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Lately I've really had a severe itch to go camping. I usually do go camping in the summer with either the horses or the dogs but the desire has started early! It's too cold at night to camp yet (at least for me...I prefer to camp when I don't have to be bundled in a thick sleeping bag and right now it's still in the low 30s at night) and I can't find any pictures from my camping trips!

So, I know there are people on here who like to camp with their dogs; got any stories? Pictures? Tips? Certain products you use that makes camping easier with your dogs? Anything to calm my camping itch...lol
 

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I camped with our dogs for years, but we didn't tent camp; we had a travel trailer. Four important pieces of advice - do NOT let your dog bark excessively when in a campground! This is very annoying to other campers, who are there to relax. Also, always clean up after your pets when they do their business, and don't let them go the the bathroom on other people's campsites. Third, don't leave your dog unattended, especially since you're tent camping. They aren't safe, and they are likely to bark non-stop. Lastly, always keep your dogs leashed. Loose dogs in a campground are a definite no-no.

Other than that - have fun!! The dogs (and you!) can get a lot of exercise if you like to walk or hike. Ours even learned to enjoy a campfire, especially on a cool night!
 

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Ive been itching to get out there camping, too.:) we have a travel trailer and usually go for a few weeks in the summer and fall. One thing I learned last year, DONT set the food dishes outside for the dogs! lol IDK why I never thought of it until they were crawling with ants, but I didn't and learned that lesson.
I love camping with my dogs, but I have to keep working on them not barking people to death...they dont bark to be mean, just they want attention and to be petted.
I want to find a campground that will let me take them out on a kayak or canoe with me:)
If they are outside with us, I tether them to the picnic table.
Last summer, I had my two dogs (pap/poodlex and yorkie) outside with us as we were cooking dinner. From across several lots, a larger dog came flying to our lot. My dogs were on cords attached to the picnic table, and we scrambled to grab our smaller dogs up, but didnt make it quite in time, the larger dog came after my Zoey and she yelped. I think she was just scared, though, we couldnt find any injuries on her.
Anyway. The owner came slowly walking over to us, and started yelling at US bc our dogs (who were sleeping and tethered under the picnic table) must have done something at some time to bother her dog! and threatened to report us to park management. She never apologized or anything.
But, on the whole, we've met a lot of nice dogs and their owners when camping, something about having dogs in common seems to chill people out and make them want to hang together:) and I love that about it.
One of my favorite sights to see when camping is the abundance of people who have dog baskets on their bikes, or just seeing people doing stuff with their dogs in general, like tossing balls for them to catch in the lake, etc. or feeding them an ice cream:)
Something else that we've enjoyed when camping with the dogs has been the number of families with a small child who has been scared of dogs, and they ask if their child could pet Ziva (yorkie) bc she is very calm and quiet. Ziva's been the first dog experience for a lot of toddlers when we've been camping, and the kids always smile and get so happy. That's nice.
I kept expecting something to go really wrong with the dogs last year, as it was our first year camping with them, but the only problem we had camping was bc we let our 13 yr old and her friends sleep in a tent outside the trailer, and management came and complained bc they kept giggling. No probs with the dogs, though! lol
 

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I try to take at least 2-3 camping trips a year. I tent camp, although I am typically at campgrounds and not wilderness camping. I will take 2 dogs max and prefer to take just one, as it's good one on one time. Whoever stays home stays with a neighbor or home with my husband, who does not share my love of camping and doesn't always come along. And oh lord do I have pictures. :p

