Tips for Camping with Pets

Tips for Camping with Pets

NH-Camping-Tips-PetsWho better to bring on a camping trip than a friend who already possesses a water-resistant, self-cleaning coat, a perpetually upbeat attitude, and will willingly sleep on the ground. Pets, in particular dogs, are popular camping companions.

First, make sure your camping destination is pet-friendly.  Pet policies are listed clearly on campground “rules & regulations” pages. Campground managers are just as eager as you to make sure that all campers are aware of if, when, and where pets are welcome.

Next make sure your dog is welcome at the various other components of your trip. Check in advance to see if any restaurants, gardens, swimming beaches, and museums/indoor attractions that you plan to visit will allow pets. That said, many a camping trip includes absolutely none of these venues, and you can easily plan a Fido-friendly camping trip.

Pack your dog’s favorite fuel for the trail.  While you have been planning burgers and s’mores on the campfire for yourself, don’t forget your pet’s tried and true kibble. Also be sure to pack the supplies you need to pick up after your pet at the campground and on your various adventures.

Bring an extra sturdy leash or harness and even a crate (particularly a collapsible crate).  There might be a need to provide extra secure protection for your pet, in case of emergency such as a thunderstorm, traffic jam, or other aggressive animals.  What if you had to shut off your car’s air conditioning for an extended period of time, or walk your dog on a highway?

Do your part to make sure that pets continue to enjoy increased access to recreational facilities.  Respect other campers’ personal space; it’s up to you to make sure your dog (or cat, parrot, etc.) does not touch or encroach on another person (or animal) without invitation.  AND particularly, prevent your pet from disturbing wildlife. Wild animals live, for the most part, on the jagged edge of survival. When they have to divert energy and attention from finding food and tending their young it threatens their survival. The opportunity to live closer to nature with your pet is a great reason to be a steward of the environment and the outdoor community.

Campfire Steak Kabob Recipe

Steak kabobs on campfire


  • 2 lbs top sirloin steak
  • whole mushrooms
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion
  • Large handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 medium sweet pepper (orange, red, or yellow)

Substitute any other vegetables that you like. Bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms hold up best on skewers. 

For the Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 spoonful of minced garlic

Pre-cooking Preparation

  1. Mix together the marinate ingredients and set it aside
  2. Cut the steak into 1 to 2 inch chunks.
  3. Add the steak chunks to the marinade and make sure the marinate evenly coats the steak.
    If you are preparing at home, refrigerate the marinated meat in plastic in a zip-top plastic bag to take with you on your trip.
  4. Wash and cut the onion, zucchini/squash, and pepper into 1 inch chunks; leave the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes whole.
    If you are preparing at home, bag each ingredient separately and refrigerate.

Cooking over the fire or charcoals

  1. Get your fire or charcoal briquets ready. You’ll need some type of grate to cook these on as well (see above).
  2. Take a metal skewer and alternate between the vegetables and meat.
  3. Once the kababs are assembled and the campfire is ready, place the kababs on top of a grate that is about 8 inches above the fire. Cook the kabobs over the heat (no flame if over an open fire) for about 15 minutes. Take one kabob off and check the steak to see if it is done.  If not, put it back on the grate.  One important tip is to realize that most foods do not cook well directly in the flames. This will burn the surface of the food quickly to an unappetizing char, so be sure to hold the kabobs some distance from the flames.
  4. Serve everyone a couple of skewers or remove the kabobs off the skewers and serve.

2017 Camping & RV Shows

The New Hampshire Campground Owners’ Association will have a presence at these upcoming Camping & RV Shows.  If you are planning to attend, stop by and see us!  Be sure to attend the 45th Annual NH Camping & RV Show, March 24-26 in Bedford, NH.

Boston RV & Camping Expo, MA, January 13-16
Florida RV Supershow, Tampa, FL, January 17-22
Northeast RV & Camping Show, Hartford, CT, January 20-22

Great American Outdoor Show, Harrisburg, PA, February 4-12
Springfield RV & Camping Show, MA, February 17-20
VR Show, Montreal, February 16-19
Worcester RV & Camping Show, MA, February 24-26

Rhode Island RV & Camping Show, Providence, RI, March 3-5
Made in NH Expo, Manchester, NH, March 24-26

Vacationland RV & Camping Show, Auburn, ME, April 8 -9

Things to Do on Your Next Camping Trip

Camping trips often involve outdoor recreation, such as swimming, tubing, fishing, and hiking, and opportunities to sit back and relax. During these trips, many families and friends have their own traditions, such as a “game night” or “craft day.” There are so many ways to customize your camping experience based on the season, location of your campsite, and the interests of you and your group.

Here are some ideas for your family or group to consider for your next camping trip:

NH camping fun things to doTake a family or group photo: A planned photo that captures the essence of your camping trip will become a treasured keepsake, and may be used as a holiday card or contribution to a family album. As you organize your camping trip, think of the special places and scenes that mean the most to you, your group or family. Should there be a mountain in the background? Or a firepit in the foreground? In many families or groups, one or two members become the de facto photojournalists, and we are all grateful when they capture special moments and scenes. Ideally you will find a helpful fellow-camper to take pictures; but practice using your camera’s timer in the comfort of home — it’s not something you want to learn while everyone wants to eat a s’more or jump in the lake!

Plan to eat locally: One advantage of camping is that you can bring food from home to streamline and save money. On your next trip, consider  adding an “eat like a local” component. Find a farm stand and eat locally grown and sourced food to truly experience local flavor.

Schedule a group class or activity: Go online or talk to the campground owner to learn about about local area classes and guided activities that you can enjoy as a group. These could include rock-climbing, outdoor cooking or family yoga classes, guided nature hikes, and/or dog sled rides.

Keep a camping journal: Have everyone contribute a memory for every day. Little campers can write down some of the things they have seen and found. And, it makes great reading long after the trip is over.

Change up your camping routine: Consider stopping at “that place we always pass,” check out a new view, stay an extra day, or get up an hour earlier to listen as the woods wake up and see the sunrise. Ask everyone in your camping party to list something new to try. Keep it simple and say the experience has to be free if that makes more sense. Who knows? Your next “we always do it this way” tradition may be right around the corner.