This year’s Epic Trip-New items for camping with a dog and what I’ve changed from last year’s trip

We leave in 36 hours for another Epic Cross country camping and hiking trip!
We’ve learned a lot since last year’s trip! And our other camping trips this year.  First of all we will be renting a car. My car is up there on the mileage, and the car we are renting gets much better gas mileage–I should break even in the end as my car also would’ve had to have 2 oil changes which run about $100 for my car, and I get to have some piece of mind about car troubles on the road.  I still have my Triple A Premium Road Service, good for 200 miles tow, etc.

Chico gets some new items for safety and comfort!


We will be spending a few nights in The Rockies, so we got Chico The Dog Helios Combat Terrain Cordura-Nyco Travel Bed. We got size medium and it is a insulated and waterproof bed. Even though he sleeps in my bag, I wanted something for relaxing. Really this will be great for more than just chillier weather. And we got it for $13 on a crazy sale on Amazon!  I like Ruffwear stuff, but really felt their dog items in this category were super overpriced, without much explanation of features—the sleeping bag is $99–and has no temperature rating or even a guideline. The Ruffwear Sleeping bed is $60!. Some of the price is because they are lightweight, but they are not much lighter than the Dog Helios stuff. This dog pad rolls up and weighs about a pound. It does only have one review on Amazon and it’s bad, but it looks and feels awesome to me. We will give it a full review after our trip.




Breathable, Waterproof, Snow Proof, Wind Proof


Flys and bugs, oh my!
A few times camping this year, while flies would leave me alone, they were just all over Chico. I felt so bad for him.  So I got and Flys-Off ointment for his ears, and then a natural spray called Miracle No FLy Zone  for his body.  And of course he has Serresto Collar for Ticks. We are are using Epi-Otic to clean his ears, and it also dries them. If you have a Boston Terrier who loves water, you know that this water often stays in his ears and they get fungus or bacterial infections.

We got the  Bennie’s World Clip on dog safety light for walking the campground at night. Though I had a light, I thought it would be safer if one was on Chico too


Last Chico item.
We needed a good sturdy 4 to 6 ft leash for hiking in the Grand Canyon and some places in Utah. His current super cute $15 6ft leash is just trashed after only a few months. I went to a local store to look for a leash that was sturdier, and all the ones that were $20 to $25 had pretty flimsy clasps. I just didn’t trust them say, if Chico should slip of the edge of a cliff–yes I am paranoid.

And then I saw the Knot a Leash by Ruffwear. Online this leash looks like nothing and didn’t impress me. However in person, it looks great and feels strong, it has a locking carabiner for it’s clasp, and it is 5 ft long. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Yes, it is $35, but I know that this leash will keep my dog secured. I will also use the carabiner for securing my 2nd tent door when not in use. Bonus, this leash is light!


And lastly our campsite items have changed. Our budget camping gear served us well last year, and are still in great working condition. I got them because I was not sure I would like camping with my dog, or that my dog would like camping. We love camping, and there are just things that will make it better for our personal styles….Gear is a constant evolution.

As many of our readers know, our last tent, had two really small windows that my dog and I could not see out of unless he stood on his hind legs, and me on me knees, and it drove me crazy.  So we got the Nemo Galaxi 2 and we love it. It is also light enough to backpack with for the kind of backpacking we will do, We just need light, not ultra light at this point.



And since we are staying in Colorado 3 nights when it might get below 30, I got a women’s Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag –in long since I am taller, which is rated 22 degrees, and the Klymit Static V Luxe sleeping pad, which has an R Value of 4.5 and is supposed to be good for side sleepers. Again two items that I can use to backpack. The Cats Meow is a bit bulky but will be fine for my use.  My dog fits in the Cat’s Meow with me, and I got the wider pad to accommodate this without us hanging off the side. Also if he is too hot, he can lay on his new travel bed!

Let’s hope all this stuff works great!


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