A couple of things I've found helpful...
-A well stocked first aid kit. I've never actually had to use it on the dogs but I like to have it on hand.
-A travel crate - I have Canine Campers but any brand will do. Pip just likes to sleep in his, but I also like to have it around for when I have to quick buzz off to the shower or something like that for a minute (although the car works, too, if the weather is appropriate)
-A couple of good tie outs, and get the dogs used to them before you go
-Entertainment - bully sticks or something. Generally I find the dogs sleep a lot around the campsite because we do so much hiking and there's a lot of mental stimulation for them - always something to watch, it's nature TV for dogs - but it's always nice to have something to keep them busy while you're trying to, say, wash the dishes or something
-A couple of long lines for hiking
-A nice weather-proof pad or bed to have around the campsite. They don't always use it, but they seem to like to have a "spot".
-Plenty of poop bags
-Make sure your flea/tick protection is up to date (if appropriate for where you live), whatever you use
-Portable water bowls and bottles for hiking
-Bear bell if you will be hiking where there are bears

Here's some pics from various trips...
Around the campground & hiking:
















Here's one where we were actually renting a cabin, this is why the travel kennels are so nice. They would just curl up in there and snooze after hiking, they liked to have an out of the way spot. In the second picture, we were staying at a campground where dogs were allowed off leash as long as they weren't bothering anyone, so Pip could come and go as he pleased and often chose to snooze in his kennel:



 

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PLENTY of times. In a tent (once for an entire summer), in a pop up camper, in a car, under bridges, behind truck stops, in national forests, and in deserts. All of which we've had our dogs with us and they love it. Dogs really love the outdoors and they like being with their people. Main ting to do is just keep in mind their needs. Make sure they are on some sort of flea, tick and heart worm preventative, which they should be on anyways. If you're at a campground or in an area with other people, keep them leashed and quiet. If you're way out in the middle of nowhere, if you choose to let them loose around the campsite, tie them back up by dusk, as you never know what kind of wildlife might be wandering near bye.

Really that's about it.











 

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We go with the dogs somewhere every year. Two years ago (and a couple times 4+ years ago) we did the real tent-in-the-woods camping thing. We canoed out to a campsite on an island, which was great because we could let the dogs off leash the whole week. They don't swim, so we didn't really have to worry about them going anywhere. I found it way less stressful than being in a campground because there weren't a ton of people for the dogs to bark at or bother and we could just chill out and go canoeing. Of course, we're lucky that both the dogs like to sleep in the canoe so it's a joy to canoe with them. Our favorite thing is to get a campsite 1 lake away from the dropoff (preferably connected by a river). It's way quieter but not too much trouble to get to.

Things that helped us for general camping adventures:
-Dog lifejackets, because neither of our dogs like to swim and if we tip, we don't need the added stress of making sure our dogs aren't drowning.
-Flexi leashes for trails (if dogs must be on leash)
-A trip to the groomer before we left so both the dogs were shaved right down and couldn't get sticks stuck in their fur
-Some nice dog chews to keep them occupied
-LOTS of towels
-Collapsible dog crates- good for if you're staying in a motel or cabin

One thing that gave us a fright the first night was that as we were hanging the bear pack, SiSi got tired and went back to the tent. When we were finished hanging it we noticed she wasn't with us and it gave us quite a fright. After that we put her in the tent when we went to hang the bear pack and we were a lot more conscious of where Neeka was. Even though we were on an island, it was still scary. I guess I just want to stress how hard it is to find a dog in a dark forest.

I can't find my pictures from that trip (that was Restoule Provincial Park in Ontario). I do have our trip from last year, which was to Tobermory. My mother and I stayed in a cottage for that trip and did hikes from there.





 

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I haven't backpacked with the dogs but we do have a small RV that we take the dogs in a couple of times a summer. You definitely need a first aid kit which should include a tick remover and tweezers as well as the usual bandage and antiseptic kind of stuff. Benadryl is safe for dogs at a dose of 1 mg/kg (just like people). We have the liquid in case they run into something they're allergic to or get stung by something.

Bring a copy of the dogs' rabies and other immunization records just in case of an incident with other dogs or people. Make sure their collars are in good shape and won't be lost, as well as making sure their tags are securely on the collars.

We have tie outs that we use to attach the dogs to the outside of the RV and we put a 6 X 8 foot rug down outside so they can lounge and watch the world go by. Make sure there's some shade for them.
 

