• carson presley

We Camped with 2 Dogs for the First Time...This is How it Went

Hi there!! For anyone who is new to my blog, let me introduce the whole crew here. I’m Carson Presley, and I write the content behind Girls & Dogs, Oh My. I’m graduating college this May (err--sort-of, just not traditionally because of the Coronavirus).

The luckiest person in the world, I have two adorable Labradoodles! Scout, who is two-years-old, and Ryder, who is just 17-weeks-old. My better half, Spencer, is the most amazing dog mom who helps me keep a handle on our two wild fur babies.

Together, we love traveling. We love packing up our Jeep and exploring new places. We’re also (until recently) first-time dog owners. In other words, we’re young and make a lot of mistakes--which is where the inspiration for this blog came from!

I want to be able to share all of our journeys and dog mom lessons with you all--especially our mistakes--so that you all can have the best possible experiences.

Every Monday I post new content with our latest adventure, traveling advice, and dog mom tips and tricks. Sometimes I post more than just Mondays, so make sure to look out for the bonus content ;)

My feed is always live on Pinterest, so feel free to follow along there and never miss another Monday with Carson again!

Camping is something my family has always done, and we’ve always brought our doggos along. We had smaller dogs, which were pretty easy to camp with, but now that I’m responsible for the pups, there have been plenty of lessons to learn.

If you haven't read about our past camping experiences, you should! We've shared our experience at Shenandoah National Park, Coconino National Forest, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

If you're a first-time dog owner, I have some key foundational tips to help you survive your first year as well as your second year!

I didn’t have Scout camping until she was about a year and a half old, but we just took baby Ryder camping for the first time… and we definitely learned a bunch!

Ryder is only about 4 and-a half-months old at the time of this trip, she doesn’t know a wide variety of commands (only sit, down, and shake), and she inhales mud as quickly as possible.

Yes, you read that correctly: she finds any mud that she can and turns into a vacuum.

So let’s break it down into each phase of our trip.


You would think that we would be expert packers at this point, but we aren’t! We probably could pack for the pups without any list or reference, but we don’t.

So we made a quick list of what we would need for the doggos. This was our list:

General things for both pups:


-Bowls x4



-Leash tie-downs x2

-Rain jacket x2 (it was supposed to rain)

-Teething rings for Ryder

And before you start thinking I’m extra for bringing teething rings camping, Ryder started losing her teeth this week! These are a LIFE SAVER and I didn’t want her to be in too much pain.

Our human list:

-We only stayed one night so we brought one change of clothes

-Tent, tent accessories, etc.

-Hygiene bag




-Our favorite snacks!

We made this delicious Paleo s’mores treat (so good, even if you don’t follow a Paleo diet), granola, and some fruit!

What are your favorite camping snacks or just snacks in general? Let me know down below!

Our list looks a tad small but we keep our Jeep packed with the camping necessities, such as our camping utensils, trash bags, and other things. We packed up the rest of our things in our Jeep and headed out to our campsite.

During Camping:

Day 1:

Scout will stay close by and not run off...when Ryder isn’t around! There were more people at the campground than we thought there would be, so we kept both of them on the leash until the second day (more on that later).

We have a (roughly) 20’ tie-down leash and a 15’ leash. We put Ryder on the tie-down because it has that rubber covering that you find on kids’ swings.

She doesn’t chew yet, but she is teething, so we wanted to mitigate any risk of her chewing her way to freedom.

When we got to the campsite, we walked the pups around the area so that they were comfortable with it. We initially tied them to one tree, but it was too far away from us, so we moved them to a closer tree.

Then, Shelbie unpacked while I made the fire and we got everything settled for the night. We don’t bring any games or anything when we camp, but instead just hang out, take a breath of fresh air, and hang out with the pups!

Day 2:

We woke up around 6 and I got up to make a fire for us. We lucked out and had the most beautiful weather possible! It didn’t rain at all and it wasn’t too hot and/or humid. Both days hung around 70 degrees, sunny, and not miserably humid.

