The Best Dog Camping Gear for Every Adventure

Our favorite sleeping bags, first aid kits, and more must-haves that'll make your pup a happy camper.

In This Article

Jump to a Section

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Best Camping Gear For Dogs

Travel + Leisure / David Hattan

There’s nothing that beats spending the night immersed in nature under the wide-open sky — except doing so with your canine adventure buddy by your side. But just like you put careful time and planning into making your camping experience go as smoothly as possible, you should have a thorough packing plan that ensures your loyal companion's outdoor endeavors are worthy of wags.

The best camping gear for dogs is portable and functional and helps to keep your pup safe and comfortable while maximizing their enjoyment of the outdoors. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which products stand up to the test. So in addition to scouring the internet to research top products and pulling from our own experiences, we spoke to Dani Reese, the Marketing and PR Manager at Ruffwear and dog mom to Vilas, for her expert insight on curating a list of the best dog camping gear.

Best Sleeping Bag

RUFFWEAR Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag



Why We Love It: It’s very comfortable and compressible for packing.

What To Consider: It’s not ultra-lightweight, making it less suitable for longer backpacking trips.

We love the coziness that the Highlands Sleeping Bag by Ruffwear offers our adventure dogs when camping. That, and the fact that your potentially mud-riddled pup doesn’t need to mess up your sleeping bag since they have their own. The lightweight material means it packs down nicely into its compression sack to transport to your campsite, whether you’re car camping or heading into the backcountry. The shell material is water-resistant and can hold up through many excursions without ripping or tearing. The sleeping bag provides a nice warm spot for your pup to curl up, with the option to zip it halfway to keep extra heat inside. If you’re planning on camping in colder conditions, an additional pad sleeve can be purchased to bulk it up.

“I love the sleeping bag because it gives my dog a sense of ‘home’ while we are out camping. It's like a dog bed so it's perfect for her to sit on or rest while we are setting up camp and then can easily be brushed off and brought inside our tent at night for her to sleep in as well,” Reese shared.

Price at time of publish: $100

Best Tent

NTK MYPET Lightweight Pop-up Pet Tent

NTK MYPET Lightweight Pop-up Pet Tent


Why We Love It: The setup and takedown are quick and easy.

What To Consider: Although lightweight, it’ll still be an extra 2.5 pounds in your pack.

The NTK MYPET Pop-up Tent is our top pick for a lightweight shelter that provides shade and rain protection for our pups around the campsite. Whether you prefer to give your dog their own space for sleeping or just somewhere to take daytime refuge from the sun, this user-friendly tent is a solid all-around choice. It’s available in two sizes and comes with a removable rain fly and carrying case for easy transport. Stakes secure the tent to the ground so your camping companion will have a sturdy spot to lounge by the fire, enjoy the shade, get out of the rain or wind, and slumber safely in the great outdoors.

Price at time of publish: $70

Best Harness

Ruffwear Flagline Harness

Ruffwear Flagline Harness


Why We Love It: Load dispersing panels optimize comfort for your dog.

What To Consider: Make sure to follow the measuring and sizing guide to find the correct fit for your dog.

We love the smartly designed Flagline Harness by Ruffwear, which has features that any dog parent would appreciate for exploring the outdoors. With six adjustment points and three leash attachment points on the mid-back, chest, and rear back, as well as a quick-grab padded handle, this harness is versatile and seems to have it all. Despite being incredibly lightweight, making it more comfortable for your pup to wear, it also stands up against wear and tear. The reflective trim and additional light loop for attaching a dog safety light are especially ideal for camping trips when hanging out in low-light or completely dark conditions. As a bonus, the liner material is designed to resist dirt and fur.

Price at time of publish: $65

Best First Aid Kit

Adventure Medical Kits ADS Trail Dog First Aid Kit

ADS Trail Dog First Aid Kit


Why We Love It: It has everything you need to treat the most common medical issues encountered when your dog is exploring outside.

What To Consider: It’s wise to keep the hydrogen peroxide in a separate leakproof bag.

We love this canine first aid kit that maintains a compact size without sacrificing important items. Having a medical kit on hand when venturing outdoors is a must for peace of mind in case of emergencies. This one is nicely sized to fit in your bag of gear without taking up too much room. Two booklets are included as well with educational information on how to handle various dog and human incidents. Whether your pup needs a tick or thorn removed or a wound patched up, this adventure dog kit has you and your best buddy covered, though we hope you never need to use it.

Price at time of publish: $29

Best Hitch

Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch

Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch


Why We Love It: It’s portable, lightweight, and effective.

What To Consider: The rope length is 28.5 feet, so you’ll be limited to working with that distance when hooked up.

