When I went camping the first few times in my adult life it was actually with my parents staying in there trailer. I found that camping was very relaxing and that it would be a good idea if I bought a trailer for myself. At that time I was living with a friend without a dog and just renting. First I ended up buying my house in the spring of 2015 and then I got Benji in the fall. The next spring 2016 I got a little 24′ trailer and my first trip was to go visit friends from college for a week in the summer at Devon’s Lion Campground outside of Edmonton, then another week at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park.
Now I’ve never pulled a holiday trailer myself before, only flat deck trailers for work. I didn’t originally think that there would be any difference between the two but I was wrong. A travel trailer has wind to deal with that I never thought of and the area I live in can be very windy, so I ended up getting a bit of a shock on pulling the trailer. But once I got a feel for it, it was pretty good driving.
Now the point of this post is about camping with dogs, or dog, as I only had benji that summer. Benji is known to be a barker at other dogs and people he doesn’t know so that was a concern for me, I know how annoying a dog barking non stop can be so I wanted a solution before I set out. I ended up preparing for that with a bark collar, I only use it after he starts barking and he calms right down once it’s on.
Next was keeping Benji in the area and content, at the beginning I used some Paracord I had laying around and that worked great until he wrapped himself around the fire pit and it melted the cord. I then switched to light grade steel cable. The only thing I need to do to the cable is to put a swivel clip on both ends to prevent it from tangling as bad as it was doing last year.
Now driving with Benji isn’t that bad actually, he will normally just lay down after a bit, at first i had him hooked up to a harness that buckled right into the truck until I pulled over for a rest and found the harness was wrapped right around his leg and a quick stop would’ve broken his leg quick, since then i haven’t used the harness. To anyone who uses them be cautious, if your dog is active while in a vehicle a kennel might be a better solution if its needed.
Fun story now, I had just gotten everything set up and went inside the trailer to use the bathroom for a minute, I come out and Benji is gone, unhooked himself from the cable. I spent the next 10-15 minutes looking for him in a panic. I found him by the river soaked with a nice couple who got him back to dryland and kept him there. To those people if you ever read this you are my hero’s. I only went in that direction was that I heard the jingling of his collar, he has a name tag and the city dog license, so one thing I want to remind everyone is to keep a collar on your dog with contact info and register your dogs with the jurisdiction you are in, the jingling could lead you to them if they ever get out.
Now the main thing about camping with a dog, or at least Benji is that he likes to explore, when I first get to a site once the trailer is backed in I take him around the site and he will smell and mark it as his own area. Once that’s done I hook him up to the cable and leave him be to wonder in his 10′ range while I set up the trailer. I also have an outside bed for him that he sometimes uses and sometimes just lays on the gravel but it’s always nearby for him.
Once the trailer is set up he get a bone or treat or something before I take him on a short walk around the area for him to get used to his area. Once back at our site he will lay down or so sniff the bushes again while I relax with a book.
Now for stuff that I bring to keep Benji happy, content, and safe. First is plenty of water, I don’t use the water from my RV tank I have either bottled water or potable water in a jug with a pump for both me and him, next is his leash, harness, and cable, outdoor bed, indoor bed, food, I just bring the tub of food I keep in my house for him so I don’t run out, treats, treats and more treats, and last but very important is dog poop bags.
Activities I do with Benji while camping is mostly walk with him but if were at a lake and the water is safe, lately there has been a lot of green algae in the lakes here, I will take him to a secluded area and let him off leash to swim for a bit, I’ll throw a stick into the water and he’ll go swim out to get it. I don’t bring a ball out at the campsite as he will play fetch for hours but if there’s an area outside that I can let him run free and throw a ball I will. Last thing I do with Benji is to throw firewood for him to chase and chew, he will also chase rocks and pounce on the area the rock landed. Normally Benji is quite content being outside and being able to explore a bit, he is a great dog that loves the outside. The picture above is of him trying to pull a dying tree out of the ground.I
I have full list of stuff I think is required for Camping with Dogs
Once I have both Benji and Boo out camping this year hopefully may long weekend or sooner if the weather permits I will post about both of them camping. If anyone has any questions about my camping adventures with Benji please let me know,