Whether you’re spending the night in your backyard, car camping for the weekend, or taking a multi-day trek into the backcountry, these 5 tips will help you make the most of your overnight adventure with your pup.
Always Plan Ahead.
Long before the actual trip, make sure your dog is up to date with vaccinations, that you have proof of ownership, current photos, and tags with your contact information. Choose a location carefully. Do you want the amenities of an established campground or the privacy of dispersed camping? Is the area dog friendly? Are there any camping or trail regulations including leash laws? Be aware of any possible health and safety issues which can include the weather, ticks, other animals, water sources, and nearby roads. Put together a first aid kit, work on recall, and learn to use a GPS collar like Fi which allows you to keep an eye on them at all times. Familiarize yourself with the principles of Leave No Trace to ensure our public lands stay beautiful for generations to come.
Bring the Right Gear.
If you are bringing your puffy jacket, your dog will want one too. Be sure to pack adequate layers, food, water, snacks, and toys. Plan where they will sleep- whether it be snuggling with you in a hammock or in their own bed. What you bring largely depends on the type of camping you are doing. Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to alter your packing list and plan accordingly.
If you are car camping or glamping, you can bring what you use at home, the bulk and weight are only limited by what your car can hold. Many glamping locations that allow pets provide some four-legged necessities, checking in advance can reduce what you need to bring. A favorite item or two from home can make all the difference in your pups comfort level.
If you are backpacking it helps to have some smaller and lighter gear for your dog. Investing in a pack that lets your dog carry some of their own weight makes a world of difference. Take their size and athletic ability as well as the length of the trip into account when choosing one. Slowly work up to having them use a full pack, adding weight to it over a few weeks or months leading to an extended trip. When every ounce counts, you’ll be grateful you’re not carrying their favorite bone.
Do a Test Run.
Much like for people, camping can take some getting used to for dogs. New surroundings, sounds, and smells are a lot to take in and can lead to heightened awareness. To ease into a night outside, do a test run in the backyard working your way up to a trip. Use this as an opportunity to get yourself and your dog familiar with any camping equipment, learn how to set it up, test it out, and make sure all is in working order.
Pick a Good Spot.
Does your dog love to swim? Can they never get enough time on the trails? Do they prefer to just lounge in the sun? Take all of this into account when planning your trip and work to accommodate what brings them joy. If they, and you, prefer solitude go for an area with lots of space between campsites. If they, and you, prefer a social setting go for an established campground. Make sure any amenities you may want or need like bathrooms, trash cans, and showers are provided. If not, plan ahead and be prepared to get dirty and pack everything out.
Make it Fun!
Most importantly, make it enjoyable. Have fun exploring the area, swimming, playing, and spending quality time with your dog. Bring a steak just for them, let them get muddy, share the sleeping bag- anything to make it extra special. The more fun they have, the more fun you have, and the more likely they are to want to do it again and again. For more information on adventure-ready gear, tips, and tricks check out ENO’s website and follow @enohammocks on Instagram. From backyard to backcountry, and everywhere in between, ENO’s products outfit you (and your pup) with an all-access pass to explore, connect and relax...