it’s a another mouth to feed from the BBQ, finding a spot for your dog to sleep in your tent or a suitable location for them to ‘do their business’ if you want to know how to camp with your dog then read on.
Firstly, you need to get there, whether it’s a well-known local camp site, or a secluded spot hidden away in a national forest, you might need to consider a long distance car trip with your dog. If your dog doesn’t travel long distances by car regularly or indeed ever, it’s wise to build them up and familiarize them with the car and how it’ll likely be loaded for a camping trip. Will they need to share the trunk with the tent and other dog camping gear? If yes, test that out on a shorter run first. You’ll want to pack a travel bag for your dog too and plan regular stops where getting what you need from that bag needn’t require a full car clear-out to get to the poop bags hidden away!
When you arrive you’ll want to set up camp, but take a moment to let your dog out and familiarize them with their new surroundings, probably best to keep them on the leash until they’re comfortable, check for any hazards, livestock etc. Make sure they have access to fresh water, many dogs will pant in the car and need a drink when they get out, however the excitement of new surroundings might distract them so encourage them to take on some water.
When it comes to setting up your tent, depending on your dog, you might need to pop them on a leash whilst you set up camp and whilst having a dog bed or even their own bedroom in your tent might sound great, the reality of sleeping under canvas with a dog may differ from how you imagined it. A good night sleep could be hard to find. It’s well worth considering a dog camping tent just for your furry friend. There are lots on the market and we’ve tried a few but have found this to be the best dog tent. It pops up in minutes, has a fixed ground sheet to keep the outdoors, well out and provides a great hideaway for your dog to sleep. Whilst fully waterproof, if you want your dog to sleep in your main tent (if its big enough!) you can pop this up inside your own tent providing your dog with their own space.
As with most things, it’s well worth trying the tent before your arrive for the first time, that and all the other dog camping gear you’ll need, familiarize your dog before you head out for a night in the wilderness and you’ll likely avoid any unnecessary surprises!