Camping with dog

JLegends

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Hey all, just looking for input from anyone that takes their dog out on the trails with them. RTT seems to pose a challenge but there’s no way I’m not the first one to ask so what’s everyone’s process on camping with their dog?
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Penguinking

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Hey all, just looking for input from anyone that takes their dog out on the trails with them. RTT seems to pose a challenge but there’s no way I’m not the first one to ask so what’s everyone’s process on camping with their dog?
Depends on the size of your dog and if you're able to lift them up and down safely. My buddy has a large GSD and he just went with a fully enclosed annex with his RTT. I'll probably do the same when I go that route, but more for the privacy it provides than anything else.
 

Jaden Young

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I agree it honestly depends on the breed of your dog and how challenging the trail is.
 

Will

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Camping with a dog is one thing. It depends on your dog and do they need to be right on you or can they do with some space. I like the idea mentioned above above an annex spot on the ground for the dog. Our dog is attached and whines when he can’t sleep in eye sight of us. So when we tent camp
He has his spot in the corner of the tent. We just installed our new RTT yesterday and he whined to be up there with us so I guess that’s where he will sleep. Time will tell but he is only 25 lbs so not too hard to get up and down.
Now WHEELING with a dog is another subject. But, again, depends on the dog. I’ve had a buddy with a black lab that wouldn’t blink at the thought of his owner’s Jeep bouncing off the rocks. Another friend with a lab couldn’t leave the pavement without his dog sh*tting all over his Jeep. Sooo....
Whenever the trail conditions allow and the number of rigs is limited, I like to let the dogs run in the woods and they are usually all content with that and follow the party pretty well but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you know and really trust everyone in your group to be extra mindful and careful. Some trails just aren’t suited for that though. Good luck with finding a solution for you and your dog.

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jadewolf

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My 55lbs border collie went with me on every camping trip for his entire life and loved it.

He always slept in the ground tent with me. It was a big reason why I never even considered a RTT.

Despite me buying him all sorts of fancy insulated sleeping pads and blankets, he inevitably preferred to shove the pads and blankets aside and sleep on the cold ground. When he slept, that is. Most nights he only napped briefly, while mostly keeping watch for bears or coyotes or strange humans in the night. He was farm dog through and through. Even outside the tent, he was always more apt to dig a dirt wallow to lay in rather than lay on anything comfy and manmade.

That said, the ground can be frigid and if you can convince them to sleep on something insulated, it's much preferred. Loki's stubborn refusal to sleep on those or to let me bundle him in blankets had him shivering on more than one trip.

Depending on the campsite location (and the local wildlife), I would either let him off leash during the day or... if wildlife dangers and/or local regulation prohibited that, I'd rig him up a variation of a picket line like a horse.

If you're not familiar with one of those, it's basically a long rope strung between two points (like two trees) above the height where you might clothesline yourself with it by accident. Then I'd hook a carabiner onto it with a shorter rope leash down to Loki's collar. That way he could move around camp and explore without getting into trouble and without getting tangled or hung up on things. It worked out well and was good for keeping an eye on him where there might be dangerous animals (mostly rattlesnakes and coyotes, occasionally bears). Never leave a dog unattended like this, though. Accidents can happen.

My Loki loved the whole experience and, being a working dog, gave himself a job of keeping watch for strangers (also chasing away any rabbits, but that was just a perk). He was tough as nails and loved to camp. Reverted to something strangely primitive, almost, as soon as we were in the wilderness. It was always fascinating to me how much instinct kicks in with some breeds. I deeply miss him, my last camping trip really illustrated how big a hole he left behind when he passed.

Some dogs might not be so suitable, though. Definitely do some short overnight trips first to see how they do before setting off on something big.

Other things to think about:

Make sure to pack canine first aid kit supplies, too. Especially things like benadryl, which is useful if they get into something itchy or stung by bees or whatnot.

If you live in a rattlesnake area, potentially look into rattlesnake avoidance training classes. They offer them here in SoCal and it can be useful to teach your dog not to mess with them.

And please don't forget the poop bags. ;)

Edit to add obligatory photos:

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omnitonic

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I haven't actually done it yet, because I haven't had the time and/or the weather. My old puppy weighs about 100 lbs, and can barely get into the Jeep without help, so I plan to sleep on the ground with her. I have a Big Agnes one man backpacker's tent, and I figure I'll just use that. There are a lot of established fire pits scattered all over the National Forest, and I just plan to lay claim to one of those when the time comes. Maybe the one at Barney's Wall if I get lucky. Then I can camp a few feet away from a 700' drop off. Fun! I will feel like Tyrion Lannister when the crazy Stark aunt lady made him sleep in the open-sided jail cell facing a cliff. (Uh. Yeah, I'm serious, and I guess I am also crazy.)
 

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My dog, Hemingway, goes with me all the time. I have a camper, so I can’t comment on the RTT situation with a dog. But he trail rides and dune rides very well. Just depends on the dog. He has been shotgun riding with me since he was 8 weeks old. If he sees the camper getting hooked up he gets excited for a trip!

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engineXI

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I purchased a kit to support my ACD in the back seat (still on backorder), but I am still trying to figure out the best way to make him comfortable on the trail. I can tell he is getting stressed.
 
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