First-Time Dog Camper? Make a List, Check it Twice

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog with supplies in front of tent ready for camping

Packing for a camping trip with your pooch is pretty much the same as for any other road trip, but there are a few extras to consider.
California leash laws allow leashed dogs in campsites, but don’t take a chance by letting your pup wander around loose. Think ahead about how you will keep her confined within the boundaries of your space. A leash around a picnic table leg will work, but you don’t want to be tripping over it. Cable tie-outs, available at pet stores or from Amazon, can be secured between two trees and will keep Rover safe while you putter around.
• Where will your pup sleep? In your tent or in your vehicle are the obvious options. That way she’ll be safe from wildlife and not tempted to disturb the peace with barking. If your dog is crate trained, bring it along and you’ll both sleep better. It can go in your tent or in your vehicle, whichever is most comfortable for the two of you.
• Don’t forget vaccination papers, medications, poop bags, favorite toys, etc. To avoid stomach upset, pack water and dog food from home. A dog first-aid kit is important to have on hand, and you’d be wise to also pack a bucket, a towel and a bottle of dog shampoo, because you never know what they’re going to roll in! Here are more safety tips from our Vet Buzz writers.
• Keep a clean camp! Always be bear-aware, whether you’re at the campsite or going for a hike. That means no bits of kibble left in the bowl or the ground.  Dog food should be stored in the same bear-proof locker or high up in a tree, just as people food. And bears aren’t the only critters that can wreak havoc on your site: raccoons can, too! Go to the Forest Service’s bear page for more info on bruins.
• Review California leash laws for forest service, state parks and other public lands. Individual RV Parks and campgrounds may impose other rules and regulations, so know before you go.


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