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We spend about 4 days out of every two weeks from the 1st of May till mid October camping with two little dogs. There are two things that have been a real big help. I picked up several comforters at resale shops for a few bucks apiece and throw them down on the ground or the camper floor for them to lay on. They are spoiled and don't like to lay on the ground, course we are in Michigan and the ground is not always real warm. The other thing I do is for my young one that has to be tethered 24/7. I string a line between two trees and hook his leash to it. He has the run of most of the site but can't actually go anywhere. These two things have kept them both from wanting to be on my lap all the time.
 

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Also if you are camping in an area that does not have cell phone coverage, consider having a tag with a local number made up -- if I'm at a state park I use the park office phone #, if I'm at a private campground I use the office phone # with something like "Squash Guest" as the name.
 

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Make sure the tie out line can't reach the trash. Or you may find yourself scrubbing the tent/camper in the morning after the dog gets sick at night from eating left over spicy potatoes. :bolt:
 

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I love all the excellent advice on this forum :)

We've only gone camping once, with Denali before we had Kaytu. We camped at the grand canyon. She slept in the tent with us, curled up above our heads. I had a wire crate outside the tent too. Definitely have a crate and a tie-out. I also second LOTS OF TOWELS. lol



I feel it almost goes without saying, but be aware of local wildlife that could pose a danger to your pets. From porcupine to bear to hormonal angry males in their mating season or females with babies that are extra protective, make sure you know what's out there and how to keep your pet safe and away from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Also if you are camping in an area that does not have cell phone coverage, consider having a tag with a local number made up -- if I'm at a state park I use the park office phone #, if I'm at a private campground I use the office phone # with something like "Squash Guest" as the name.
That is an excellent idea and probably one that I wouldn't have thought of. :)

I love all of your pics, guys! Gosh, I don't know if it's helping or making it worse though! lol

And I love the advice too. This thread will be a good reminder when I actually do pack up the tent and hit the road. :)

ETA: Oh and bshadow, I'm in Michigan too! Northern lower. :) Maybe we'll run into each other at a camp ground or something this summer. lol ;)
 

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-Dog lifejackets, because neither of our dogs like to swim and if we tip, we don't need the added stress of making sure our dogs aren't drowning.
Is there a particular type of brand of lifejacket you'd recommend? When we get our pup this summer I'd like to get him used to canoeing and I want to start with a lifejacket. I've looked online but there seem to be a lot of different styles.
 

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I'll second the first aid kit. I also love this book and take it with us on all excursions. It is excellent for the outdoors and has medication with dosages in it. http://www.amazon.com/Dog-First-Aid-Emergency-Hunting/dp/1885106041/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335286299&sr=1-4

- Plan for their water
- A good brush/scissors for any burrs that just won't come out
- Back up numbers on their collars
- Med alert tags if needed
- A good harness
- Extra leashes
- Muzzle. I always carry this in our gear bag when out as any dog - no matter how amazing can bite when in severe pain. If you have to pack (carry) a dog back out of a trail head injured - it is alot easier to do with the dog muzzled.
- Numbers/addresses/maps to the nearest vet's office and the nearest 24 hour vet's office.
- Rabies/vaccination certificate (copy - I don't camp with the original)
- Check the area for vaccines you may need. When camping in west Texas nothing extra was needed - in north Texas lepto is a needed vaccine (and it is carried by small furry creatures common around camp grounds).
 

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OH you guys are making me so jealous! I'm really excited to go camping for the first time with Caeda this summer!
Love the pics, and love the tips!
One tip that I might add, after reading Elliebell's post: A high-vis/reflective/light-up collar to turn on at night if the dogs aren't on leash. We made a light-up collar for our outdoor escapades at home after dark. So much easier to find a mostly black dog at night!
 

