If you’re like me, you love going everywhere with your dog. Enjoying the outdoors with your pet is one of the greatest joys of owning a pooch.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy spending time with my dog is to go hammock camping.
While it may seem unorthodox at first, it’s actually really fun and easier than it might seem. If you already go hammock camping, you may have most of the gear needed.
There are just a few extra things you’ll need before taking your dog hammock camping with you.
Be aware that in some cases it is actually illegal to have your dog in state parks without these items.
What About Gear?
As we said before, If you’re already hammock camping, then you have most of the gear you need to go hammock camping with your dog.
If not, then you’ll want to pick up some essentials for hammock camping beforehand.
I’d only recommend trying to hammock camp with your dog after you’ve had a few hammock camping trips under your belt already.
If you’re a first-timer reading this post, read the guide for hammock camping beginners on the Everest Active Gear site.
Gear You’ll Want For Your Dog
Now that you’ve read the hammock camping for beginners, let’s get right into the gear you’ll want for hammock camping with your dog.
Depending on how big your dog is, you may want to get a double hammock. If you’re planning on camping with a 75lb lab, you’ll definitely want to get a bigger hammock.
On the other hand, if you have a small 10lb dog or two you want to hammock with, then you can probably get by with just a standard-sized hammock.
Double Hammocks = More Room For Large Dogs
Adding to the point above, if you have a large dog and plan on getting a double hammock, get a larger sleeping pad, underquilt, overquilt, mosquito net hammock, and all the other essentials.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself fighting for control over the sleeping pad and overquilt, just like you do with blankets at home.
What Extras Should I Prepare?
Your dog will obviously need food and something to carry it in. In some places, you can get away with bringing dry food in Tupperware. This is fine for storing it from bugs and raccoons as long as you keep it closed and out of reach of pesky critters.
If you’re planning to camp in an area with a healthy bear population such as Yosemite National Park, you may be required to bring an approved bear-resistant food container.
In these cases, you’ll want a bear-proof food container to store dog food in.
Another essential you’ll want to bring is extra water for your thirsty canine. Dogs can burn through a lot of water during hikes, and there may not always be a stream nearby for them to drink from.
Many people pack an extra water bladder to fill up for their dog just to be safe.
Fabric Patch Kit
I can count a few times when I’ve known people wished they’d brought along a fabric patch kit.
Even if you trim your dog’s nails before you go hammock camping (do it), you can still end up with tears in your hammock.
My personal advice to you would be to bring along a patch kit just to be safe. It’s a small item that can save your butt.
Dog runners are great for when you’re back at the campsite and need to keep your dog on a leash.
They let the dog(s) run around while still being safe and kept under control without you needing to worry about them.
If you’re a big fan of kicking back and relaxing at the campsite, then this can be a lifesaver.
This one is arguably up there with food and water. Packing a good non-toxic leave-no-trace soap can be a lifesaver if your dog chooses to roll around in something stinky.
The last thing you’d want is to be stuck sleeping in your hammock with a dog that smells like dead fish.
Dog Poop Bags
To some, this may be a no-brainer, to others they completely forget about this small but important courtesy.
The saying “leave no trace” applies to your dog as well. You should always pick up your dog’s poop as both a courtesy and a preservation measure.
Spare Dog Bed
Consider bringing along a spare dog bed for your dog to lay on during your time at the campsite.
If you’re relaxing in your hammock and your dog feels like lying instead, I’m sure they’d appreciate the extra comfort.
Dog Harness and Leash
Finally, if you’re planning on taking your dog hammock camping I’d recommend you pick up a harness if you don’t already have one.
Many parks and campgrounds require that you have your dog on a leash at all times.
If your dog is wearing a collar and takes off while on a leash, they could seriously hurt their neck when they reach the end of the leash.
You may think your dog is good, but unless your dog is a well-behaved angel that follows your every command, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Any number of distractions could cause your dog to run, such as squirrels, other dogs, children, or small animals.
Guide to Hammock Camping With Your Dog
Below you’ll find an informative infographic. This will tell you everything you need to know before taking your dog hammock camping.
There are some really great tips in there, such as trimming your dog’s nails before you go and get your dog up to date on vaccines (waterborne diseases are a big one).
Plus, it’s never a bad idea to do a test run before you go hammocking with your dog.
Hammock Camping is a great way for your dog to experience new sights and smells, get some exercise and spend time with you.
You may already share your bed with your furry friends, so why not find the perfect hammock campsite and snuggle up together under the stars with them, too?
It’s no doubt that camping can be fun for you and your dog. But before you go, you should be aware of rules and responsibilities, and extra steps of preparation that come along with it.
Can dogs sleep in hammocks?
It depends on the preparation and the dog's preference. You can conduct a test hammock camping in your backyard or at the local park.
After your trial run, you can go on a real hammock camping either, let your dog sleep with you, or set up a separate hammock for your furry friend.
What do I need to take my dog camping?
Keep in mind to avoid bringing too much, ensure that essentials are packed.
- Enough dog food
- Water and food bowls
- Drinking water (if not available in your campsite)
- A leash or two
- Bug repellant and dog-safe tick
- Sunscreen for dogs
- Collar nightlight (for nighttime visibility of your dog)
- Biodegradable poop bags
- Towels and blankets
- Favorite toys or balls
- A light raincoat
- A doggie first aid book and kit
Can big dogs sleep in a hammock safely?
Yes, make certain the size of your hammock can accommodate the size of your dog. A double-wide hammock can lodge larger dogs.
What dog food to bring when hammock camping?
It is ideal for bringing dehydrated dog food packs. They are lightweight and easy to prepare. All you need to do is add warm water to the food in your dog’s bowl, stir, and wait a few minutes before serving.