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Tent Camping with Dogs: 13 Essentials you Need to Pack!

Tent Camping with Dogs: 13 Essentials you Need to Pack!

Camping is truly a full family experience, and one that even your dog can enjoy! Tent camping with dogs can seem complicated, but with the right gear and tips, everyone can enjoy themselves!

Our two dogs love camping. So much so that they know the phrases “go camping?!” and “go in the tent!”

Being able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with your furry companion is a special getaway that compares to no other! Through some trial and error, we have learned what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to camping with dogs.

If you are traveling more than an hour to get to your campsite with your pup, make sure you check out this guide for taking a road trip with your dog– so they can be happy both traveling to the campsite, and during the camping trip!


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tent camping with dogs

Don’t forget to grab your camping planner so you can keep track of all your important details and plans!

Dog Friendly Campgrounds

tent camping with dogs

The first step you need to take for tent camping with dogs is to find a dog friendly campground! Thankfully, almost all campgrounds are dog friendly so you shouldn’t have much of an issue. 

If your dog is anything like our dogs (the type that bark at anyone and anything that walks by your campsite), you might want to consider finding a more secluded site so you don’t need to deal with all the barking every 5 minutes.

Otherwise, choose a campsite that has at least one or two trees you can use to tie your dogs leash on if he needs it. 

Regardless of where you decide to camp, you dog will just love spending time with you!

Tent Camping with Dogs: Essentials You'll Need

Whether you are staying in a hotel room with your dog, or camping with your dog- they’ll need some things! You want your dog to be happy and comfortable on your trip, so make sure they have these essentials (plus a few fun extras!)

Need to keep your dogs in your tent while you leave your campsite? Learn how to lock your tent!

1. Tents for Camping with Dogs

The most important item you need for tent camping with dogs is, well, a tent! I recommend this tent with screen room in many of our camping posts, because it is just so awesome!

The reason I recommend this tent for dogs is because it has a screen room. This is great when you want your dog to hang out in the tent with you, but he insists on going outside. With a screen room, you can have the best of both worlds!

He can safely hang out in the screen room without you needing to worry about him running where you can’t see him, while you relax or nap in the inside tent area.

Having a vestibule/screen room area has been super helpful for our rambunctious pups!

Be sure to read our guide on how to keep your tent and campsite organized!

You can also get your dog his very own dog tent! This might be a good option if your dog likes his own space, or just needs an area to hang out in the shade.

Our dogs would never sleep in a tent like this (they love to be right with us at all times!), but they are always searching for a comfy shady spot during the day to hang out, so this tent is perfect!

Need a more affordable tent? Check out these tents under $100!

2. Dog Camping Bed and Sleeping Bag

The second item you need for tent camping with dogs is a comfy bed for her to sleep on. Your dog might like this elevated camping bed which will make her feel like a Queen!

Our dogs, however, insist on trying to sleep on our air mattress, which doesn’t always work out great! If this sounds like your dog, try this travel bed pad to put next to your mattress or sleeping bag. He probably doesn’t want to sleep on the cold hard ground, so make sure he is comfy! 

Secondly, you’ll want to get your pup a dog sleeping bag. Especially if you are camping in high elevations, it can get pretty cold in the middle of the night! 

Our dogs try to get into our sleeping bags, but there isn’t always a lot of room. If this sounds like your pup, get him his own sleeping bag!

Set up his comfy bed with a warm and cozy sleeping bag, and he’ll be happy and sleep well, even during cold nights!

PS. Did your dog get your tent and sleeping area muddy and dirty? Read this guide for doing laundry while camping so your sleeping area is always clean and fresh!

3. Long Dog Leash for Camping

If your dog insists on running around the campsite, and is at risk for running off when you aren’t paying attention, make sure you get a long dog leash with stake to keep him safe!

Having a long leash has been really helpful for our dogs while camping. It gives them freedom to explore more than a few feet at a time, all while giving us peace of mind that they are safe.

We once had an incident where there were coyotes in the distance, and let’s just say we are so glad our dogs were on a leash!

Another option is to get a tie out cable. The leash will attach to two trees, and he can run back and forth. 

These are really helpful because in our experience, the leash that drags on the ground gets wrapped around everything. It seems like every 5 minutes we are unwrapping the dogs from the picnic table, the camping chairs, the fire pit, each other- it gets a little crazy!

A tie out cable prevents any of this from happening, which definitely saves a lot of stress!

4. Foldable Dog Playpen

Another item you might want for tent camping with dogs is a dog playpen. This is probably a better option for smaller dogs, though I’ve seen larger dogs use them too!

This is a great option if your dog doesn’t care to run around the campsite, and just likes an area to hang out safely in. The best part is it folds up and can easily be packed away when you aren’t using it!

5. Outdoor Dog Bed with Canopy

If your dog gets hot easily, consider this dog bed with canopy Our dogs always like to hang out under the picnic table, because it can get pretty hot during the day!

This dog bed with canopy provides your dog a comfy space to take a nap in, that also gives him a break from the shade. 

6. Anti Spill Water Bowl

Another item you need for tent camping with dogs is an anti spill water bowl. This might seem random, but hear me out.

If you have your dog on a leash that drags on the ground, it is probably only a matter of time before the water bowl gets tipped over.

This happens all the time with our dogs. They start to wrestle or run across the campsite, and their leash knocks their water bowl over. 

Because we only bring a limited amount of water with us camping, having to refill the water bowl all the time becomes wasteful!

Get your pup an anti-tip bowl so this doesn’t happen to you!

Need to keep your pups food cold? Check out these tips to keep food cold while tenting!

7. Collar Light

One thing that gives me peace of mind when camping with our dogs is that they have a collar light. I get very nervous once it gets dark out because if they get off the leash, it would be close to impossible to find them if they got off the leash.

Having a collar light allows you to see your dog, no matter how dark it is. Maybe your dog is more well behaved than ours (most likely true!), but this can still give you some more comfort knowing you can find your dog in the dark!

8. Portable Dog Water Bottle

You might also want to consider getting this portable dog water bottle. This is helpful if you don’t want to get an anti-spill water bottle, or if your dog keeps knocking his bowl over. 

This is another wonderful hiking essential to bring with you if you plan to go hiking on your camping trip. You can easily attach it to your belt loop or hang it on your backpack. When your dog gets thirsty, you can quickly and easily get him a drink!

9. Dog Paw Cleaner

Tent camping with dogs is going to get dirty- it is just inevitable. Because of this, make sure you have a solution to getting your dog cleaned up before he runs in the tent and jumps on your bed with his muddy paws!

This dog paw cleaner is a quick and easy way to get your dog’s paws cleaned up in a pinch. Before going in the tent, simply place his paws into the cleaner to prevent all your bedding from getting covered in mud!

Dogs may also track in bugs on their paws, so this cleaner will help prevent bugs from getting into your tent!

10. Dog Travel Bag

The last item on our list for camping with your dog is this dog travel bag. When you are tenting, you have a ton of stuff to worry about. This dog bag allows you to keep all your dog’s belongings all in one place!

Organizing camping equipment doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right tools, you can pack and find everything you need quickly and easily!

Conclusion/Call to Action

Don’t forget to grab your camping planner so you can keep track of all your important details and plans!

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