What do you Need to Bring When Camping with a Dog?

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UPDATED: February 2017

I go camping with my dog, Sierra, multiple times every year, and every time it’s a new adventure.  I know she has as much fun, if not more, than we do when we take a trip to explore the great outdoors.  In my opinion, if you can bring your 4-legged friend along for the adventure, it makes the whole experience better for everyone involved.  I can’t imaging going camping without her now.  If you’ve never been camping with your dog before, DO IT!  But, before you head outdoors, you need to make sure you, and your dog, are prepared with the right equipment.  Also, it’s important to verify that your dog is allowed in the campground you’re looking at.  You wouldn’t want to get to the site and be turned away before you even settle in.  Most National and State parks will allow dogs, but have different restrictions, always check before you plan a trip.  Below, I have compiled a list of some of the essential gear that I have used while camping, and you should consider looking into, before you start your next adventure.

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Camping in Big Bear With Your Dog

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When you first think of Big Bear, most people immediately picture one thing, snow.  I am hear to tell you that you need to look at Big Bear for much more than your annual ski trip. Big Bear offers year round outdoor adventures, for you and your dog, and over the last two years, I have found some great campsites out there.  I don’t know what has stopped me from camping up here frequently in the past, but I have been up to Big Bear a few times in the last two years, and I must stay, there is something for every type of camper.  The campgrounds range from sites with potable water and outhouses, to the more primitive, Yellow Post sites, which only have a fire ring and a table.  So whatever adventure you’re in the mood for, Big Bear probably has it.

Now, even though some sites are available year round, in my opinion, the best time to camp in Big Bear would be either late spring, or early fall.  During these times, temperatures are in the 70’s during the day, and 40’s at night, and oh ya, no snow! This is perfect weather for almost all outdoor activities, including my favorite, hiking. Speaking of, All Trails has a great list of some of the most popular hikes in the area, all of which should be dog friendly, here is a link…All Trails Big Bear.  In a soon to be released post, I will review one of the hikes we went on, as well as some other activities do do while at the lake.  So now let’s get to actual campgrounds…

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Is Joshua Tree Dog Friendly?

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The short answer is the same as most national parks, which is, not really.  We do, however, go here about twice a year with Sierra because it’s conveniently located about 2 hours from Orange County and still makes for a nice weekend get away.  As long as you go into the park with the expectation of just hanging out around the campground and relaxing for the weekend, you can make it into a worth while trip for you and your dog.

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Summer Lake Tahoe Trip

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It’s been a while since my last post but I wanted to get this one out before the end of the year. Over the summer, we took a camping trip to Lake Tahoe with Sierra. First things first, if you enjoy camping with your dog, Tahoe needs to be at the top of your list of places to go in California. There are trails, two dog beaches, rafting adventures, and dog friendly restaurants everywhere. Most of the trails are dog friendly and there are so many to choose from, you will never be able to get to them all. They range from easy to difficult, which means there is something for every type of hike you are in the mood for. Some trails require a leash but others allow your well-trained dog to wander off leash to explore. The two beaches are on opposite sides of the lake, so you are never too far from one. The restaurants that are dog friendly have patio seating and some even provide doggie menus as well. We were even able to go river rafting with Sierra, which was one of the highlights of the trip and the whole Tahoe experience wouldn’t have been the same without her. As anyone who has a Husky, or any other high energy dog knows, they are almost impossible to tire out. This was the first trip where I think we actually accomplished this seemingly impossible feat. I couldn’t believe it. There are so many options for dog friendly activities in Tahoe, you could spend all summer here and still barely scratch the surface. In this blog, I will go into detail about everything we were able to cram into the 1 week we spent there.

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Yosemite Part 2 – Hiking in the Valley

So now that we have reviewed the planning and traveling to Yosemite, lets move on to what to hikes and activities you can do while there.  Like I stated in the previous post, dogs are limited to paved trails in Yosemite.  At first you may think this would severely limit what you can do, but in Yosemite, there are plenty of places to hike that are not only easy to access, but have great views and get you into peaceful and relaxing presence of the great outdoors with your dog.  I have been to Yosemite more times than I can remember with my family and friends, but this was the first time we took the dog and it provided us with a completely unique experience that I will never forget.

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Yosemite Part 1 – Planning and Getting to the Park

Taking a vacation with a dog, a good idea or bad?  I would say that it depends.  There are pros and cons to taking a dog with you, and we’ll discuss them here.

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