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Is there a particular type of brand of lifejacket you'd recommend? When we get our pup this summer I'd like to get him used to canoeing and I want to start with a lifejacket. I've looked online but there seem to be a lot of different styles.
We've never tipped, so I can't say how well the ones we have work. We just went to petsmart and picked something up for SiSi. I can't remember where we got Neeka's. Something to look for is to make sure they have a wide strap underneath that looks comfy, because if they're in the water that's pretty much going to be supporting their whole body.

OH you guys are making me so jealous! I'm really excited to go camping for the first time with Caeda this summer!
Love the pics, and love the tips!
One tip that I might add, after reading Elliebell's post: A high-vis/reflective/light-up collar to turn on at night if the dogs aren't on leash. We made a light-up collar for our outdoor escapades at home after dark. So much easier to find a mostly black dog at night!
That's a fantastic idea. We'll definitely be doing something like that next time. I've seen specifically made LED dog collars, but probably even just putting a headlamp around their neck would do the trick. Maybe I'll look for something at Woofstock this year.
 

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Elliebell, thanks for the reply! I guess I'll just see what's at the store and try some things on our new pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
One tip that I might add, after reading Elliebell's post: A high-vis/reflective/light-up collar to turn on at night if the dogs aren't on leash. We made a light-up collar for our outdoor escapades at home after dark. So much easier to find a mostly black dog at night!
That's a great idea! We've always put glow sticks on the horses' halters at night so we can do a quick head count if we wake up in the night or if they break out of the paddock we set up(which they did last year...thank dog for glow sticks!)
I don't know why I never thought of doing it for the dogs though... :doh:
 

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We don't tether, we take two xpens and they have an 8 foot square (about) area to hang out in, complete with shade and a water bucket. If you are going to tether be polite and make sure that your dog is not going to entangle everybody who comes over to visit or say hello, and if your dog isn't friendly, don't tether them where they're going to get near the road or kids. And don't let them bark or run loose.

Nothing worse than having your dogs behaving themselves in their pen, chewing bones and so on and having the dog from across the road who barked all day coming into your camp, making your dogs freak out and lifting their leg on all your stuff, including the kid's chairs, while the owner stands at their camp screaming at the dog to wander back!

The only other issue we've had is I'd take the dogs for a long run/swim in the morning, then we were going down to the beach later on so crated the dogs for 2 hours in the shade, and had someone complain about that. The manager said she'd let us know but wasn't too worried, since she'd had several complaints about that person's dog being loose (and that was kinda why we crated ours, so they didn't knock the pen over if the dog came by). We weren't too far so could hear them if they did bark.
 

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I'm ready for camping season too! I've been once this spring and it was miserably cold that night (low 30's) but it was still fun and I just have two weeks until summer break starts so i'm counting down the days until I get to head back to the trails!

Usually my camping trips are trail riding trips with the horses. I usually only take one dog at a time on our trips, one horse and one dog is more than enough to deal with at a time. Duke has always been the one that gets to go most of the time. He has better horse sense than my aussie and is better at camp about not barking. I usually camp at a small horse camp and very often we are the only ones there. Since its usually pretty empty and we are friends with the owners of the camp the dogs usually don't have to be leashed. When there are other people around, I bring a tie out or put the dogs in the horse trailer while we are at camp. The dogs usually are exhausted after the trail ride so they just want to sleep anyways.

Sadly, I probably wont be able to take the dogs this summer. Both of them are getting older and their hips can't handle the trails any more.

One thing we are always careful about is making sure the dogs (and horses) get plenty of water and breaks on the long rides. Also you have to make sure to check the dogs paws for cuts. Boomer is one that gets sores on his feet very easily, especially if he's been in water and then walking on rocky trails. And also making sure dogs are allowed off leash on the trails and that the dogs are not going to bark at strange horses/people.

This is what Duke generally looks like after a day of trails so he's usually not a problem at camp haha


Of course he does have some bad camping behaviors!






I definitely feel safer when its just a couple of us girls camping with this guy with us. He may be the sweetest dog ever but he at least looks intimidating!


 
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