The Ruffwear Knot-a-hitch system is our top pick for giving your dog some freedom around the campsite while keeping them safe on a leash. Bring this key camping item along in the portable stow bag and enjoy the quick setup. The swivel design of the carabiner will keep the leash from getting tangled as your dog securely explores the area. The system is versatile as well, allowing you to use it either between two trees or a single post. The reflective rope is a major bonus for nighttime so you don’t have to worry about running into it nor do you have to take it down each day before dark.

“Trying to keep an eye on a roaming dog while setting up camp, building a campfire, or eating dinner can be tricky. The campsite shuffle was the very inspiration for Ruffwear’s Knot-a-Hitch system,” Reese shared.

Price at time of publish: $72

Best Light-up Collar

Illumiseen LED Dog Collar

Illumiseen LED Dog Collar


Why We Love It: It’s rechargeable via USB.

What To Consider: It doesn’t have a backup battery to rely on if it loses charge.

With multiple sizes and colors and the ability to be seen from up to 350 yards, the ILLUMISEEN LED Dog Collar is our pick for the best light-up collar. Weatherproofing and great visibility are some of our favorite features, as well as the rechargeable battery that lasts approximately five hours per one hour of charging. Using this collar while camping can come in handy if your dog roams a little too far in the dark or runs into other outdoor dangers that you might not otherwise see, as it’s typically a low-light situation. Three light modes include steady on, fast, or slow flashing, and the nylon material is comfortable for your dog to wear. This light-up collar is a fantastic safety item to help keep track of your pup while camping; make sure to add it to your dog's camping gear kit.

Price at time of publish: $16

Best Life Jacket

Ruffwear Float Coat

Ruffwear Float Coat


Why We Love It: It fits dogs of all shapes and sizes.

What To Consider: It’s machine-washable only on the gentle cycle with cold water.

We love Ruffwear’s Float Coat for its buoyancy, fit, and ease of use for both us humans and our furry friends. The low-profile handle is extremely useful when you need to pluck your dog out of the water and the flexible foam material means they can move about without feeling stiff and restricted. Since a lot of camping trips involve water-based activities, this life vest offers all the features necessary to keep things safe when our adventure-loving dogs are swimming, kayaking, SUP-ing, and more. A leash clip-in point means you don’t have to swap a harness for the life jacket en route either.

Price at time of publish: $90

Best Pet Wipes

Pogi's Fragrance-Free Grooming Wipes

Pogi's Fragrance-Free Grooming Wipes


Why We Love It: They’re all-natural, hypoallergenic, and gentle.

What To Consider: You should be careful not to get them in your dog’s eyes.

Pogi’s Dog Grooming Wipes are excellent to have on hand, especially for outdoor adventures like camping. Easily clean up your pup after a day spent romping around, and get rid of whatever stink they’ve acquired doing it. Ideal for any type of coat, these wipes are perfect for everything from muddy paws to a solid alternative to giving your dog a bath in situations where that’s not an option. The thick, textured design of the grooming wipes is helpful to remove dirt and anything else your dog has picked up on their bodies throughout their ventures. Since they’re thicker than most wipes, you get a bit more bang for your buck with the ability to use both sides – pretty important when you have a true adventure dog.

Price at time of publish: $13

Best Collapsible Bowls

Prima Pets Collapsible Travel Bowl with Carabiner

Prima Pets Collapsible Travel Bowl with Carabiner


Why We Love It: Super portable and convenient.

What To Consider: They don’t come in a set, so you’ll have to purchase two individual bowls if you want one for food and one for water.

Collapsible and compact is the name of the game with the Prima Pets Collapsible Travel Bowl. Pop them up quickly to use them whenever needed and then fold them back down to their disc shape for storing. The included carabiner is perfect for attaching to the outside of your bag for easy access too. The bowls come in two sizes, 1.5 ounces for smaller dogs and 5 ounces for bigger dogs, making them versatile for your canine crew’s needs. Ideal for camping and on-the-go outdoor activities, these travel bowls tick all the boxes.

Price at time of publish: $9

Best Light

RUFFWEAR Beacon Safety Light for Dogs

RUFFWEAR Beacon Safety Light for Dogs


Why We Love It: It’s waterproof and highly visible.

What To Consider: It’s waterproof in a depth up to 3.2 feet for up to 30 minutes.

Keeping your dog in sight is crucial when spending time outdoors. We love how The Beacon by Ruffwear keeps your dog visible in even the lowest light conditions that we encounter when camping. It’s designed to attach to all of Ruffwear’s dog apparel like harnesses, collars, and more using the included quick clip. The light shines from all directions to maximize visibility, and you can choose from three LED colors as well as three different light modes. Recharge the battery via USB cable and use for up to 20 hours on a full charge. For peace of mind and keeping your good boy or girl safe in darker conditions, look no further than this powerhouse.

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Waste Bags

Earth Rated Poop Bags

Earth Rated Poop Bags


Why We Love It: They’re compostable.

What To Consider: The dispenser is sold separately.

