If sleeping under the stars with your dog curled by your side or relaxing around a campfire after a day out exploring with your pup sounds like your kind of adventure, it might be time to take your dog camping. But what dog camping gear do you need to pack?
We spoke with Colorado native Whitney Brofos for some pointers on how to pack and prepare to go camping with your dog. She and her Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix Sadie of @sadiemtnpup spend as many weekends as they can camping in the mountains together—from backpacking to car camping to #VanLifing.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to pack too much or be over the top, but you definitely want those essentials, like food items you know your dog likes and safety gear,” Brofos says.
Get started with this list of essential dog camping supplies, and you’ll be enjoying a camping adventure with your dog in no time at all.
Best Dog Sleeping Bags and Outdoor Beds
Whether your dog is cozying up for a good night’s sleep or simply looking for a spot to relax after a day playing around camp, Brofos recommends having a dedicated spot for them to chill.
“Sadie’s used to lying down on her bed at home, so we like having that same comfort when camping with a place where she can lay down and relax,” Brofos says.
Here are three snuggly dog sleeping bag options for comfy camping:
Helios Trail-Barker Travel Dog Bed
This Helios travel bed is a great option if you are looking for a waterproof, windproof and breathable dog sleeping bag to keep your pup comfortable at camp. In warm weather, you can zip it open to double the size of the bed. And, as an added bonus, if you have more than one pup, you can zip multiple Helios beds together to create the perfect size spot for a campsite snooze.
One size. $53.99
Hurtta Outback Dreamer Dog Sleeping Bag
This versatile bed can be used as either a dog sleeping bag or a sleeping pad. It has a foil layer for added warmth on cold nights, and the sides and bottom are water-repellent to help keep your dog warm and dry. It is lightweight and stuffs into a travel sack, making it easy to pack for car camping or backpacking.
Sizes Medium or Large. Starting at $73.04.
Kurgo Loft Wander Pillow Dog Bed
Made from a quilted, waterproof ripstop fabric on the top with a non-slip, waterproof bottom, this dog bed is as durable as it is cozy. You can easily toss this bed out on the ground at your campsite without worry. And when you’re ready to pack up, the bed rolls up just like a sleeping bag with a convenient built-in travel handle.
Sizes Medium or Large. Starting at $57.95.
Best Food Storage Containers and Dog Bowls for Camping
A few things that will make outdoor adventures (and packing) easier are some dedicated dog bowls for camping. You’ll also want a sealed container of some sort to store your dog’s food, especially if you are tent camping.
These pet food storage solutions and dog bowls make dinnertime a cinch even if your “kitchen” is a campfire and cooler:
Mr. Peanut's Premium Collapsible Pet Bowls
If you are looking for a set of dog bowls for camping, these food-grade silicone collapsible bowls should do the trick. They are durable, lightweight and portable. Clip them on your backpack for a day out hiking or set them up anywhere in camp for your hungry or thirsty pup to get their fill.
2-, 3- and 4-packs available. Starting at $9.74.
Dog Helios Grazer Waterproof Outdoor Food Dispenser Bag
This waterproof bag is designed to keep your dog’s food fresh and dry when you’re on the go. It comes with three dual-sided buckle straps so you can easily attach it to your backpack or hang it somewhere handy when at camp. It has a push and twist nozzle so you can easily dispense the food.
One size. $20.69
Mobile Dog Gear Dine Away Dog Bag
If you want an all-in-one set, this dine away dog bag has everything your pup needs for dinner while car camping. It comes with two lined food containers, two collapsible silicone pet travel bowls, a collapsible silicone food scoop, and a non-slip placemat, making it perfect for packing and portioning food and treats at camp.
Available in 18 or 21 inches. Starting at $24.99.
Frisco Pet Essentials Travel Bag
If you frequently take your pet camping, you may want a dedicated travel bag with all their dog camping supplies organized and at the ready. This Frisco travel bag has two storage containers and two collapsible bowls as well as enough space to pack your other dog camping accessories. So, the next time you want to go car camping, all you have to do is grab this stylish bag and go.
