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Camping with your dog is a fantastic activity for the two of you to do together. Unfortunately, the weather sometimes doesn’t cooperate, and you end up camping in the rain. Don’t let a little rain ruin your camping trip! We’ll give you some tips for camping in the rain with your dog so you can make the most out of your time together.
Your dog probably won’t mind the rain, but you will most likely want to seek shelter so he doesn’t get wet, cold, or—at worst—develop hypothermia. If you’re wondering where you can bring your dog inside if camping in the rain, the short answer is your tent, your vehicle, or your RV (if you’re lucky enough to have one).
There are several other things you can do to keep your dog comfortable when camping in the rain too. It’s nearly impossible to avoid some rain showers when camping, so let’s look at what you can do to keep your dog pleased when rain clouds inevitably roll in.
Where to Camp with Your Dog in Case of Rain
There are many campgrounds with designated areas to camp away from flood zones. Try to always set up camp on high ground or outside of a flood zone area. If you’re not sure where the flood zones are, ask a park ranger or camp manager for information on the best places to camp or find a designated campground for you and your dog.
While tall trees seem like an ideal shelter in case of a storm, make sure to stay far away from them when lightning and thunder strike.
The Equipment You Need to Camp in the Rain with Your Dog
What to bring for your tent:
- Waterproof ground covering — Even if it’s not raining, there’s still water in the ground that will lead to you and your dog feeling damp and cold while you’re sleeping. If it does start raining though, you’ll get even wetter and be in for a very long night. Placing a waterproof ground cover or waterproof tarp (see Amazon) underneath your tent will keep you and your dog dry, and it is a low-cost investment to keep you comfortable.
- Rain covers — Most tents come with a rain cover that’s custom fitted to your tent. Make sure you put it on!
- Tent stakes or pegs — Extra tent pegs are key to keeping your tent in place in the event of a storm. Use the extras to anchor down your rain cover.
- A mattress pad or air mattress — Making your bed on a mattress pad or air mattress gives you and your dog an extra layer of protection from the wet, cold ground. It will also allow you to have a more restful sleep through the noise of the rain and wind howling outside your tent.
- A bivy bag — A lightweight bivy bag will provide you with extra protection from rainy, cold weather. A bivy bag is designed to act as a cocoon around you and your sleeping bag. If you find you need the extra rain protection that a bivy bag provides, you can put up a weatherproof tarp or poncho tarp to protect yourself.
What to bring for your camp:
- Tarp, rope, and paracord — Ideally, you want to set up a dry area for you and your dog to eat outside of your tent. If you have a tarp and some rope or paracord, you can tie a tarp up between trees to sit in a dry area.
- Flashlights and LED lights — If you or your dog have to venture to the bathroom at night in the rain, you’ll want to avoid stepping in puddles and becoming soaked. Take your flashlight so you can always see where you’re going.
- Comfort food and tin foil — Tin foil can be used to wrap items in to keep them dry. If you’re wet and cold, make sure you eat enough food and drink warm liquids to stay warm. Keep your dog’s food dry and make sure he continues to eat on a regular schedule. Without proper nutrition, his body can’t regulate its temperature.
- Waterproof lighter and fire kindling — Making a campfire is a sure-fire way to dry out and get warm. Keep your kindling and lighter dry so you can build a fire when you need it.
What to bring for your and your dog’s comfort:
- Battery pack — If it’s pouring rain outside, you might just want to snuggle up with your pup inside your tent and watch a movie. Bring an extra battery pack and make use of your phone or tablet while enjoying some bonding time with your dog!
- Rain gear — Both you and your dog will be happy you packed a waterproof coat (see Amazon). You can buy them for your dog in all sizes to keep him or her from getting too wet!
- Blankets and dry clothing — Keep your blankets and extra clothes stored in your car or in a dry sack, so they stay dry. If you have dry blankets, you can snuggle up and stay warm.
Will my dog care if it’s raining while we’re camping?
More than likely, your dog won’t care if it’s raining out. He will be happy to run and play in the rain as long as he doesn’t get too cold. Enjoy the special bonding time with your dog, and don’t let a little rain ruin your trip.