Waste bags are a must no matter what the activity. Made from a blend of PBAT and vegetable starches, the Earth Rated Compostable Dog Poop Bags qualify as compostable if disposed in the correct types of facilities, rendering them more environmentally friendly than most. We appreciate how strong, leakproof, and lengthy these bags are, making it possible to use for any size dog. They also keep the odor in, which is very much a highlight. We also really like how a portion of each purchase goes towards helping rescue shelters, giving back to the dog community. A roll of these bags is incredibly lightweight and would fit easily in any pack for camping, with enough to get through your adventure.

Price at time of publish: $14

Best Hiking Boots

Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots

Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots


Why We Love It: The outsole offers excellent traction for your pup’s paws.

What To Consider: They come in sets of two, not four.

We love the Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots and think your dog will too. For conditions where your pup’s paws will be exposed to potentially harmful terrain such as hot summer temperatures that can cause burns, slippery trails, and more, protection is essential. These boots will protect their paws so they can enjoy the outdoors without hurting their cute little feet. They’re sold in sets of two since dogs can sometimes have wider front paws than back paws, so you may need two different sizes. Once you get the right combination, your dog will enjoy the breathable upper mesh, lug design on the outsole for superior grip, and the easy-to-adjust cinch closure.

Price at time of publish: $40

Best Blanket

Wilderdog Sherpa Fleece Waterproof Blanket

Wilderdog Sherpa Fleece Waterproof Blanket


Why We Love It: It has a waterproof lining inside.

What To Consider: It should be washed on your machine’s gentle cycle.

Time to get cozy in the Wilderdog Sherpa Fleece Waterproof Blanket, perfect for cuddling with your pup or on their own. We love that there’s a waterproof lining sandwiched between cozy sherpa material, yet it doesn’t make that typical crinkly sound that many blankets with a similar design do. This blanket is perfect for car camping situations or when you don’t have to haul too much gear on foot. It’ll keep you and your canine companion warm as you sit by the fire on a cool night at.

Price at time of publish: $39

Best Dog Backpack

Ruffwear Front Range Day Pack

Ruffwear Front Range Day Pack


Why We Love It: Comfort is at the forefront with padding and fit.

What To Consider: The strap adjustments can take a bit to get right, but once they’re good to go the fit is exceptional.

If your dog is game to help carry a bit of gear on your camping trip, the Ruffwear Front Range Day Pack will serve you well. The padded harness and belly strap optimize fit and comfort, and there are three leash-attachment options, as well as a handle for quickly grabbing them. The pack’s organization is excellent, with various mesh pockets for your pup’s belongings like water, poop bags, treats, and other small items. The signature radial cut of the saddlebag keeps the weight distributed evenly with more towards the front shoulder area, making it more comfortable to wear on longer treks as it stays in place quite well. Reflective material and light attachment points assist with visibility of your dog as well.

“Much like you’d break in your boots and work up to hiking longer distances for your first backpacking trip, it’s a good idea to get your pup used to wearing a pack or boots well before you plan to use them on the trail. Once comfortable wearing the gear, then work your dog's way up to longer mileage,” Reese shared.

Price at time of publish: $80

Best Dog GPS System

Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs

Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs


Why We Love It: The tracker attaches easily to your dog’s collar and charges via the included USB cable.

What To Consider: It requires a subscription plan.

A GPS tracker for your dog can provide peace of mind when camping and the Tractive Waterproof GPS Tracker is our top pick for its fast alerts. Waterproof and shock resistant, this tracker is ideal for outdoor exploits. The battery life lasts up to seven days, and LED light and sound alerts are helpful highlights if you do have to look for your dog. This item works best when camping in areas that have some sort of cell signal, otherwise you won’t receive the live tracking information in a timely manner. Additional highlights include sleep and activity monitoring through your subscription.

Price at time of publish: $35

Best Rain Jacket

Ruffwear Sun Shower Rain Jacket

Ruffwear Sun Shower Rain Jacket


Why We Love It: This coat offers extra coverage to keep your pup as dry as possible.

What To Consider: It may not be the best fit for dogs with shorter tails.

Since you never know what type of weather a camping trip might bring, having this jacket in your pack for your dog is a good idea. Waterproof and windproof, this jacket will keep your pup as warm and dry as possible with extra coverage through the neck and back end. A leash portal makes it easy to clip in and the relaxed, vest-style fit makes it comfortable to wear for longer hauls. For multi-day camping trips where rain is a threat, this jacket will help cut down drying time for your good boy or girl so they don’t get too chilly.

Price at time of publish: $70

Best Chair

KingCamp Elevated Dog Cot

KingCamp Elevated Dog Cot


Why We Love It: It comes in three sizes.

What To Consider: It weighs 6.6 pounds, so it’d be hefty for backpacking trips.

