The Best Dog Camping Gear

The Best Dog Camping Gear

We don’t always bring our dog camping, but when we do, there is some basic dog camping gear that we bring to keep them safe and comfortable. There may be different reasons why you bring your dog camping. Many of us consider our dogs part of the family, so of course they come along on the adventure! Sometimes though, finding a dog sitter or kennel is impossible and your pup might be joining out of necessity. Either way, this list of our favorite dog camping gear will help make sure your pup feels right at home!

Black Lab sitting outside a tent

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Considerations When Camping with Dogs

There is lots to consider when you bring your dog camping. You need to have plans for how to keep your dog cool if you are in a hot environment. The same holds true if it is cold. Because you don’t have the four walls of your home to buffer weather and temps, you have to come up with strategies to keep your dog safe and comfortable.

Also remember, dogs shouldn’t be left alone at your campsite, but everyone needs to run to the bathhouse at some point. Make sure you have a plan to keep your pup safe and contained when you need to step away for a few. This could be a kennel or a dog line, but it should be designed to keep your dog safe, in your campsite and not a nuisance to other campers.

Your dog’s sleeping and feeding needs also should be considered. Dogs need a safe and comfy place to sleep and call their own. But beware, dog’s nails can rip holes in camp mats, sleeping bags, and even tent floors so take precaution. Dogs also need a constant supply of fresh water and a place to peacefully eat.

Let’s not forget to have some fun with our dogs to! Make sure you’ve got the right gear for going for walks, hikes, swim or play fetch. And don’t forget some boredom busters like chew toys for when there is down time around camp.

Keep on reading to see some of our favorite gear recommendations!

Dog Camping Beds and Sleep Systems

When it comes to camping with your canine companion, providing them with proper sleeping gear is essential for a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Dog beds and sleeping bags designed specifically for outdoor adventures offer a cozy and insulated space for your dog to curl up and recharge, ensuring they wake up energized and ready for the day’s adventures.

Check our our Best Tents for Camping with Dogs!

black lab laying down in a tent

Camping Dog Beds

You have a couple of options when it comes to what your pooch sleeps on when camping. Some people keep it super simple and just bring a small dog bed from home. You can also be uber-frugal and use an old, folded-up sleeping bag. However, if your dog is more fussy, old, or a bit chilly, you might want to consider something purpose-built for camping with dogs. Here are some of our recommendations!

Ruffwear Highlands Dog Pad

This synthetic down and foam dog bed from Ruffwear rolls up to stow easily. It has a tough, microsuede exterior and waterproof bottom. This mat also comes in a couple of different sizes so you get the right fit for your dog.

West Paw Big Sky Nap Dog Mat

Made from recycled water bottles, this mat is lightweight but comfy for your dog. This dog bed is handcrafted in Bozeman Montana and will provide the perfect barrier from the cold ground for your camping buddy.

Hest Dog Bed

Need a luxury experience for camping with your dog? Look no further. This plush, memory foam bed will keep your dog protected from the roots and rocks beneath your tent. You might end up needing to steal the bed from your dog. This dog bed comes with a washable cover and rolls up tightly for transport.

Dog Sleeping Bag Camping

Do you have a dog that gets cold at night? Tents can be horribly chilly, even in the summer. Bringing a sleeping bag for your dog keeps them cozy and helps you rest easier knowing that your dog is comfortable. It also might keep your dog from sneaking into YOUR sleeping bag with you (however, this is a good way to keep you both cozy if you have a good snuggle pup).

Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping Bag

This dog camping sleeping bag can be used with or without the Ruffwear Highlands Bed. It zips around your dog, with a hole for them to peek out. Because it fully wraps around your dog, this camping sleeping bag will hold their heat in, keeping the cold and damp air at bay

“I can’t share bag space with my pup, since I’m allergic, but Ripley’s Ruffwear bag gives her a cozy spot of her own to snuggle, especially during cold nights in the high alpine, and during winter nordic adventures. It packs down small enough that she can carry it on her own.”

