Pets are a big part of the family. That’s why when you go camping it’s hard to leave your furry friends at home. Taking a pet on any outing will have challenges, but if you prepare, prepare, and prepare some more, it will be the adventure of a lifetime!

We’ve put together some helpful tips to make sure you can enjoy your next adventure into the great outdoors with your loyal companion…

1. Choose the right Tentsile

It’s essential that you keep safety in mind when camping, especially when your pets are involved! We colour code our tents to let you know which ones are suitable for pets. Lightweight tents with blue floors are NOT suitable for pets, as these tents are designed with thinner materials to save weight. Tents with standard green and safari floors ARE suitable for pets, although they should only be used when covered with a blanket or extra protective layer.

It’s important to make sure your pet is happy and comfortable in your tent set up. A test pitch at home or in the local park can save time and effort when you head out into the wild. We also recommend that your pet has easy access and exit options just in case of any midnight accidents (if you know, you know)!

2. Find the perfect campsite/route

Call ahead to your chosen campground, and make sure they are animal-friendly. While you may love your cats and dogs dearly, unfortunately not everyone else will. Then, if you’re ready to climb mountains, to paddle rivers, and cross deserts, that’s awesome! Just consider if your pet is ready too. Pick an adventure that suits you both. Know your pet’s physical capabilities, and explore smooth hiking trails or canoeing trips for smaller animals to even enjoy. Ruffwear has a range of canine personal flotation devices (PFD) and adventure gear to help you get kitted out for any outdoor experience.

3. Packing the right gear

As well as your own pack and PFD, there are a few other tips for packing out your pet. Check out Camping With Dogs: Backpacking with Dogs Top 10 Essentials for a complete rundown of gear and equipment.

The usual basics are a leash, collar with your contact details, and a way to deal with your pets’ poop, but other essentials would be a dedicated pet water bottle, harness, coat, a pet sleeping bag and pad, and a collar light for late nights. Additionally, if you’re hiking, consider a dog backpack, and some dog booties for rough ground. Finally, no matter how big or small your adventure, make sure you have a pet first aid kit close by.

photos by @klymit & @_neegz_ via #TentsileAnimals on Instagram

4. Getting Ready Together – Training and Behaviour

No one knows your pet better than you. You know every bark, every meow, and every cheeky look. Before starting your adventure consider your pet’s temperament and behavior: do they listen to you and follow commands? Are they ever aggressive towards people or wildlife? Do they have a tendency to wander off? While all of these things make up their personalities at home, in the great outdoors, these can be dangerous. In the run-up to your trip, practice simple commands and training techniques. Be sure you can count on good behavior before you plan your adventure. Plus, make sure they have all of their vaccinations fully up-to-date before heading into the wilderness.

5. Outdoor Etiquette

In the backcountry, sound travels far. The sound of a dog’s bark travels even further. To help respect your fellow campers and wildlife, dogs that bark constantly should be trained before hitting the trail. Then, when passing other hikers, it is always best to step off the trail and let others pass first. Let them know you have your pet under control.

Last, but definitely not least, poop. Did you know – pet waste can take over a year to decompose? Don’t forget to keep our trails and campsites clean, folks! On day trips where you know proper waste disposal is available, simply pack it out. On longer journeys, the general rule is to bury it deep (at least 5 inches) and away from water sources. Leave No Trace and The Dog People have some very interesting info on this topic…

And there you have it - simple steps to keep everyone enjoying the outdoors!

What’s better than seeing a floating Tree Tent? Seeing a cute cat or dog in a floating Tree Tent! So don’t wait to share your adventure with your #TentsileAnimals this season for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.

If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments below.


Alex Shirley-Smith