Tips for Camping Solo With Your Dog
Dogs make ideal camping partners. Besides being the best kind of company, they keep us warm on chilly nights, warn us of danger and are just plain awesome to have around! It makes sense that so many people take their dogs camping with them. In fact, some people prefer to take dogs rather than people as a tent mate.
If your next camping trip is just you and the canine, here are some tips for camping solo.
Scout out campgrounds before you go. Travel guides, websites and blogs are all great sources of information. You know your dog best, and what activities interest you both. Personally, I love a good long hike and a place to swim is an absolute must. I am always on the lookout for dog friendly trails and safe swimming spots. Many parks now offer designated dog beaches, which is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Also check for any restrictions for dogs in the area you plan to camp. In the United States, dogs aren’t allowed in many areas of National Parks. I’ve even encountered areas where dogs weren’t allowed in the backcountry in a canoe, or on the ground! In the front country, their presence was limited to paved spots only. I skipped those place – where I go, my dogs go.
For a weekend trip, packing enough fresh food in the cooler for one person is pretty easy. But for longer journeys, consider using grocery store apps to pre-order with a pick-up option. You simply roll up outside the store and they load your groceries right in. That way you don’t need to leave your dog unattended at all. Pet stores often encourage pet parents to bring their dogs shopping opposed to leaving them in a hot car. Getting more dog food on the go should be easy.
This one can be the most challenging! Many campgrounds don’t allow dogs to be left unattended in the campsite. And for good reason. As much as your dog has got your back, you have his too. A dog left alone in a strange place can become panicked, lonely or get in trouble with any wildlife marauding through your site.
I look for campgrounds that offer primitive camping, which most often means single stall outhouses. I can bring my dogs right in with me, or if there is not enough room in the stall, I just leave them outside in a “down/stay.” Many outhouses don’t have doors all the way to the ground, so I can still keep an eye on my dogs. It’s not ideal, but you got to do what you got to do
Others carry their own travel toilets. Meaning they never have to leave their pet unattended to attend to their business. Handy? Yes. Gross? No more than using a public bathroom. There are a bunch of options out there for travel toilets that range from buckets with a seat to more fancy chemicals to leave no smell. Amazing times we live in!
The final tip is for solo camping is to check out campgrounds that offer a campground host service. These folks are great for answering any questions, alerting you to potential pitfalls with your dog, and in a pinch may even be able to offer doggy-sitting duties while you run to shower.
With a little bit of planning, your canine camping trip will be giving you plenty of warm memories.
Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!
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