TMM Team Member Ginny
a dog is laying cozy in a ruffwear highlands sleeping bag, a favorite dog camping gear item.

West Paw Big Sky Blanket

This durable handmade dog blanket will keep your best friend warm during colder nights or can be used to sleep on to protect the tent floor. This is perfect for camping and getting dirty because it is easily machine washable.

Hurtta Outback Dreamer ECO Dog Sleeping Bag

Made of recycled material and featuring a heat reflecting lining, this round sleeping bag is a good pick for those pups who like to curl up. Although it doesn’t boast a lot of padding, it should keep your pup warm.

Although we haven’t got our hands on this Hurtta product, TMM Team Member Jami has been impressed with many of the Finnish brand’s other dog products and thought we would add in for another option to check out.

Camping Essentials for Dogs – Eating

When camping you need to rethink the way you feed your dogs and store their food. Making sure other critters aren’t getting into the food while keeping food safe and dry for your dog is the first step to keeping your pup well fed and happy. Also consider your dog’s energy output while camping, if you are more active than usual your pup might need a little extra dinner to keep their energy up the next day.

Portable Dog Dishes

Whether camping, hiking or just exploring your local parks, it is important to be able to water and feed your dog. Our dog loves to drink water and will drink water that is very suspicious looking if she doesn’t have fresh water.

Likewise, if you are going to be out during doggie dinner times, you need to bring food along for them. And remember, if you eat more when you are active, your dog probably needs some extra too.

Ruffwear Quencher Dog Bowl

This collapsible dog bowl is a game-changer for camping with dogs. Its lightweight design and durable construction make it a convenient and reliable companion, ensuring our furry friends stay hydrated and happy on our outdoor adventures.

Yeti Boomer Dog Bowl

The Yeti dog bowl is an absolute game-changer for camping with dogs! Its rugged construction and non-slip base ensure durability and stability, while the double-wall insulation keeps water cool and refreshing, making it a must-have accessory for any outdoor adventure with furry friends.

“I love my Yeti dog bowl for camping in hot weather. We can put a couple of ice cubes in for waffles (her Corgi) and it does a really nice job of keeping his water cold. Plus it is so sturdy we don’t have to worry about it getting beat up being pushed across rough ground.”

Community Member Laura

Collapsible Dog Bowl with Carabiner

These collapsible bowls are great for travel and hiking. Budget friendly and get the job done. TMM Team Member Jami uses these for her dogs when they are in the field hunting. Pop them open and squirt water from our water bottles in there for a quick drink or fill with kibble at meal time. Then just collapse them back down and clip them on the pack.

Dog Water Bottles

OllyDog Water Bottle

TMM Team Member Jami has been using these for years with her dogs. They come in two sizes, 600ml and 1L and a variety of colors. The tray clips on to the outside of the bottle. The flat bottom keeps it steady on the ground or you can also hang on to it while your dog is drinking.

Kurgo Gourd Portable Dog Water Bottle

I love the design of this bottle. The “bowl” nests tightly to the water bottle base, allowing you to easily pour water out of the bottle and into the bowl. Whatever the dog doesn’t drink you can pour back into the bowl.

Kong H2O Insulated Waterbottle and Bowl

Kong H2O is a perfect portable solution for carrying cold water for your four-legged furry friend in a container that easily fits into the water bottle holder of a standard backpack.

Dog Food Storage

When camping with dogs, it is important to bring enough food for the whole trip. Keeping the dog food well secured is essential. Ziploc bags are convenient, but they easily get holes, leading to dog food getting dumped all over. Dog food is a magnet for animals of all sorts, from chipmunks to bears. Keeping your dog food in a secure container is part of using leave-no-trace ethics.

Vittles Vault Outback Bucket

This dog food storage bucket from Vittles Vault keeps your dog’s food secure and fresh while camping. This is an air-sealed food bucket, with a lid that is very hard for critters to open. We like that it has a handle and a leakproof lid.

