The Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog + A Free Printable

Posted on September 20, 2016 by Lindsay

We continue our post series on Camping with Your Dog by looking at everything you might need for your pooch on a camping trip. Take a look at all of the essentials in our Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog and download our free printable list for yourself!

Just like doing your own prep work for a camping trip, you will need to remember a few key items for your dog as well. It’s important to keep your pooch safe, comfortable and happy so they want to camp with you again and again. Also remember that with all packing lists, you can customize this to suit your dogs particular needs. Okay, let’s get started.

The Ultimate Packing List for
Camping with Your Dog


Don’t leave home without these items.
Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog

LOTS of Water
Obviously, you need to have a source of water for your camping trip. It’s extra important to calculate enough water for your dog. We usually add a gallon of water a day for our dog Ellie. There are plenty of ways to source water, just make sure you can get enough for your pooch.

Dog Food
Clearly the dog’s gotta eat! It’s generally a good idea to pack heavier portions if you’re dog will be exercising more than usual and bring extra food for emergencies. I wouldn’t recommend changing your dogs food just for a trip because the rapid switch may cause an upset stomach. We pack individual portions in zip lock baggies so it’s super easy to dole out at meal time. Because our dog is a hungry hungry Labrador, we feed her Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Formula Dry Food so she gets a good mix of nutrition along with the inevitable insane amount of treats people feed her.

Collapsible Dog Bowl
These bowls are the absolute best for camping and road tripping with your dog. Not only do they pack up super easy but you can get one like this RUFFWEAR Cinch Top Dog Bowl which let’s you store the food as well. We take one of these and pack the individual sandwich bags inside when it’s not in use. Super convenient.

Poo Bags
The call of nature. Just like you would do at home, prepare to pick up after your dog. It’s important to clean up their mess as the dirty doo can spread disease and contaminate water. Pack some ecofriendly bags like these ones with handles to make your life easier.

First Aid Kit
Hopefully, you won’t ever need to use a first aid kit but that doesn’t mean you should leave it at home. It’s imperative that you prepare and keep the right tools and medicine for your dog in case of an emergency. I suggest picking up something that’s already put together like this Dog First Aid Kit and give yourself the peace of mind.

Water Bottle
This is my favorite piece of Ellie’s gear! We pack along a full size bottle of water in the awesome Gulpy Water Dispenser for easy access on the trail. It comes with a pop out reservoir so you can easily squirt out whatever amount of water your pooch needs. It’s really simple to use and store. Plus it’s quick to access and doesn’t require any additional bowls. Do yourself a favor and pick one up!

Ellie would argue that this wouldn’t be “The Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog” without treats. When we normally hike, we don’t have big lunches planned – just a lot of protein and snacks. The same goes for our dog so we take a bag of treats out during the day to keep her energized. My treat of choice is True Chew Chicken Jerky because it’s all natural, high in protein and comes in a resealable pouch. Ellie loves it, but I’m pretty sure I could tell her a bit of dirty shoe is a treat and she would happily devour it.


What your dog needs to perform.
Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog

Hands Free Leash
There are all types of leashes to consider when taking your pet camping but I wouldn’t want to leave home without my Hands Free Leash. It helps me keep my balance on hikes and lets me access water, treats or whatever else I need on the trail with ease. It’s detachable from my waist belt too, so it can double as a normal leash.

LED Collar Light
The sun will set and it will get dark in the woods. We don’t hike in the dark for safety, but it’s always good to have a way to see your dog in the night (especially for midnight bathroom breaks!) We use a little Clip on light for Ellie’s normal collar but you can also try out a super cool LED collar if you’re a Tron fan.

Investing in a good harness will not be something you regret. We had a cheaper harness once before that gave our dog some serious chaffing after a long day hiking. I’m still trying out some options but the Truelove Front Range No-Pull Dog Harness and ever popular Ruffwear Front Range Everyday Harness are both solid bets.


Keep you and your dog comfortable.
Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog

A Familiar Toy
It’s a great idea to bring along a toy that your dog is already familiar with. Ellie really likes her Kong toy, mainly because it’s usually stuffed with treats.

A New Toy/Bone
If you’re dog gets happy with new toys, then picking something up specifically for the camping trip makes the whole experience just that much more enjoyable. I try to get a bone or Elk Antler to keep Ellie busy during down time.

Something to Sleep On
This is worth mentioning because it’s easy to forget. First, you should determine if your dog will be sleeping in the tent with you. If they are, a simple mat or blanket will do. If they will be outside, make sure they are properly secured, comfortable and in your line of sight in case anything goes wrong.


Other items you should consider bringing.
Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog

Tie Out Cable
If you don’t have an option to secure your dog somewhere while you are making up your campsite, a Tie Out Cable should work out great. This is especially crucial to consider if your camping area does not allow dogs off leash.

Hiking Pack
This will ultimately come down to personal preference and whether or not you need your dog to carry weight. The hiking pack is a great option if you are backpacking or primitive camping. Make sure if you choose a pack for your dog to practice and pay attention to the pack weight. This Ruffwear Approach Pack is a great pack to start with.

Flea spray
If you are extra nervous about bugs, you can pick up pet-safe spray that can be used on your dog directly as well as other camping fabrics. We’ve used this Natural Care Flea & Tick Spray before and it worked out well.

Flea & Tick Comb
This is more of an essential for Ellie because she has black hair which makes it difficult to spot ticks. We use a Flea & Tick Comb like this one to scan her body after a hike.

Now you’re ready to camp!


Click the link below to get your free printable:
The Ultimate Packing List for Camping with Your Dog

& Click here for more dog-friendly posts !


ruffwear_palisades pack




  • Liz September 21, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Ruffwear bowls and harness/pack. When I go backpacking with my dog there’s always at least one person who comments on how cute my pup is with his own pack ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus it’s nice that the dog feels like he’s included and has a job to do. And the hands-free leash? AMAZING. I love mine…except for the times when Ryder decides to take the harder path around a tree instead of staying on trail. Bad dog! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Lindsay October 4, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Yes! Hands-free is the way to go on a hike. Thanks for checking out the post!!


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