The Ultimate Guide To Backpacking, Hiking & Camping With Your Dog

Woman camping with dog and backpack (caption: Guide to backpacking, hiking, and camping with dogs)When we adopted our dog, Sally, we knew she’d be the perfect hiking companion. As we prepared for some outdoor trips with her, we researched all the latest dog backpacking gear to have with us, and here are the top picks for each category. Being prepared with the best dog camping gear makes backpacking with dogs an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Article Overview

Best Leash For Hiking With Dog: TaoTronics Dog Leash

TaoTronics LeashView on Amazon

If you want a convenient leash for hiking, look for a hands-free option like this one from TaoTronics. It attaches to your waist, keeping your hands free to push away low-hanging branches or catch yourself if you stumble on bumpy terrain.

It adjusts to fit all adults, so you can tether your dog up to other sturdy objects like a tree or fence post. This leash has two handles for added control and a dual bungee to reduce jerking, absorbing some of the strain from your back.



  • Reflective stitching
  • Waist clip is adjustable
  • Built for dogs up to 150 lbs
  • Only available in one color


Best Dog Hiking Pack: Outward Hound Review

Outward Hound PackView on Amazon

After you pack all your gear, including water and snacks into your backpack, you might not have enough space left for your dog’s stuff. A hiking backpack allows your dog to carry their water dish, treats, poop bags, and medical supplies themselves.

This saddlebag-style pack has reflective accents and is adjustable to fit all dogs, which is why it’s our pick for best dog backpacks for hiking. It also has four pockets that expand, and the harness is made out of breathable mesh to help keep your dog comfortable.



  • Reflective accents
  • Simple to adjust
  • Pockets expand
  • Breathable mesh
  • Easy to clean
  • Some customers complain of the bag tearing
  • Not waterproof
  • Doesn’t stay on straight


Best Dog Hiking Boots: RuffWear Grip Trex Review

RuffWear Dog BootsView on Amazon

RuffWear’s Grip Trex high-performance dog shoes are among the most durable you’ll find. They’re made for hiking rough terrain, but they’re also effective for heat protection. RuffWear’s boots have rubber gripped souls to prevent slips and breathable mesh fabric on the upper part of the shoe providing plenty of ventilation.

They’re also easy to put on with a secure velcro system. The inside is rubber, so you’ll need socks to go with them. These tough booties come in a variety of sizes and in three stylish colors.



  • Anti-slip outsole is rugged and durable
  • Protection from hot and cold surfaces & sharp objects
  • Water-resistant sole and toe
  • Easy to put on (and keep on)
  • 4 boots available in 7 sizes: ranging from 1.5″W to 3.25″W
  • Comes in 3 colors: black, blue, and red
  • Machine washable
  • Expensive
  • Upper part of boot isn’t waterproof (but does keep snow out)


Adapting Your Dog To Boots

Your dog may need some help adjusting to their boots at first. Have them wear them around the house and gradually increase the time. Just watch the video below of these dogs walking funny in their boots.

Dog Camping Tent: Petego Umbra Pet House Review

Petego Umbra Pet HouseView on Amazon

Your dog deserves their own canine cabin. That’s where dog tents come in handy on hikes.

This particular camping tent for your dog is versatile in that it can be used in the car or outdoors. It has an umbrella mechanism to make setting the tent up easy and breaking it down fast.

The mesh vents are claw-proof, so if your dog likes to scratch around, this tent will hold up. It packs into a messenger-style bag for easy storage and carrying. It also includes a rain cover to keep your pup dry during a rainstorm.

This tent doesn’t have any padding on the bottom. We recommend getting a pad or tarp to place underneath to prevent your dog from losing too much body heat to the ground.



  • Easy setup and tear down
  • Durable, sturdy
  • Great travel crate
  • Lightweight
  • May want a pad or something to cushion the bottom for them
  • Fasteners get stuck sometimes
  • Screen doesn’t allow tons of airflow


Dog Camping Gear List

Below is a list of 16 dog hiking gear items you should bring with you when you’re camping with your dog.

  1. Water/food dishes
  2. Food and treats
  3. Water & water bottle
  4. Leash
  5. Collar with tags
  6. Reflective vest/glow sticks: to help your dog be more visible at night
  7. First aid kit and book
  8. Boots for pavement and winter dog boots (in colder climates)
  9. Backpack for dog
  10. Brush: in case you need to remove burrs, leaves, etc. from your dog’s fur
  11. Stake: to attach your leash to and keep your dog within range while you’re busy setting up camp and cooking
  12. Hand wipes, paper towels, carpet spray: many dogs get car sick, so it’s best to plan ahead so you can take care of it immediately
  13. Poop bags
  14. Towel: in case your dog hops in the water for a swim or gets muddy
  15. Toys
  16. Tent

Make Sure Your Dog Is Allowed

Keep in mind that not all camping locations and hiking trails are dog-friendly. Be sure to do your research ahead of time, so you and your pup don’t show up uninvited. For instance, while you might assume that National Parks are dog-friendly, they aren’t always, so check in advance.

Tennille Service Dog kissing owner

7 Tips For Hiking & Camping With Dogs

  1. See the vet beforehand to make sure Fido is fit for activity
  2. Know the rules of the area
  3. Pack lots of water
  4. Keep your dog leashed
  5. Take breaks in the shade
  6. Do not leave your dog unattended
  7. Check your dog after every hike for injuries, ticks, burrs, etc.

Dog Hiking Tech Accessories

Want to make your dog an even more tech-savvy hiker? Why not track your dog’s activity while hiking? It’s fun to see how many steps they get in and make sure they are getting enough exercise regularly (not just while on hikes).

Another pro tip is to get a dog GPS tracker. That way, in case your pup gets off their leash, you’ll be able to find them in the wilderness.

What’s your dog’s “must-have” when camping or hiking?