Kurgo Kibble Carrier

The Kurgo Kibble carrier is great for camping with my furry companion in areas where there is no risk of bears. Its durable construction and convenient design make it effortless to store and dispense dog food, ensuring your pup stays well-fed and happy throughout your adventures.

Mountainsmith K9 Cube

The Mountainsmith K9 Cube is a great way to keep your dog’s gear organized for adventures. The large divided compartment holds a 38 cup food storage bag on one side and room for all the essentials on the other side. A dropdown “tray” on the front has two collapsible dishes. There is also a zippered compartment in the lid and two side stretch pockets.

We use this cube every time we travel with our dogs. The food storage bags holds enough food for our two springers for a week and the rest of the bag is full of most everything else they need like treats, leashes, tie outs, water buckets, brushes, chew toys, and the included dishes.

TMM Team Member Jami
black and white dog snoozing next to a log

Safety Gear For Camping Dogs

Keeping your dog safe at the campground is a priority, not only for your dog’s safety but for the safety and comfort of those around you. When packing safety gear for your camping activities don’t forget to include safety gear for your dog as well.

General Safety Dog Gear

These are the pieces of gear that we tend to remember to pack for ourselves but might forget to pack for our four-legged friend.

Nite Ize Spot Lit Carabiner Light

This little light easily clips on to your dogs collar and makes it easy to spot your dog in the dark. Choose from multi-color options or single colors. TMM Team Member Jami uses a different color for each of her dogs then its easy to see who is who in the dark.

Tip: Pack spare batteries for the lights in your dog’s gear bag so you can replace when they go dim.

LED Dog Collar

A light-up dog collar provides extra safety and viability while camping. This collar comes in multiple different sizes, is weatherproof, bright enough to be seen from far away, and rechargeable. It is the perfect thing to pop on your dog when it gets dark at camp.

Dog First Aid

Adventure Medical Kits make fantastic first aid kits for people, and their dog medical kit is also well designed. Having a kit for your dog allows you to be ready to help with their injuries whenever and wherever they happen. Just make sure you know how to use the contents!

Grip Tex Dog Boots

While the idea of dog boots might seem silly they are a great protective device. Dog boots protect precious paws from broken glass, hot surfaces, and salted roads. These are great because they are sold as a pack of two instead of four because dogs’ front paws and back paws are typically different sizes.

“We always carry at least 2 booties for emergencies (cut foot, blister, etc). We have her wear them when the conditions get hard on her feet. Ie: backpacking in the Eagle Cap wilderness in OR, we spent a day on lots of exposed (and very sharp) granite. We put on her booties to keep her feet from getting raw. We’ve also used them in hot/sandy conditions, as well as on sub-zero snow days when her feet get cold quickly.”

TMM Member Ginny
TMM Team Member Jami’s dog Reece with her Stunt Puppy Collar and Spot Lit

Dog Camping Crate and Tie Outs

One of the best ways to make sure your dog is safe at camp is to keep your dog contained in a safe place. Some ways to do that are a kennel, temporary fences, or tie outs or simply tying off a leash. Make sure to consider the size and strength of your dog when choosing the best product and an attachment point.

Foldable Dog Crate

A lightweight alternative to the traditional dog crate. It is a great place to allow your dog to rest and gives a more homelike feel for crate-trained dogs.

“When Camper (a blue healer) was a puppy he would cry all night camping. The best thing we ever did was get him his portable Dog Crate. He gave him a safe space that felt more like home and was soothing when camp became overwhelming for him.”

Community Member Catie

Kurgo Ridgeline Dog Tie Out

The Ridgeline Dog Tie Out is a tree-friendly way to give your dog some freedom within your campsite while staying safely on a leash. The kit comes with 30-feet of webbing line, 4 aluminum S-clips, a bungee tether with a swivel carabiner for attaching your dog’s leash, and a reflective carry pouch.

Ruffwear Not-A-Hitch Tie Out

Ruffwear’s Not-A-Hitch Tie out includes a strong, reflective kernmantle rope, a swiveling carabiner which keeps the leash free from twists, and a tensioning system inspired by auto-lock techniques used by rock climbers. This is another great way to allow freedom while keeping your dog contained within your campsite.

