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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

13 Essentials for Camping with Dogs

Updated: May 3

Essentials for Camping with Dogs - Alpacka My Bags

Going camping? Why not bring along your furry best friend? If you have an active dog who loves spending lots of time outside, bring them along to enjoy camping with dogs!

You never know, camping might be your dog's new favorite activity, and the following items will make your next camping trip a blast for everyone.

We've included essentials that have helped make camping with dogs go smoother for us. These items will help keep your dog clean, happy, safe, and comfortable while camping.

First things first, don't forget to make sure your campsite is dog friendly! Always check the pet rules of your campsite; they can vary greatly.

With these dog-friendly camping essentials, your next adventure will be a blast for everyone! Now onto the necessities for camping with dogs! Check out my ultimate gift guide for campers; there are dog-friendly essentials included.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of them. Read our affiliate disclosure. Thank you for your support!

What to Bring Camping with Dogs

What to Bring Camping with Dogs

1. Collapsible Bowls

Instead of regular hefty dog bowls, grab some collapsible bowls instead. They squash down and store really easily. They are super light, making them easy to carry anywhere. You can also throw one in your day bag when hiking so your dog gets the hydration they need.

2. Baby Wipes

We keep a supply of unscented baby wipes on hand for wiping down our dog after a hike or a day lying around in the grass. You don't want a dirty dog sharing your tent with you. It’s so much easier to use wipes rather than trying to wash your dog while camping.

3. Sweater for Cold Weather

Some dogs may never need a sweater, but if you have a short-haired dog I recommend bringing one. Weather is always somewhat unpredictable, and it often gets significantly colder at night when camping. Keep your dog warm with a fleece sweater!

tips for camping with dogs

4. Adjustable Hands-Free Leash

Most hiking trails and many campsites require dogs to be kept on 6-foot leashes or shorter. For hiking or other activities, we use a waist leash which allows you to be hands-free while walking your dog.

While staying at your campsite, you can use a waist leash or a retractable leash to give your dog more freedom.

5. Trusty Harness

If you’re a hiker and your pup goes with you, I highly recommend getting them a nice harness. This will also come in handy when driving with your dog; use a dog seatbelt to buckle them in their harness.

what to bring camping with dogs

6. Food

Pack your dog's normal food that they eat at home. It's a good idea to try and feed them the same thing. If you give your dog extra goodies besides just kibble, pack some freeze-dried chicken for them and put some water in the food to rehydrate it.

7. Outdoor Bed

You want to keep your dog comfortable when camping, and giving them somewhere to lie down outside is one way to do so. Grab a compact, outdoor dog bed so they have a nice place to rest during the day. You can also put it in your tent at night for them to sleep on.

8. Dog Water Bottle

Along with the collapsible bowls, it's nice to have a water bottle for your dog so they always have their own supply of water. Especially if you're camping with dogs in warm weather, making sure they stay really hydrated is important.

9. Healthy Treats

Don’t forget to pack a hiking snack for your dogs too! If you’re working up a sweat on that trail, chances are your pup is burning lots of energy too. Pack smaller training treats for hitting the trail or rewarding your dog. I recommend packing dental chews for a healthy treat as well.

10. Dog Sleeping Bag or Blanket for Cold Weather

If you're camping with a dog in cold weather, make sure they stay warm too. Bring an extra blanket to cover them with at night, or even a dog sleeping bag if it's super cold.

11. Large Tent

You want everyone in your party, including your dog, to have enough room to sleep comfortably. If you can, buy a size up to ensure there is plenty of space. For example, if you and your partner would generally share a 2-person tent, opt for a 3-person tent to share with your dog.

12. Flea & Tick Prevention

Keep your dog safe by getting flea and tick prevention for them before your camping trip. We highly recommend Simparica Trio; it's more expensive, but it's a monthly oral prescription that prevents multiple issues for your dog. Ask your vet what they recommend before camping with a dog!

In case you need convincing that flea and tick prevention really is necessary, our dog, JoJo once got covered in seed ticks, but because she was already on tick prevention, they all died and weren't able to harm her or us.

13. Dog Tie Out Cable

Let your dog enjoy their time outdoors with a dog tie out cable. If your campsite has trees, you can use this tie out system to allow your dog to roam without the worry of them wandering off.

Tips & FAQ Camping with Dogs

  • Always make sure your campsite is dog-friendly before you arrive. Many sites have rules and regulations regarding dogs.

  • Never, never, never leave your dog unattended at your campsite. This is not allowed and can also scare your dog into running away.

  • Making sure your dog has food and water and the ability to go to the bathroom is the number one priority.

Is it a good idea to take a dog camping?


If you prepare for your camping trip, you and your dog should have tons of fun! If your dog has never done anything similar, start small by going on longer walks outside, maybe even going for a hike, and remember bring their comfort items from home (think bed, blanket, toy, etc.). 


If your dog always know where you are and they are kept comfortable with these essentials for camping with dogs, things should go smoothly. But no one knows your dog better than you, try and listen to them if they seem uneasy.

Where should dogs sleep when camping?


Make sure you have space in your tent for your dog to join. If they sleep on your bed at home, opt for a larger air mattress/sleeping bag/sleeping pad so they have room.I recommend sizing up a person in terms of tent size to allow space for your pup to sleep comfortably. 


If you normally crate your dog, or keep them separate at night, get a tent that will allow you room to fit a crate for them. I recommend sizing up two people in terms of tent size if you need to fit a crate. 

camping with dogs, dog friendly camping in northeast texas

Now you're ready to plan a fun adventure and go camping with adog! These items will make all of your travels a blast for everyone, especially your dog.

Check out my camping gear recommendations if you're planning a rooftop tent camping or car camping adventure!

Where are you planning on going camping with dogs? One of our favorite places to go camping with our dog is South Carolina; there are several dog-friendly options in this state.

Now get packing and don't forget you want your dog to stay happy, comfortable, and safe while camping. These essentials will make your next adventure a breeze!

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Join our newsletter to receive the 3 apps I use to plan a trip, my go-to travel essentials list, and a free travel planner pdf! Bi-weekly travel tips 🙂 

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Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 


I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.


I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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