Camping with Dogs: Tips for the Road, in Camp, and on the Water

Camping with Dogs: Tips for the Road, in Camp, and on the Water

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Camping with dogs can make time on the road, in camp, and on the water a little extra awesome. These tips will help make your adventure time together even awesomer.

With Odin’s first birthday quickly approaching we decided to school him in the time honored Southern California tradition of 100+ degree camping along the infamous Colorado River.

parker az bridge

Odin’s First Campout

We were hopefully optimistic about Odin’s first campout. But we were also completely prepared to be good camping buddies and bug out the next morning if he decided this was all too much for his delicate sensibilities.

Our last travel companion was an easy going 90lb wiemeraner who lived to the ripe old age of 15.5 years. So we are quite literally starting over with an entirely different breed of tiny, opinionated pooch.

We doubled up on socializing activities, geared up accordingly and crossed our fingers.

Disclaimer: We picked up all these items on our own dime. Nobody’s paid us to review them. We are simply trying to find gear that works best for our little guy so we can travel together and we wanted to share what we found to be most helpful in hopes to help you too.

If you purchase anything through these affiliate links, we get a lil’ extra beer money. Thanks in advanced!

On the Road

We loaded up the FJ with camping gear, cold beer, plugged Odin into the backseat with a fancy new padded harness and seat belt teether and set out to meet up with the caravan.

At 12 months old, Odin clocks in at 13 lbs and seems most comfortable wearing an x-small Ruffware Web Master harness. The key for his body type (tiny neck, deep chest & high waist) is multiple adjustable padded straps. Each strap has its own strap keeper elastic band so that any excess can be tucked into the band so they don’t dangle into the pee-zone.

The harness is super easy to put on and has three locking adjustable straps that connect underneath him. We grab a handful of Cheerios and pop his head thru the opening, drop the cereal in front of him and proceed to snap the straps into place while he collects his reward.

This harness is specially marketed for “Houdini” dogs and Odin hasn’t escaped once.

Worth. Every. Penny.

The harness has extra loop on the tail end which is perfect for connecting to the Kurgo seat belt tether attachment with the included carabiner clip. But the carabiner could easily clip to a variety of different harnesses too.

We covered the open floor space between our back seat and middle console with an old memory foam pillow and blanket on top of the compact, behind the seat cooler. This way he could be close but not all up in our business.

Worked like a charm.

camping with dogs on the road

In Camp

We are super stoked to report that not only did Odin NOT get us kicked out of camp but he handled a gaggle of rough housing kiddies like a champ and held his own in a midnight bathroom-run confrontation with a wild burro.

He even kept his cool as we smuggled him into the tiki bar to hang out with the gang.

Odin took to tent living right away. On several occasions he even tried to paw his way into the tent to catch some zzz’s on the comfy air mattress. Yes, we are THOSE kind of campers!

We used the cable ties with a leash bungee attached and hooked him to the picnic table at our camp spot. The bungee acts as a buffer preventing our little guy from hurting himself as he runs full speed toward wild burros and strolling dogs while forgetting that he is attached to a stationary object.

Of course, with plenty of shade and water on hand too.

On the Water

Odin also enjoyed hours of fun in the sun, swimming in the river with his size small Outward Hound life jacket and lounging on a party raft or two.

The life jacket has a large velcro wrap around his waist that is secured with straps that lock into place. Another velcro section with lock secures around the neck and has an extra padded floaty piece that covers the neck strap so no rough spots against his tender hairless waddle.

Both the life jacket and harness have a luggage style handle which is a super convenient way to lift your pooch right out of the water or harms way.

traveling with dogs

Now off to get him ready for riding in the sidecar!

So how did camping with dogs work out for y’all?

About the author

Mortician by day. Danger monkey by night. Killi' it at life, one adventure packed road trip at a time. But still prepping for the zombie apocalypse, just in case.

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