Wild Camping with Your Dog: A Guide + Tips

Wild camping with a dog USA

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Wild camping is a great way to get outdoors, as you all know I love hiking but I also love dogs too, even though I don’t have one!

If you go for a hike with me you’ll notice I generally stop and say hi to every dog I meet on the trail haha!

But that got me thinking, how easy is it to go wild camping with your dog? I’ve asked Jordan from Natural Dog Owner to share a few top tips and things to think about if you are planning a wild camping trip with your fluffy companion.


Wild Camping With Your Dog

It’s soon going to be that time of year that it’s the perfect weather to get outside with your dog. Those cold winter days turning into spring and the days getting longer too.

Many pet owners travel to campsites, but you don’t have to confine yourself to these places. You can safely camp with your dog in any area as long as you are prepared.

There are both benefits and dangers when you choose to wild camp, so you need to be ready. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, wild camping with your dog is enjoyable for pet owners at every level. You also don’t have to worry about paying a pet deposit to bring your pet along on a trip.

What is Wild Camping?

Wild camping in Snowdonia
Wild camping in Snowdonia

The term wild camping brings up many different thoughts depending on the person. Some people consider staying in an RV camping, while others consider a 5-mile hike into a remote location to set up your tent, hammock or bivvy bag.

Wild camping has no real definition, other than you are camping out wild in the woods or hills. There are warnings about camping on a stranger’s property as it’s illegal. Wild camping can just mean you, your dog, and a tent out in the wilderness. Whatever level of camping you’re at, there is a safety protocol that you should follow to keep your dog and your campsite safe.

Read more about wild camping in the UK here

Evaluate Your Dog’s Health

You know your pet best! Some pets are up for camping and hiking while others would rather be at home. If you are concerned about whether your dog is fit to travel, you can always run them by the vet.

In fact, we recommend taking your dog to the vet before any prolonged trips.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Before you get out in the woods make sure that your pet is covered. Although the weather is getting colder, fleas and ticks are still out in the wilderness.

Also, make sure that you have a first aid kit handy that you can use to remove ticks. You can purchase first aid kits online, or make your own first aid kit. You can research several different types of kits, and most of them have the same basic items. We recommend that you keep a first aid kit with you at all times for your dog.

Pack a Tent

Wild camping with a dog

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

The wilderness can be a scary place and you are the only thing familiar to your dog. Make sure that you pack a tent, or tarp, and allow your dog to sleep with you. We recommend a tent so that you can zip your dog up in the tent with you.

Unless you are going to keep your dog on a tether while they are under the tarp. The worst feeling is a dog wandering off in the middle of the night and not knowing where they are. It’s your responsibility to tie your dog up and keep them safe while they’re camping.

I have two tents that I use for wild camping, my first one the Vango Banshee Tent and for my recent trip, I’ve upgraded to a lighter tent, MSR Hubba NX (which might be handy if you’re carrying extra weight for your dog). Click to read my reviews to see if it’s the best tent for you and your dog’s wild camping trip!

Read next: Wild camping in the Peak District

Make Your Dog Comfortable

We know that camping is meant to be rugged, but your dog will need a place to call their own. We recommend packing a travel dog bed to take along with you. Once you set up your tent, throw the travel dog bed in a corner and your pet has a place to stay.

You can also cover the bed with a towel if you’re worried about your dog getting dirty. Make sure to unpack their toys and keep their food inside the tent. Your dog will enjoy having familiar smells and their belongings while you are camping.

What About The Dog Food?

Great question! You should feed your dog in the tent and never leave food out. There are containers you can buy that trap the smell of food. We recommend tossing your pet’s food in with yours.

The last thing you want is to attract animals to your campsite. It can be easier for you to pack portions of dog food in plastic bags, so you only need to empty the bag into the bowl. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide what is easier for you.

Secure Your Dog

ordan_with_Carl_in_Aspen Wild camping trip

Whether you are walking on a trail or hanging out around camp, make sure to secure your dog. If you’re out and about, your dog should always be on a leash.

When you’re hanging out around camp you can have your dog on a tether or lead. You can run a cable around two trees or tie your dog to a stake in the ground. Never leave your dog unattended while they are tied up. When taking a dog camping they are now your priority.

Pick Up Your Poop

You might think that because it’s the wilderness the poop doesn’t matter, but it does. We recommend carrying dog bags with you as well as a shovel. Also handy for carrying out toilet tissues too!

If your dog is pooping around camp you can always dig a hole and bury the poop. When you’re travelling you can bag up your dog’s poop and dispose of it in a trash can. You want to leave the wild camping spot as clean as when you found it. Pick up after your pet, so that others can enjoy the wilderness too.

Read next: Beginner’s camping guide + Gear Checklist

Top Tips for Wild Camping With Your Dog

  • You can never have too many towels – When your camping your dog can get into anything.
  • Having extra towels is important because you don’t want a mess in your tent and you want to keep your dog dry. Even if you don’t end up using any towels it is better to have them on hand.
  • Make sure to pack all of the things you’ll need to have the best trip possible.
  • Remember to have fun and take lots of pictures while you are out in the wilderness!

These are some of the ways that you can enjoy wild camping with your dog. Feel free to get in touch if you have any more questions about your first wild camping trip with your dog.

About the author

Jordan started Natural Dog Owner, a website dedicated to eliminating the headache that comes with developing a healthy and loving relationship between you and your dog. His main goal is to help give your four-legged family member the best quality of life imaginable.

When he’s not in front of a computer he loves to spend time outdoors with his golden doodle, Carl, sharing stories and interacting with other dog lovers.

Be sure to check us out on Youtube and Pinterest.

Would you like to write for Becky the Traveller? Find more information here about being a Guest Contributor.

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Wild camping dog
Wild camping guide with dog
Wild camping with dog

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