FXW Dog Play Pen

Playpens are a great tool to keep smaller dogs contained within a campsite. These tend to be larger and heavier so are more of a favorite for RV and trailer campers. Please make sure to read your campground rules carefully because some do not allow playpens and instead dogs must be leashed at all times.

Dog Jackets for Camping

Dog jackets are a fantastic addition to any camping trip with a furry friend. They provide extra warmth and protection against the elements, keeping your dog cozy during chilly nights or unexpected weather changes. Additionally, dog jackets often feature reflective strips, making them ideal for enhancing visibility during nighttime excursions, ensuring your dog’s safety in low-light conditions.

Ruffwear Stumptown Insulated Dog Jacket

If your dog isn’t into the idea of sleeping in a sleeping bag or under a blanket an insulated dog jacket may be the answer. This jacket is great for playful adventurous pups with its durable fabric and water-repellent finish.

Ruffwear Vert Vest Water Proof Dog Jacket

Extended coverage for a more windproof and waterproof experience for your dog. Rubberband pieces go around the hind legs to keep the extended coverage material snuggly against your dog’s back.

Ruffwear Furness Jacket

The warmest coat on our list, this one is best for cold winter camping. With soft “storm sleeves” around the front legs, the warmth stays in even on the coldest of days.

Hurtta Expedition Parka

If you are looking for a jacket to keep your dog warm, this is it. An adjustable fit and a long neck helps keep your dog toasty.

This dog jacket is great for our short haired dogs when its really cold out or when they get chilled after they are done hunting on a cool day.

TMM Team Member Jami

Dog Jackets for the Water

Camping can sometimes include water activities. Whether you are kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or on a motorized boat your dog should be wearing a life vest.

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket

This is our favorite life jacket because it is made of flexible foam so that it is comfortable for your dog to wear and move in. It also includes a handle for quickly grabbing your dog if they happen to fall in or need help getting back into the boat after a swim.

“Even though our dog is a great swimmer, we’ve seen really rough water and large debris a dog could get tangled in. The life jacket gives her some extra buoyancy but also a quick handle to pluck her out of the water if needed.”

TMM Member Jess
Dog in a ruffwear dog lifejacket

Ruffwear Undercoat Waterjacket

Think of this as a wetsuit for dogs. This jacket keeps dogs more comfortable while swimming in cooler lakes and rivers while camping.

Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

This lightweight option is budget friendly and best for dogs who are good swimmers, but you would like to have a grab handle and give them a little flotation.

This jacket works great for our swimming dogs. It provides a little extra flotation in case they get out too far and the all important grab handle for getting them back in the boat.

TMM Team Member Jami

Outdoor Gear for Dogs

When it comes to camping with your canine companion, having the right gear is essential to ensure a fun and safe experience. Dog recreation gear plays a crucial role in keeping your dog entertained, secure, and well-exercised during outdoor adventures.

Dog Leashes for Camping

When it comes to camping with your furry friend, a reliable and sturdy leash is an absolute must-have. The right dog leash can provide you with control and peace of mind, allowing you to explore the great outdoors while keeping your dog safe and secure by your side.

Hitch Hiker Leash

The Ruffwear Hitch Hiker Leash is multiple products in one durable storage bag. It is a leash that has an adjustable strap that can be used as a handle for a handheld leash, a waist belt for a hands-free hike, or it can be secured around a single tree or post while back at camp.

Nite Dog Rechargeable LED Dog Leash

The Nite Dog LED dog leash is essential dog camping gear for camping with your furry friend. Its vibrant LED lights provide excellent visibility at night, ensuring the safety of your dog while adding a touch of fun to your outdoor adventures.

Hertzog Silicon Leash

The dog leash’s strong and comfortable silicone construction, coupled with its waterproof, antibacterial, and scratch-resistant properties, ensures durability in outdoor adventures. Its eco-friendly handle made from recycled polyester ripstop, along with the secure locking swivel carabiner, makes it the perfect companion for camping trips with your furry friend.

