5 Must-Have Items to Go Camping With Your Dog This Winter 

Winter is an excellent time for camping — especially when you’ve got a cozy camper van to keep you warm and dry during your adventures. And it gets even better when you bring along your furry friends for the trip!

We know it can be difficult to get outside with your dog in the colder months.

Like you, your dog is susceptible to frozen toes and discomfort in the cold. In worse cases, overexposure to cold while camping or hiking could even lead to frostbite and hypothermia. While some dogs are bred for colder climates, every dog needs protection against the elements!

With a little preparation and know-how, winter camping with your pup can be a safe and comfortable experience for the whole family. Dog booties, jackets, and sleeping bags are just what you need to keep your pup warm this winter camping season.

Get ready to pack up your best dog camping gear and have an adventure you’ll both cherish long after the snow melts!

Must-Have Cold Weather Camping Gear for Dogs

Whether you’re new to cold weather camping in a van or an old pro, you’ll need to include a few provisions to keep you and your dog warm and happy on the road. Here are some must-haves for winter camping with dogs.

Best Winter Dog Coats for Afternoons on The Trails

In addition to making sure you have a warm winter coat for yourself, you’ll probably need to pack a doggy winter coat as well.

Plenty of brands provide lightweight and waterproof models to keep your dog comfortable as they romp around in the snow. You also have your pick of design, color, and functionality so your dog can play in style.

With harness holes and easy clip-on designs, you can get ready for making snow angels with them without worrying about frozen fur!

Our top picks:

Best Dog Booties for Potty Breaks and Strolls

It’s not always easy convincing your dog to put them on in the first place, but dog winter boots are essential for cold-weather camping.

Booties keep your dog protected from frozen paws and the drying and cracking nature of cold winter air. For dogs with longer hair, they’ll also help them walk and prevent snow from sticking between their toes.

The same rule applies for rainy days — you can keep your dog’s paws dry with these booties as well.

Just make sure you get your dog used to them before you head out on your camping trip. Without a little practice, some dogs may be tempted to pull them off in the snow, never to be found again!

Our top picks:

Use Paw Wax for Outdoor Fun

Let’s say your dog isn’t into the dog boots. Don’t worry, you’ve got some other options.

You can rub a little pet-friendly paw wax on their feet before you head out for a snowy hike. Even just a small amount can protect your pup from cracking and bleeding paws.

You don’t have to take our word for it either — paw wax is the standard for professional sled dogs during the famous Iditarod race!

Our top picks:

Warm Items for Chilly Nights

Since you’re camping in a van, you already have the benefit of being off the cold ground while sleeping. But that doesn’t mean you and your pup won’t need a little extra warmth on the chilliest winter nights!

Try a dog sleeping bag to keep your dog warm on those especially chilly nights. Another hack: you can also wrap a warm water bottle in a water-proof doggy blanket for your dog to snuggle, or let them sleep in your bed (if there’s room).

For an extra special night, give your pup a dog hot water bottle. We like this one shaped like a wiener dog!

To keep your dog calm at night or during a storm, you can also let them pick out their favorite fuzzy stuffed animal to cuddle with.

Our top picks:

 Always Bring a First Aid Kit for the Unexpected

At GoCamp, we like to prepare for the unexpected. And when you’re bringing your beloved dog for the ride, it’s even more important to be ready for an emergency.

While our camper vans come with a first-aid kit for humans, not every van is packed with items your dog might need. You’ll want to pack your own canine first-aid kit to go camping with your dog in the winter.

This might include:

  • Medical dressings
  • Bandages
  • Tick removal kit
  • Syringes
  • Antiseptics and antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Clean plastic bags
  • Medical tape
  • Dog-friendly pain medications
  • Paw wax
  • Water and dog food

How Cold is Too Cold to Camp with Dogs?

While the right cold-weather camping gear for dogs can go a long way to keep your dog comfortable and safe, winter can still present its own challenges for your best friend.

Depending on the size and breed of your pup, certain cold weather camping spots might be best avoided (unless you can keep your dog in your camper van most of the time).

Large Dogs

45°F to 60°F – No problems with cold

40°F to 45°F – Minimal Risk of problems

20°F to 35°F – Potentially unsafe temperatures

15°F to 20°F – Dangerous temperatures, be careful

0°F to 15°F – Cold could put your dog’s life at risk

Medium Dogs

50°F to 60°F – No problems with cold

45°F to 50°F – Minimal Risk of problems

30°F to 45°F – Potentially unsafe temperatures

10°F to 30°F – Dangerous temperatures, be careful

0°F to 10°F – Cold could put your dog’s life at risk

Small Dogs

50°F to 60°F – No problems with cold

45°F to 50°F – Minimal Risk of problems

30°F to 45°F – Potentially unsafe temperatures

25°F to 30°F – Dangerous temperatures, be careful

0°F to 25°F – Cold could put your dog’s life at risk

Get Your Pup Ready for a Camper Van Trip

Sure, you could always leave your dog with a sitter for your next camper van getaway. But don’t you want to see their eyes light up when they realize they get to join in on the fun, too?

Bringing your dog camping can be a rewarding experience for both of you, especially when you have beautiful winter scenery to enjoy and cold weather activities planned together.

Click the button below to browse all the pet-friendly GoCamp camper vans. We have LOTS of pet-friendly vans for you and your pup to choose from.