The Essential Gear for Camping With Your Dogs (2020)

One of the greatest joys in my life is taking a break from people for a few days by packing up my pooch in the car, grabbing my camping gear, and getting away from it all. Camping is a great way to unwind and recharge, and it's even better when your dog gets to come along (he is man's best friend after all). Of course, if you're about to bring your dog camping with you, it's key that you bring the right dog essential camping gear to keep Fido happy and safe.

Lucky for you I've compiled the 10 dog essential camping gear items for camping with your dog, so you can get right to the good part: relaxing in nature with your furry friend. Plus if you need some ideas for yourself, we have a guide to human camping essentials too.

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We hope you find these products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We are a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and Brainjolt may receive a share of sales from links on this page.

Start it off right with a treat

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A good camping dog is a well-behaved dog, which is why treats are one of the most important camping necessities. You want something that's easy to carry with you but that will drive your dog nuts: enter Zuke's Mini Naturals. My pup absolutely loves them. These little treats will help you reward your dog for good behavior, keep him well-behaved, and offer a few minutes of distraction while you set up your tent. You'll have the best-behaved dog on the trail.

Take care of yourself and your dog

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While camping can be incredibly relaxing, it also has the potential for a bit of danger. Cuts and scrapes, falls, bites, and other minor injuries are common. They're even more common for your curious dog, who doesn't understand why he shouldn't go exploring near the edge of that drop off. An essential item of gear for camping with your dog is a first-aid kit that works for them and for you. This one from Adventure Dogs is a great option, as it has supplies for campers of the two-legged and four-legged varieties.

The right leash is essential

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If you're taking your dog out into the wilderness, it's incredibly important that you have a leash that is secure, easy to use, and comfortable for human and dog. This is your most basic and most essential piece of gear. One of the most popular camping leashes is from Ruffwear, and there are lots of reasons why. This leash can be held in the hand, worn around the waist, or attached to a tree or post. The clip is incredibly easy to use, and you can even work it one-handed. Sometimes unexpected things happen on the trails, and this leash has been sturdy enough to hold up through any surprise squirrels.

Keep your pup comfy

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Few things leave my dog more exhausted than a long day of hiking, and I want to make sure that she gets good sleep when we camp. That's why I use the Ruffwear Highlands Bed. I'm not the only one who loves it. One reviewer said "Was great for camping! My dog loved having something to sit, eat, play on. She spilled her bowl of water on it and it dried fairly quickly. After camping I was able to throw it in the wash and came out perfect. It packs up great and has even been nice to have at a cafe or restaurant for my dog to sit on."

Protect the paws!

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Your dog might be a rough and tumble type of pup, but out in the woods the terrain is going to be different from what you see back home. The last thing you want is for your dog to step on something or injure their paws. The best gear to keep you from that camping mishap is a strong set of booties. These ones from My Busy Dog are great because they're water resistant and have tough soles to keep your pup's paws in top shape. Plus this practical gear doubles up as an adorable accessory. Nothing is cuter than a dog in boots.

Let them carry some weight

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You might be noticing that this gear is starting to add up: if you're doing any major hiking you don't want to carry all this extra weight yourself. Why not have your pooch carry their own pack? You'll want to be careful not to overload them, but taking a couple of pounds off your own back will feel amazing. Also this dog pack will make your dog look absolutely adorable, which is my #1 priority.

Keep Fido hydrated

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If your dog is anything like mine, they will run themselves silly and absolutely forget to drink water. If you're out hiking, you need to make sure you've got plenty of water to keep your dog from overheating and dehydrating. The easiest and best gear to make this happen is this simple collapsible bowl. It holds two cups to make sure your dog gets enough water when they drink, plus it's lightweight and folds up to fit easily in your pack.

Ride in Style

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Before you even get to the campsite, your dog has some unique needs. Riding in cars is often uncomfortable for my dog, who hasn't learned that sitting down is the best choice and spends most of his time falling over. When we're on our ride home from camping, those paws are usually dirty and muddy, and leave tracks all over my back seat. My life changed when I got a dog hammock for the back seat. It keeps things absolutely clean, and it has a nonslip fabric that anchors firmly in place. My pup is much calmer on car rides and my car is clean.

Keep food safe

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I have an incredibly food motivated dog. If we go anywhere and I need to bring extra kibble, it has to be firmly sealed or wandering dog noses will find it (and eat it all at once). Plus, when you're out camping you want to make sure that any food is sealed away from pests and animals. This kibble keeper is a great solution: it holds plenty of food, controls any odors, and can only be opened by those of us with opposable thumbs.

Mark your spot

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One of the most essential items that I bring with me when I'm camping is a ground anchor. If I need to set up my tent, cook a meal, run to the restroom, or just relax, and I want to know that my dog will be happy and comfortable without being able to escape, I need a ground anchor. This Camco is a sturdy option that lets me keep my pup tethered in my campsite without any worries. That way we can both enjoy nature.