Stunt Runner Leash

This is a hands-free leash perfect for hitting the trails with your pup. The extension is adjustable which means you can keep your pup close if the trails are busy or give them more range if you’re in a more secluded area.

Camping Accessories for Dogs: Collars and Harnesses

Finding the right collar or harness is crucial for your dog’s safety and comfort while camping. The best dog collars and harnesses for camping are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, provide secure control, and ensure a comfortable fit, allowing you to explore the wilderness together with peace of mind.

Ruffwear Flagline Dog Harness

The Flagline Harness has 6 points of adjustment making it easy to get a secure fit. It includes a padded handle with load dispersal to allow you to give your dog boosts when needed.

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

This dog harness with its 2 leash attachment points and reinforced webbing at the chest is a game-changer for camping adventures with your furry friend. The foam-padded construction and 4 points of adjustment provide a comfortable and customized fit, while the reflective trim and ID pocket ensure safety and convenience during low-light hikes.

Wolfgang Man & Beast Overland Collar

The Wolfgang Man & Beast dog collar is an exceptional choice for outdoor adventures with your furry companion. Its highly durable and abrasion-resistant polyester webbing, reinforced buckle, and pull-tested strength ensure reliability, while the stunning outdoor design and lifetime warranty make it a must-have for any camping enthusiast and their beloved four-legged friend.

Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar

Not only is this a comfortable everyday collar but it provides added safety with the easy-to-see neon colors and large reflective strip. This collar is perfect for a dog who loves water because it is waterproof and will float if it slips off.

Our dogs wear these collars everday and have for the last several years. They are durable, easy to get on and off. I love that there are two attachment rings and that they come in 3/4″ sizing for the medium dogs. These are one of the favorite collars we have owned!

TMM Team Member Jami

Camping Dog Toys

Having the right toys can enhance your dog’s outdoor experience and keep them entertained throughout your camping trip. The best dog toys for camping, ensuring your pup stays happy, active, and engaged while enjoying the great outdoors.

LED Dog Disk

This LED Flying Disc is an absolute game-changer for camping trips with dogs. Its vibrant LED lights provide excellent visibility even in low-light conditions, making nighttime fetch sessions a thrilling and safe experience for both humans and dogs alike.

Chuckit! Amphibious Bumper Dog Toy

This is a must-have for any camping near water with your furry friend. Its vibrant colors, durable construction, and water-friendly design make it perfect for endless hours of fetching fun in and out of the water. Other Chuckit! favorites are the Flying Squirrel and the Ball Launcher.

Kurgo Skipping Stones

The Kurgo Floating Bright Skipping Stones are a fantastic addition to any camping trip with your furry friend. Not only do they provide endless entertainment with their buoyant design, but their vibrant colors make them easy to spot in any outdoor setting.

Outdoor Bungee Tug Toy

This dog toy is an absolute game-changer for camping trips with your furry companion. Secure it around a tree and its durable construction makes it the perfect way to keep your pup entertained while you relax, knowing they’re having a blast!

black lab dog swimming in a lake with a stick in its mouth

Dog Camping Gear Packs and Trailers

These ingenious inventions enhance your dog’s hiking and camping experience. Whether you have a tiny pup who needs to hitch a ride or a big dog who can carry its own gear, we have a pack for your furry friend.

Dog Carrier for Hiking

Dog backpacks offer a safe and convenient way to carry your furry friend, allowing them to join in on the outdoor fun while providing them with a cozy, mobile retreat. With adjustable straps and breathable materials, these backpacks ensure both you and your dog can enjoy nature without any compromises.

Kurgo G-Train

The Kurgo G-Train Dog Backpack is a game-changer for camping with your furry companion. It has a durable design and interior fiberglass rods to help maintain its shape, while the waterproof, dirt-proof material ensures it can handle any adventure. With its versatile conversion options, comfortable padding, and ample storage, this backpack is a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts and their dogs.

