Our dogs are special friends that bring extra joy and excitement to every outdoor adventure. They bring fun and entertainment when you decide to go on hiking or when you’re lugging a heavy pack up a trail. Dogs remind us to smile, laugh and enjoy even the simplest joys of camping.
They provide warmth and add a cozy atmosphere to our camp chairs, hammocks, and tents. They’re also good at keeping us stay alert and present so we can enjoy the wildlife and natural surroundings even more. Dogs are great outdoor companions making every moment become more memorable every time. To make camping easier with your furry star-gazer, we’ve put together some quick tips that you can follow.
Tips When Camping With Your Dog:
1. Get Familiar With The Rules
Before you even start loading the things that you want to bring for the camping, be sure to first plan things out. Know where you’ll spend time resting and sleeping and find out whether there are rules about bringing a pet like a dog. Every type of public land has a unique set of rules. While most would allow a dog, there are others that have specific restrictions on bringing a pet. If you’re not sure about the rules in the place where you are going, be sure to do a search online or give the agency a call to learn more and be sure that everything is good before you arrive at your destination.
2. Keep Your Pet Close
It’s great to hike, swim and do all the other outdoor activities that you think of doing when your furry friend is always by your side. So be sure to bring the needed gear to make sure that your pooch stays close and would not wander off while you’re enjoying the cold and refreshing waters or keeping up with the slopes. Never leave your dog inside your car, tent or tied up at camp. Keeping a constant companion is important especially when you’re out in the great outdoors enjoying an adventure.
3. Observe Good Trail and Camp Manners
Don’t go on a hike or do backpacking without knowing the etiquette for the trail. Remember that there are others who also go through the trail to enjoy the atmosphere of nature. Yielding to horseback riders is required for mountain bikers and hikers in trails that allow horses. Basic obedience, good recall and simple manners like “leave it” will work a long way in making both your furry friend and the wildlife safe. It also helps in making new friends who are your fellow users of the trail. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash and keep good control of him. Dog kisses may feel good at times but it isn’t a pleasant thing when you’re trying to build a campfire or enjoying dinner under the stars. If your pet loves howling or barking at the moon, you can consider a secluded location like one in the backcountry to avoid any disturbance on other campers.
4. Leave No Trace
Be sure to observe the seven principles in leaving no trace when exploring and playing in the great outdoors. This helps minimize the impact that you leave on the environment thereby helping preserve it in pristine condition for others to enjoy. Pick up your pet’s waste then dispose of it in the right place. There are also some other considerations that are specific to dogs which include respect for wildlife by leaving space for other animals and even critters instead of your dog chasing them. Being considerate of others by way of showing etiquette and good manners and as well as cleaning up spilled kibbles, food crumbs, toys and monitoring your pet so that other users won’t be disturbed.
5. Meet Comfort and Basic Needs
Camping can be fun when you still have access to comfort and even your basic needs. Plan out things in advance so you can have a wonderful experience eating meals while surrounded by nature and even when sleeping on the ground. Start with the basic needs of you and your dog. The good thing about this is that it’s not two different things! Yes! You’ll both need water, food, warmth and a nice place to rest. Bringing a portable first aid kit full of supplies is also a good idea.
Before hitting the trail, be sure to check the temperature and as well as the weather to be sure that both you and your pet is prepared. Bring extra water if the forecast says it’s going to be hot. Putting on layers of clothes or extra comforter/sleeping bag will also be very helpful if it’s going to be very cold. Pack extra amounts of food if the hike is going to be a long one. You should know what your pet’s capabilities are and what he’s going to be prepared for. Having a contingency plan is also a great thing to do especially when things don’t go very well.
6. Gut Feels are Worth Trusting
You know your pet very well than others do so trust yourself in making decisions and judgments especially those that involve your dog’s well-being. In terms of concerns on your pooch’s medical condition, hazards in the environment and other outdoor related questions in your mind, be sure to talk with your vet. You can also search the Internet for ideas on what gear to bring and which brands work really good!
7. Have Fun!
Taking your four-legged best friend on a camping trip is fun and exciting. However, if not planned well, it can be daunting. Advance preparation and having a backup plan is always a good idea. Also, be sure to respect and consider those who are camping, hiking or backpacking in the same location where you and your dog are spending time together. Patience and sense of humor would also help lighten things up. Make good memories full of laughter and fun. This is made possible by the many things that mostly don’t go on as planned. Just be sure to keep things safe for both you and your pet and leave the rest to nature and serendipity.