One size. $30.99
Best Dog Food and Treats for Camping
Bringing enough food and treats for your dog on your camping trip is an essential part of keeping them happy at camp. Brofos recommends making sure you only bring food items you know your dog likes—if you’re trying something new, try it at home first.
Serve these up on your next camping trip to stave off hunger and help keep Fido happy:
Primal Duck Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
If you camp often, you know that two things are often at a premium: space and refrigeration. If you typically feed your dog a raw diet, these freeze-dried dog food nuggets from Primal are a great way to save on space and avoid the mess of trying to refrigerate your dog’s food alongside your own. Just pour water over them and voila!
Available in 5.5-oz or 14-oz bags. Starting at $18.04.
Zuke's Mini Naturals Peanut Butter & Oats Recipe Training Dog Treats
No matter where you are headed, it’s a good idea to have a solid supply of your dog’s favorite treats on hand. “We always bring treats with us because I know Sadie’s very food-motivated,” says Brofos. These bite-sized peanut butter treats from Zuke’s are one option that your pup might find irresistibly tasty.
Available in 6-oz or 1-lb bags. Starting at $5.69.
Nature Gnaws Small Bully Sticks
If your dog is anxious or antsy at camp, Brofos recommends bringing some kind of chew for them. “I always bring bully sticks in case Sadie’s feeling restless if we’re just hanging out at the campsite. She likes having a chew as a special treat,” she says. A package of bully sticks from Nature Gnaws can go a long way to calm down or distract your pup from whatever at-camp excitement they might find.
Available in 5 count, 15 count of 25 count. Starting at $11.99.
Best Dog Leashes for Camping
Whether you plan to hang around your campsite for the day or head out exploring, you’ll always want to have a sturdy leash at the ready. And make sure your pup has their collar or harness along with current ID tags.
These dog leashes will take you and your dog wherever you want to go:
FurHaven Easy-Tether Reflective Bungee Dog Leash
This reflective bungee leash is a great option if you want a versatile hands-free leash for hiking. You can use the quick-tether feature to attach the leash to your pack or belt when on the move. And around camp, this slack-free leash will allow your pup to explore alongside you without the leash getting tangled.
One size. $9.99
Frisco Solid Nylon Reflective Dog Leash
Added reflectivity is always a good idea when you are out after dark. Whether you’re walking your dog through a campground or keeping them on leash at your campsite, this Frisco reflective leash will help keep them (and you) visible at night. This leash has a comfortable loop handle and an easy-to-use bolt snap.
Available in 6-ft long, 5/8-in wide and 6-ft long, 1-in wide. Starting at $10.99.
Mendota Products Large Snap Solid Rope Dog Leash
If you’re looking for a simple, durable leash that can handle time outside in the elements, this rope leash should fit the bill. The waterproof braided rope is durable but soft, and you can roll it up and stow it in your backpack or pocket. It has a large snap so you can easily buckle it onto your dog’s collar or harness on the go.
Available in 4-feet or 6-feet lengths. Starting at $12.28.
Best Dog Lights for Nighttime Safety
At night, you’ll want to make sure you always know where your dog is. “For camping, when we’re hanging around the fire, we make sure Sadie has lighting just like we have our headlamps,” Brofos says. “So, if she decides she doesn’t want to lay in the camp chair with us or wants to roam around, we at least know where she is.”
Here are two great light-up collars to keep your dog safe and in-sight:
Nite Ize NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace Dog Collar
This NiteHowl dog collar gives your pup 360-degrees of nighttime visibility. And it couldn’t be easier to use—simply slip it over your dog’s head alongside their regular collar. Plus you get your choice of colors, and you can switch the collar from glow to flash mode at the touch of a button.