K9 Sport Sack

This dog backpack is a must-have camping gear for your dog. With features like a removable lap belt with hip pockets and waste bag dispenser, an internal frame with padding for comfort, and side cooling venting zippers, it offers convenience and comfort for both you and your furry friend on your outdoor adventures.

Timbuk2 Muttmover

The K9 Sports Sack Dog Backpack is a must-have for camping with your furry friend. Its spacious compartment comfortably carries small pups up to 20 lbs, while the durable ripstop nylon lining, multiple pockets, and adjustable straps provide convenience, support, and comfort throughout your adventures.

Best Dog Backpack for Hiking

Dog paniers are fantastic options to help your canine companion carry their own supplies while exploring the great outdoors. These functional and stylish accessories not only lighten your load but also provide a sense of purpose and adventure for your furry sidekick. And if you have a high energy dog, the extra weight might slow them down a little.

Make sure you take time to get your dog used to the pack for your trip and take pack wearing breaks.

Ruffwear Approach

The Ruffwear Approach is a lightweight and comfortable choice for outdoor adventures with a larger carrying capacity than a typical day pack (up to 21 liters in size large). With adjustable straps, gear organization options, and reflective trim, it offers convenience and safety during camping trips with your furry friend. This is a great pick for backpacking with your dog!

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Day Pack

This pack offers a custom fit and versatile leash attachment options, perfect for camping. With a streamlined design and compact carrying capacity, it ensures comfort while keeping your dog’s essentials organized on outdoor adventures.

OneTigres Day Pack

This doggy backpack is a fantastic addition to your dog’s camping gear, this comes in both a medium and large size. It has two main zipper side compartments with semi-open pockets that allow for convenient storage of dog food, water, snacks, waste disposal bags, and more, making it a versatile and practical dog backpack for outdoor adventures.

white with black spots carries a pack while wear dog shoes

Dog Trailers

Whether you’re an avid cyclist seeking the perfect pet carrier or a pet parent looking for a comfortable and secure way to transport your furry friend, these are our favorite dog trailers. Explore our list to find the ideal dog trailer for your furry friend that ensures both their safety and enjoyment.

Burley Bark Ranger

The Bark Ranger dog trailer is a camping essential, seamlessly transitioning between a stroller, kennel, and trailer. It has a pet-safe interior, sturdy design, and integrated parking brake which make it a secure and comfortable ride for pets up to 100 lbs.

Retrospec Rovin Waggin

The Rover Pet Trailer is a perfect companion for camping adventures, featuring weather-resistant fabric and a 2-in-1 canopy for a cozy ride free from critters. Its foldable frame and rear doggy door ensure easy storage and secure entry, making it a safe and convenient choice for any dog owner.

Burley Trail Wagon

This dog trailer is a bike-only, lightweight design, offering excellent ventilation through mesh windows and a pet-safe interior crafted from sustainable, recycled materials. Effortlessly load your furry companion through the spacious rear tailgate, while the washable floor and compact fold-down feature ensure easy cleaning and convenient storage during your adventures.

Women riding a bike is looking back at her dog riding in a Burley trail wagon bike trailer
Team Member Rita Taking Her Pup for A Ride in the Burley Trail Wagon

Don’t Leave Your Furry Friend At Home

Investing in the right dog camping gear is a decision that pays off in countless ways. From durable and comfortable sleeping pads to versatile and functional harnesses, these products ensure your dog’s safety, comfort, and enjoyment throughout your outdoor adventures.

By equipping yourself with the best dog gear, you can create unforgettable memories, strengthen the bond with your furry friend, and embark on exciting camping trips knowing that your dog is well-equipped and ready to explore the great outdoors alongside you. So, pack up the essentials, hit the trails, and get ready for unforgettable adventures with your four-legged companion!

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Best Dog Camping Gear

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  • Anna is a proud Washingtonian living in the Cascade mountain range with her park ranger husband and their four kids 6 and under. Their family is lucky enough to live in a ranger house in a state park and have lots of access to the outdoors year-round.

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