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Everything you need to go camping with your pet

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What pet camping gear is essential?

Heading out on a weekend camping or backpacking trip is always an exciting opportunity. However, leaving your pet at home for extended periods isn’t always a viable option. So, many decide to bring them along for the journey. A well-behaved dog can enjoy spending a few days out in the woods. Depending on their stamina and ability, many also make great hiking and trekking companions. Still, before you head outdoors with your four-legged friends, there are several pieces of gear you should have on hand. We've even tested some of them to ensure they're top quality.

Shop this article: Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog LeashBonza Large Collapsible Dog Bowl and Adventure Medical Kits Trail Dog

Tips for camping with a pet

  • Check for local rules and regulations: Not every campground allows pets, which is especially true if planning a visit to a national park. You can usually find dog-friendly campgrounds in national forests or on public land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. However, private campgrounds and certain state parks have their own set of rules regarding pets.
  • Keep them leashed: Once you find a pet-friendly campground, you should also research its specific leash regulations. Many require your dog to remain leashed while at camp.
  • Don’t leave them alone: Some campgrounds also prohibit you from leaving your pet unsupervised at camp. This is to keep your dog out of danger and protected from adverse weather conditions. It also keeps other campers and pets safe.
  • Be sure to clean up: When your pet goes to the bathroom, you need to pick up after it. It may seem unnecessary when out in nature, but pet waste can disrupt fragile environments. It's also courteous to other campers.
  • Bring extra food and water: While you likely eat separate food, make sure to bring enough water for both you and your pet. It's also wise to keep any food in the car or away from camp. That ensures your dog can't be tempted and the local wildlife isn't attracted to your campsite.
  • Consider sleeping arrangements: If you’re sharing a tent with another person and a dog, consider choosing a larger tent. For example, three-person tent might be big enough for two campers and a dog, but opting for a four-person tent lets you fit a dog bed without feeling cramped.

Best leash for camping

Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash

This hands-free leash attaches at the waist, freeing up your hands to use hiking poles or grab a drink of water as needed.

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Best dog bed for camping

Kurgo Waterproof Dog Bed

Your pet appreciates a soft place to lay down after a long day of hiking, swimming or exploring the area as much as you. The waterproof Kurgo dog bed rolls up for easy storage and is usable in your car or RV when traveling.

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Best dog bowl for camping

Bonza Large Collapsible Dog Bowl

Being a collapsible model, this dog bowl doesn't take up much space in your pack or vehicle. It also only weighs a touch more than 5 ounces. With its tear-resistant construction and included carabiner, you can clip it wherever it is most convenient.

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Best first aid kit for camping with your pet

Adventure Medical Kits Trail Dog

This first aid kit includes several standard emergency items, such as alcohol wipes, bandages, ointments and more. There is also a specialized tick remover and pet first aid guide to help you treat any injuries or mishaps while away from home.

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Best dog toy for camping

Kong Wobbler Interactive Dog Toy

To keep your dog happy and occupied while you lounge around a campfire or in a hammock, bring along a toy. This treat-dispensing model is durable enough to stand up to strong chewers, keeping them entertained for long periods. 

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Best dog backpack for camping

Outward Hound Lightweight Dog Backpack

Featuring a lightweight design and breathable straps, this backpack is ideal for dogs learning to hike and camp. It doesn't put much stress on their backs or sides.

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Best pet towel for camping

Wooflinen Microfiber Pet Towel

A microfiber towel for your pet can come in handy on multiple occasions. This highly absorbent towel can help clean and dry your dog after a swim while also serving as a blanket or insulating layer under their bed.

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Best dog coat for camping

Kurgo North Country Dog Coat

For most summer campouts, your dog may not need a fleece-lined coat. When camping at high altitudes, in rainy climates or during colder months, this waterproof coat keeps your pet protected from the elements. It even features an LED light strip for visibility.

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Best dog boots for camping

Qumy Waterproof Dog Boots

Not all dogs tolerate wearing dog boots. But, they can provide much-needed protection when hiking over rugged terrain, hot blacktop and slippery surfaces. These have an anti-slip sole and use waterproof materials. Our tester recommends giving your dog time to adjust to them. After that, they should be running and playing uninhibited like our tester's dog was.

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Best LED collar for camping

Nite Ize SpotLit LED Collar Light

Clipping a light-up accessory to your pet’s collar can help you keep track of them once the sun sets. The Nite Ize collar light lets you choose between several different colors and sports a long-lasting battery. 

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 Best tent

Coleman Sundome Tent

The Coleman Sundome is perfect for anyone taking a solo trip with their dog or for a pair of campers with a small pet. It offers plenty of interior space, weatherproof protection, and a quick and simple setup process.

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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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