Bailey will be taking her second camping trip with us when we travel to Door County and Peninsula State Park next week. Bailey was a great first-time camper last summer, and we’re very excited for her to join us again.
From our experience, camping with our dog is quite different than just Jason and I camping together. Here are some things we consider when taking our pup along on our adventures:
- We want to be comfortable when camping, and so does Bailey. When I camp, I like to have some of the comforts of home – a comfy bed being most important. Since it looks like Bailey will be a regular camping companion, she needs her own comfy bed. She’ll be breaking in her new REI Dog Dream Bed on this upcoming trip.
- We may think Bailey is wonderful, but she’s not welcome everywhere. When Bailey joins us camping, we consider it a “camping” camping trip. No shopping. Limited eating out. Just time to enjoy nature with our girl. We plan on doing more hiking and camp site lounging when she’s along.
- Bailey isn’t fat, but she’s no Iron dog either. Hiking with Bailey requires us to focus on her well-being. Bailey is a big girl, and her black coat keeps her nice and toasty. We carry extra water just for her and watch her exertion level. Even when Jason and I feel like we could keep going, we will stop and turn around for Bailey’s sake.
- She’s got stuff! Yes, I consider my dogs my children. This doesn’t mean I want to carry their stuff. Bailey has her own backpack (Thea has one, too) for toting baggies, her collapsible water dish, and treats. We don’t overload her, but we make her pull her own weight…figuratively speaking :).
Bailey’s first camping trip was just two nights. This trip will be four days, three nights, and just shy of 5 hours away from home. I’m sure that we’ll learn a lot more about camping with a dog, and I’ll definitely share those new insights.
What About Thea?
Clearly, Thea will not be camping with us…ever. For lack of a nicer description, Thea is neurotic. She’s anxious and way too alert. Camping wouldn’t be fun for us or for her.
So instead of a vacation with the fam, Thea will be having her own vacation to The Mama’s house (that’s what we affectionately call my mom 🙂 ). She’ll have a three night slumber party with her buddy Jordan!