What To Take Camping With Dogs | 10 Essential Dog Camping Accessories

Last Updated on 20/02/2023

What to take camping with dogs

In this guide on what to take camping with dogs, we share the ten most essential items you should remember to take when camping with a dog.

10 Essential Things To Take Camping With Dogs

When it comes to going camping and hiking, let’s face it, nobody wants to leave their dog at home, and no dog wants to miss an adventure. Camping with dogs is just like camping with your mates in many respects. The main difference between camping with your human friends and your dogs is that instead of / as well as packing beer and a guitar, you will need treats and a ball too!

There are some essential items that you would need if you were taking your dog anywhere, like a leash and collar, but what else do you need to take your dog camping? Check out this list of the best camping gear for dogs which includes the essentials and will hopefully give you some ideas on what to take camping with dogs.

10 Things You Will Need For Camping With Dogs

Remember that every dog is different, and while most dogs will settle and sleep in a tent while others might not like it. This article is not a checklist but more of a guide to what you need to take your dog camping. You may notice that a lot of the items we recommend here are made by the same company; they do not sponsor us in any way; we just believe in the quality and function of their gear.

Hiking Leash – RuffWear Knot-A-Leash


RuffWear Knot-A-Leash Camping Accessory

Outdoor Gear

If you are out camping, then no doubt you will want to venture out to explore the surrounding wilderness with your pooch. A long base camp leash isn’t always convenient while hiking and especially if your dog is off-leash most of the time. I wrote a post about the best dog leashes for hiking but if you don’t fancy reading it, then take a look at the RuffWear Knot-A-Leash (pictured above) or the Ridgeline. Both are lightweight and compact so that you can keep them in your pocket when your dog is running free range.

Collar or Harness – RuffWear Front Range

RuffWear Front Range Harness for camping with dogs

Outdoor Gear

A good collar or harness is needed so that you are always able to take your dog under control if a lead isn’t attached. Harnesses can be more comfortable for dogs that pull on a leash and are ideal for hiking and camping. For a simple but effective dog harness for hiking, check out the RuffWear Front Range (pictured above) which is comfortable for your dog, affordable, and lightweight.

For a cheap but high-quality reflective dog collar, have a look at the Blueberry Pet Multi-colored Stripe Dog Collar which comes in a wide range of colors and sizes.

Foldable Bowls – RuffWear Bivy Bowl

RuffWear Bivy Bowl

Outdoor Gear

It is recommended to have two separate bowls for your dog’s food and water. There is no need to go overboard here, and there are a number of lightweight and portable options. Collapsible rubber bowls offer more rigidity than fabric bowls but are also smaller and heavier for their size. You can get waterproof lined fabric bowls that work well for both food and water, or if you really want to save weight, then check out the RuffWear Bivy Bowl (pictured above), which only weighs 84 grams and can fit up to 1.8 liters of water in.

Food and Water – RuffWear Kibble Kaddie

RuffWear Kibble Kaddie Portable Dog Food Carrier

Outdoor Gear

There is no point having food and water bowls if you don’t have anything to put in them, so always go prepared and take enough food and water for you and your dog (+1 extra day for emergency). Some good food and water containers are essential when camping to keep your dog’s rations safe and portable.

Water can be carried in exactly the same way as yours is but doesn’t necessarily need to be filtered like your water, as dogs have a totally different immune system to us. For dog food containers, check out the RuffWear Kibble Kaddie Portable Dog Food Carrier (pictured above).

Bedding – RuffWear Highlands Sleeping Bag

RuffWear Highlands Sleeping Bag

Outdoor Gear

If you are happy to let your dog sleep on your jacket or share the sleeping bag, then fair enough, but when the temperature drops really low, it might be time to think about getting your dog their own camping bed or dog sleeping bag. Again, there are plenty of products to choose from here, but a sleeping bag will offer the most warmth for your dog while camping. Check out the RuffWear Highlands Sleeping Bag for Dogs (pictured above) for the best of the best.

Spiral Stake – Camco 12″ Spiral Anchor Tie-Out

Camco 42572 12 Spiral Anchor Tie-Out

Outdoor Gear

Unless you have a well-trained dog, keeping your dog close to base camp can be somewhat of a challenge in a wilderness environment where there are so many interesting smells in the air. Having a spiral stake with you ensures that you always have a secure place to tie your dog up to. Yes, trees and other solid/heavy items can be used in place, but a spiral stake is ideal for places like the beach or campsite where there isn’t much to use.

Check out the Camco 42572 12″ Spiral Anchor Tie-Out (pictured above) for a low-cost, reliable ground stake for dogs.

Base Camp Leash – Leashboss Long Trainer

Leashboss Long Trainer

Outdoor Gear

As well as a short leash you can use to walk your dog with and keep in your pocket when not in use, you should also carry a longer leash that you can fasten to the spiral ground stake while back at base camp. This will allow your dog the freedom to roam and protect your camp from intruders but also stop an untrained dog from wandering off or chasing a pheasant into the thick undergrowth. Paracord will do the trick, but a Leashboss Long Trainer (pictured above) is even better.

Towel or Vest – Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest

Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest for Dogs

Outdoor Gear

If you have a dog, then you will know that a towel can be used in many different ways. It is often used to clean your dog’s paws before getting inside your tent/car/house or dry your dog’s fur after it has been for a swim. It can also be seen as a toy or game to your dog, much to the owner’s frustration. But one of the best uses for a towel is on a hot day to cool your dog down.

If you are Camping With Dogs in a hot climate and your dog has long fur, then keeping it cool is a top priority. A towel soaked in water and placed over your dog will offer instant and sometimes vital relief from overheating. A regular travel towel will do the trick, but you can also get vests that are specifically designed to cool down your dog (like the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest for Dogs pictured above).

Tent or Shelter – Lumsing Portable Folding Tent

Lumsing Portable Folding Tent for Dogs

Outdoor Gear

There are many different options here, but your decision should come down to two things – where will your dog be sleeping, and what are the conditions? If you make space in your tent or shelter and you are both happy to share, then great. If you don’t have space or want to get your dog their own outdoor gear, then you should check out dog-sized tents.

Believe it or not, there is a wide range of dog tents to choose from, ranging from tipis and sunblocks to fully waterproof dog-sized tents. While I would never carry a separate tent for my dog as we sleep under a tarp, you should check out the Lumsing Portable Folding Tent for Dogs (pictured above) if you think your dog might like it.

LED Collar – Illumiseen LED Dog Collar

Illumiseen LED Dog CollarOutdoor Gear

I have seen multiple dogs with these LED collars on so that their owners can keep track of their dogs at night without keeping them on a leash. I think these are a great idea, but I personally prefer to use a combination of reflective dog collar, headlamp, and some basic recall training. However, if you can’t trust your dog to come back to you every time, then check out the Illumiseen LED Dog Collar (pictured above) so that you can keep them in your sight at night.

Thanks for reading this article about what to take camping with dogs, and stay tuned for more like it. Subscribe here or like our Facebook page.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

Gear Assistant