For camping trips where the temperature can get hot or the ground tends to be very wet, a camping chair can make your dog more comfortable by giving them an elevated surface to relax on. The King Camp Elevated Dog Cot is a great choice with a breathable feel and rugged build that will last for trip after trip. The four-season cot is the perfect portable chair for your pup to have their own seat by the campfire while keeping them cool in the summer months and warm when the temperature dips. It’s easy to set up and folds up quickly to put away, with a separate mat that makes it easy to clean.

Price at time of publish: $40

Best Food Storage

Ruffwear Kibble Kaddie Dog Food Travel Bag

Ruffwear Kibble Kaddie Dog Food Travel Bag


Why We Love It: It fits up to 42 cups of food.

What To Consider: It only comes in one size.

We love Ruffwear’s Kibble Kaddie for transporting our pup’s food on any adventure. Crafted from waterproof, food-grade material, it keeps moisture out and odor in. The roll-down closure style makes it versatile and secure, allowing you to control the size of the bag based on the amount of food you actually need to bring along. An internal spout and bottom handle on the bag makes it easy to pour that delicious kibble into your dog’s bowl without it spilling everywhere. Its large capacity means it's possible to also carry a collapsible bowl and other small items as well, rendering it the perfect catch-all bag for dog travel and camping.

Price at time of publish: $45

Tips for Buying Dog Camping Gear

Prepare for different temperatures

When adventuring outdoors with your best furry friend, it’s crucial to be prepared for all weather conditions so that you don’t find yourself and your dog in an uncomfortable situation.

“When it comes to camp life, our dogs’ basic needs are not too different than our own: food, water, warmth, a place to rest, and first aid supplies. Before heading out, check the weather and temperature range so that your pup can be as well prepared as you are. Pack extra water if it'll be hot, layers if it will be wet or chilly, and plenty of food and treats – and more of it if you’ll be covering strenuous miles. Know what your trail companion is capable of, and have a contingency plan if things go awry,” Reese shared.

Consider whether they’ll be left alone at the site

In general, dogs shouldn’t be left alone at your campsite for a multitude of reasons. It’s one thing if you need to run to the outhouse quickly, but another to leave your pup for longer periods of time.

“Don’t plan to leave your pup at camp alone when you embark for that day hike, whether tied up at camp or kept inside the tent or car. It’s not only potentially disruptive for other campers, it could also endanger your canine companion. Weather can change fast, wildlife can wander through or other unforeseen circumstances could arise in your absence. Good recall, basic obedience, and manners like “leave it” will help keep things positive for your canine companion on the trail. They’ll also go a long way toward making friends with other users (and respecting wildlife) on the trail. At camp, keep your four-legged friend on leash or within your control. If your camping buddy has a lot to say or loves to let out a good howl at the moon, consider camping at a more secluded backcountry location. What’s music to our ears might be less than ideal for others’ wilderness experience. When in doubt, err on the side of courtesy,” Reese shared.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do dogs enjoy camping?

    Most dogs enjoy the outdoors, but some might take a little longer to come around to sleeping in a tent versus their routine crate or bed. Camping gives our pups the opportunity for an enriching and bonding experience where you can explore together in the fresh air, which ultimately they will most likely love.

    “All dogs are different; you know your dog better than anyone else and are in the best position to make judgments for their well-being and overall happiness. Taking your dog camping for the first time is exciting, but it might feel a little daunting. Do your best to prepare ahead of time and have a back-up plan to mitigate some of those nerves. But, beyond that, a little patience and sense of humor will help. Not all dogs take to sleeping in a tent (or going in and out of tent doors) right away, but with practice, they will get the hang of it. Part of what makes camping so fun is that things rarely go exactly as planned. That’s just part of the adventure. As long as everyone is safe, you’re making memories together and building your bond — and that’s undeniably fun!” Reese shared.

  • What are the best campgrounds for dogs?

    Although there are many pet-friendly campgrounds, it’s best to confirm that your intended spot accepts dogs. Some even have amenities such as dog parks, swim spots, and more. Consider your dog’s personality and if they do well around other people and dogs before choosing between a busy campground resort or a more primitive backcountry spot where you’ll be secluded.

    “Before you start loading gear into the car, have a plan. Know where you’re going, where you’ll sleep, and the specific rules about dogs in the area you’ll be exploring. Different types of public lands have different sets of rules. Many allow dogs, but a few don’t or have some restrictions. If you’re unsure about the rules for your destination, you can find out online or by calling the agency that manages the public lands you're planning to visit,” Reese shared.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

An outdoor lover and dog mom herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience in adventuring with her pup as well as scouring the internet to research and select the best dog gear for camping. While researching dog camping gear, we spoke with dog-specific outdoor gear brand Ruffwear’s Marketing and PR Manager, Dani Reese, to gather expert insights. Using all of these factors, she curated this list of the best camping gear for dogs.

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles