The Best Gear for Camping With Your Dog

Are you going camping with your dog? Whether you're an experienced outdoorsman or a novice trying out this fun, seasonal hobby for the first time, there are several items you should plan to have on hand for your dog.

From safety essentials like a first-aid kit and all-weather tarp to wearables like booties and backpacks, check out our photo gallery for suggestions to add to your camping packing list.

Things to Bring Camping With Your Dog

Dog Collar and Identification

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ID and Temporary Tags

Proper identification is important when your dog is at home and perhaps even more critical when you're camping. Make sure your dog's tags list your current cell phone number and consider microchipping him for an added layer of protection. Get a temporary tag to add to your dog's collar that shows the name of the park where you'll be camping, your assigned campsite number and, if you're out in the wilderness, the phone number of the nearest ranger station.

Dog on Leash

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Short and Long Leashes

Packing the right types of leashes will help keep your dog safe on your trip. Bring a short, non-retractable leash to keep your dog close to you on walks, particularly if where you're camping is heavily wooded — you don't want the leash getting wrapped around trees, Dr. Sarah Wooten points out. If you're going to be camping in a more open clearing, trainer Mikkel Becker recommends a long line to allow your canine more freedom in a controlled way.

All-Purpose Tarp REI
All-Weather Tarp

Dr. Wooten also says to bring an all-weather tarp (like this inexpensive option from REI) to place under your dog's bedding in the tent. Lying right on the ground is a recipe for your dog quickly losing body heat to the earth, risking hypothermia. If your canine is used to sleeping in his crate, consider bringing it along to keep in the tent.

Collapsible Water Bowl Kurgo
Collapsible Water Bowl

A collapsible water bowl (like this one from Kurgo) can be super handy if you've got limited packing space or if you're carrying a small backpack on an excursion. Along with the bowl, bring fresh water, food and food dishes. Pro tip: We always pack a Frisbee, which doubles as a fun toy and a shallow, temporary water bowl!

First Aid Kit

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First-Aid Kit

We bet you're already putting together a first-aid kit for yourself, so go the extra mile and pack some essentials for your dog as well. Among the items you should always have on hand are bandages, butterfly closures, waterproof surgical tape, gauze squares, tweezers and hydrogen peroxide. Check out Dr. Wooten's advice for what to pack in your dog's first-aid kit.

Dog Booties Ruffwear
Booties

Dog booties, like this set from Ruffwear, check the fashion and function boxes. They make for adorable camping Instagrams, but more importantly, they protect your canine's feet from burrs, rocks and any other sharp edges that could cut his paw pads. They're great for camping and hiking in the warmer months and for protecting your pup's feet from ice and deicing chemicals in the winter.

Dog Comb

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Comb

A comb is something you might not think to pack until you're already on your camping trip and need it desperately. Toss one into your bag, so you can easily remove burrs, leaves and other kinds of campsite "decor" that will inevitably get stuck in your dog's fur.

And while we're on the topic of things that can get on your dog while camping, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention fleas and ticks. Always make sure to apply or use your preferred flea and tick preventive before you leave. It's also a smart idea to pack a flea comb, so you can easily check for fleas when you're camping. And while you're at it, check your dog for ticks, too, taking care to look in warm areas like folds of the skin, under the arms, in the ears and between the toes. Pack a tick remover as well so that you can remove any ticks you might find.

Bruce Willy Pugs Camping

Courtesy of Mikkel Becker

Backpack

It depends on the individual dog, but some canines are willing to wear backpacks on camping and hiking trips. They can carry their own light items, such as a ball or a small baggie of kibble. Here, Mikkel Becker's Pug Bruce models his backpack. Becker says, "He seemed to love having a job to do with that on!"

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