One size. $12.19
Nite Ize SpotLit Dog Collar Light
This lightweight and weather-resistant light attaches to your dog's collar or harness for added nighttime visibility. The bright LED bulb can be set to flash or steady glow. When clipped on your dog’s collar, everyone will be able to see where your four-legged camper roams.
One size. $6.87
Best Dog Boots
If you are hiking to your campsite or plan to do some hiking while on your camping trip, bringing a set of dog boots is a good precaution. “If we’re hiking rough terrain or somewhere with loose, sharp rocks, we always carry Sadie’s booties just to save her paws. Or we have them just in case something happens on the trails,” says Brofos.
These dog boots will help protect those precious paws:
Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
Wet, dry, hot, or cold—these boots have your pup’s paws covered in all conditions. The boots are made from water-resistant nylon with added grip on the sole so your dog will have plenty of traction on slippery surfaces. They have two fastener straps to ensure a snug but comfortable fit.
Sizes Petite-XL. Starting at $31.95.
Bark Brite All Weather Reflective Neoprene Dog Boots
These neoprene boots are made to handle all the seasons. So, if you plan to take your dog for year-round camping adventures, these boots can be your go-to to protect against heat, cold, and rough surfaces. As an added bonus, they have a reflective strap for nighttime visibility.
Sizes S-3XL. Starting at $26.99.
Kurgo Blaze Cross Dog Shoes
These dog shoes are made to go the distance and keep your pup’s feet happy in the process. They have a breathable, water-resistant ripstop mesh with a rubberized sole for a lightweight-yet-rugged boot designed to protect your dog’s paws from snow, ice, heat, thorns, rocks, glass and any other hazards.
Sizes XXS-XL. Starting at $69.99.
Other Dog Camping Accessories
When packing for your camping trip, there are a few other dog camping accessories that you don’t want to forget.
Kurgo Pet First Aid Kit
This Kurgo pet first aid kit has everything you might need in the event of an emergency. Keep it in your car or tent for easy access on your next camping trip. “Safety is important as well,” says Brofos.
50-piece set. $26.99.
Hyper Pet Flippy Flopper Frisbee Dog Toy
Brofos recommends bringing at least one or two of your dog’s favorite toys—whether that’s a ball, frisbee or plush toy—to keep them entertained and remind them of home. Sadie, for one, loves a good game of frisbee. “It’s nice having a toy to keep her busy,” says Brofos.
One size. $7.95
Bone Dry Embroidered Paw Print Microfiber Bath Towel
Before your dog cozies up in your tent (or RV), you might need to give them a quick clean-up. Brofos always keeps a small microfiber towel on hand. “It’s super-packable, doesn’t take up much room and is always nice to have on hand to keep her and our tent clean,” she says.
One size. $9.99
OllyDog OllyBottle Portable Dog Water Bottle
Whether you plan to head out hiking or just spend the day hanging around camp, you might want a dedicated dog water bottle to either refill your dog’s water bowl or give them a drink on the go. This portable water bottle has a detachable doggy drinking bowl, so if you don’t have your collapsible dog bowl handy, you can easily give your pup a drink without sharing slobber.
Jiobit GPS Dog Location Monitor
For added peace of mind when out camping, attach this Jiobit GPS monitor to your dog’s collar. It uses a combination of cellular, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to monitor your pet's location. You can use the mobile app to keep an eye on your pet while you are at camp.
Frisco Planet Friendly Dog Poop Bag and Dispenser
When exploring the great outdoors, it’s important to leave no trace, and that means leaving no pet waste behind. Pick up dog poop with these durable, leakproof bags that are designed to break down faster than regular waste bags. Attach the dispenser to the outside of your backpack for easy access.
If you’re ready to take your pet camping, all you need are a few basics and a sense of adventure. Just be sure to make a list so you don’t forget anything. “I have a list on my phone which helps as a reference to make sure that I’m not missing anything every time we camp,” Brofos says. Now grab your dog camping gear and get ready to enjoy a night sleeping under the stars!