We got the pups on their leashes, got the fire going, and made breakfast. If you read my previous article then you know I’m a HUGE Whitney Simmons fan. She recently put up a video where she tried various healthy TikTok snacks. One of them was a healthier version of an apple pie!

You cut up an apple, pan fry it, add some oats and syrup, and pig out. I really wanted to try it so that’s what I had for breakfast. So so good, you should give it a try! Shelbie held down the fort while I took the little munchkins for a quick walk.

We found a super cute grassy picnic area where the doggos could run around off-leash and burn off that extra puppy energy. They enjoyed it, it got me moving, and now I know about that little park.

If you’re ever in the Cooper’s Rock area and want to know where it is, shoot me an email and let me know! I can share the location with you so that you can go kick back and grill out there with your fur babies or non-fur babies too.

Once the pups were all worn out, we finished packing up and headed back home. Normally, we would have stayed longer in the morning. Check-out wasn’t until noon but we left around 9:30.

I think with us having an early morning and the campground being a little busy for Memorial Day weekend, we decided to clear out a little early.


Dog baths. These are always always the first thing we do when we get home. We have two stinky dogs who like to roll around in the mud. And eat it.

Their baths consist of brushing their teeth, trimming their nails when needed, the bath itself, a blow out, and conditioning spray! How often do you brush your pup’s teeth? Is it something you struggle with? Let me know in the comments below!

Once they’re all clean, we feed them and put them down for a much-needed nap! We normally sneak in a nap then unpack and clean everything.

Anyone who has a puppy is now wondering… What the heck did we do with Ryder during the night??? Puppies pee every 5 minutes, how did you do it??? Well,...

There is no easy answer and your solution will be dependent upon your pup and what you’re willing to compromise. We considered a lot of scenarios and possible solutions before making a decision.

Ryder normally sleeps in the crate. But it’s HUGE. We don’t have a travel crate anymore because Scout wrecked it……..

We didn’t want to get another, have Ryder rip through it, and run away or something in the middle of the night, so that idea was out.

We thought about clipping her into the seat belt in the backseat of our Jeep and building her a nice blanket fort, but didn’t like the idea of her being far away all night and I was worried about her chewing through the seatbelt and getting into something in the Jeep.

When we were packing up, we planned on bringing the kennel and having her sleep in it. We were either going to set it up in the tent or put the seats down in the car and keep her there.

By the time we were cleaning out our Jeep, we decided to just have Ryder sleep with us. The other options had a ton of disadvantages for the single advantage of having Ryder more-or-less contained.

We accepted that she would probably pee in the middle of the night and that the tent would need a deep clean the next day. I know a lot of you are sitting there like

But, you do what you gotta do for your pups and this seemed to be the best option for all of us.

So, how did it go, you wonder???

It actually went perfectly!

When we were going to sleep, I was super worried about Ryder ripping the mesh on the tent and escaping. I’m an insanely heavy sleeper, so I probably would not wake up to her trying to get out.

At home, Ryder is only awake for a couple hours at a time before sleeping for a couple hours, but she didn’t sleep at all once we got to the campsite. She was awake for over 6 hours straight—which is huge for her.

When we all piled into the tent, she laid down and fell asleep instantly. She stayed asleep (I think) for the majority of the night and woke us up in the morning to go outside.

She didn’t go potty in the tent and didn’t rip through the mesh and escape, thankfully.

All-in-all, we had a great weekend and we were able to spend quality time with each other and with our pups. Here's a little photo album from our trip.

It's always a beautiful day to go outside~take advantage of it while you can.

Did we forget anything or miss out on some amazing camp snacks? Do you need some pup teeth brushing help? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo, carson

About Carson Presley

I'm a dog mom of two and travel enthusiast! I graduated from college this year and am running this blog part-time while I start my new career.

Read More or shoot me an email!

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