8 Items Every Dog Needs to Pack when Camping with a Human

While camping with your dog may not be your cup of tea, there are situations by which one needs to take their dog.  I was in such a situation when a friend of mine wanted to go camping.  No, this was not a situation where the individual did not want or could not leave their dog at home.  The issue was that this dog was a service animal.  He had been taught to recognize the signals that my friend presented before he had a seizure.  In doing so, planning for this dog was first priority.

Taking a look at this from a dog’s perspective is just a fun way of presenting important information that is needed if you plan to take your furry friend with you.  Below are items that every dog will need before they go camping but before we move onto the list, the top priority is to find a camp ground that is dog friendly.  You will also need to find out what you and your companion are allowed to do.  While some campsites do allow dogs, they do not allow dogs on trails.  In doing so make sure to do your homework before you leave.


  1. Dog ID Tags are very important but check the information before you go.  Having contact on the tag that is a landline will not serve you well if you dog is lost and they are calling your home.  Another situation that you will need to check is your cell phone coverage.  Again, the same situation can occur if you cell phone will not work in the area you plan to camp in.   Also, make sure that your companion’s shots are up to date.  This information can sometimes be found on ID tags.
  2. Dog Collar or Harness is another important item that every dog needs to back before going on a camping trip but……..  Before you say, my companion can just where what he or she has always worn, let’s consider this situation.  Your dog friend has a gently worn collar that fits fine at home.  It is comfortable, holds the ID tag, and provides a hook by which you can slip a lead into.  In doing so, what more could your companion want?  Well, while this collar or harness may work safely at home, it can be a death trap in an unfamiliar environment.  A dog can actually hang itself by a collar or harness that is too loose.  While the inexpensive way to go is to use what you have, take the time and go out and get a new collar.  Your dog will thank you.
  3. Leash or lead is something you do not want to forget.  Unlike humans who can walk pretty much wherever they want, dogs are different.  Do not fall into the belief that your camping companion can run free just because you are in the “wild.”  This is far from the truth.  Most campgrounds and parks require that dogs be on a leash or lead.  This is not only for human safety but also for the dog’s well-being.
  4. Long cable goes hand in hand with the other items above.  But how long should it be?  A good length is around 20 feet.  This will give your dog enough freedom to explore the new environment while keeping him or her close enough to you for immediate care if need be. 
  5. Shelter is something that many people forget about when it comes to camping. If you are going to allow your furry friend into your human shelter, move on to the next item on the list.  If the answer is no then pack a tarp and some extra towels.  Both of these will keep your dog dry and cool.
  6. Doggie Camp Kitchen Supplies, which consists of several bowls, food, and treats that are designed just for dogs.
  7. Doggie First Aid Kit and Animal First Aid Book is another item that many people forget.  Yes, a human first aid kit can be used; it is always a good idea to have a separate one for your companion.  

Plastic Bags are a supply that you will need a lot of.  Why is this?  Well, just like humans have rules about how their waste is to be handled at camp and on the trail so does your dog.  Waste deposited by your furry friend will need to be picked up and disposed of outside the park.  In doing so, you will need lots of plastic bags.