Camping with Children & Pets Tips

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What tools should I take to remove porcupine quills?

Dogs and Porcupines

If you're camping with your dog, be prepared for porcupine incidents. Take along a pair of hemostats or pliers for the unfortunate, but quite possible run-ins between your pup and those porcupines. To remove the quills, remember that they are hollow, and that a vacuum forms when they are embedded in your dog. To make removal easier, clip the ends to reduce that vacuum. Look for the quills around the muzzle, on the roof of the mouth and under the tongue. Also, keep an eye out for the quills that penetrate the chest; these can be very dangerous since the barbs, combined with the dog's movements, can draw them in deeper, causing infection and possible damage to vital organs.

Is my child ready to camp?

Camping with Children

Camping with children is one of the true joys in family life. Take time to plan your trip carefully, this will ensure maximum enjoyment. Camping food and camping gear planning are obvious, but what about preparing your child? Many of camping's experiences can be shared prior to camping with children. You can do many of these things in your home, your backyard or at a local park. Here are some examples: Practice cooking camping recipes outdoors WITH your child, put a sleeping bag on the floor and let the child spend the night in it, get a pair of binoculars and practice with them, look at the moon and stars with your child, play "what kind of bird is that?" with your child, share camping etiquette with your child, set up your tent at home, make hot chocolate or get the idea. Helping your child become comfortable with camping activities is almost as fun as camping itself!

Should Fido or Smokey go camping with us?

Pets in Camp

If you want to take your pet(s) with you when you go camping, here are some things to think about.

If you are basecamping or backpack camping, can you carry your pet long distances? You might want to leave your pet at home when camping requires hiking.

How well can you control your pet? Pets, especially small pets, are considered prey to many wild animals.

If you are camping in a formal campground, do they allow pets? What are the rules regarding barking, leashes and staking your pet?

Will there be adequate shade for your pet? What about inclement weather? Will your pet be left alone at anytime while camping (bad idea)?

What do I need to do for my pet BEFORE we go camping?

Preparing Your Pet

You may want to visit the vet prior to camping to ensure your pet has all required shots and vaccinations. Also be sure your pet is wearing tags with name and phone number. Dogs should have a rabies tag and should be microchip-ed. Find a vet in the area where you plan to camp and be sure to have this vet's contact information.

What should I take for my pet?

Pet Camping Supplies

Here is a brief list of important items to bring with you (for your pet) when you camp. Water from home, food/treats, food/water dishes, chew toys, first aid kit, plastic baggies for waste disposal, medications, leash/collar/tags, kennel/crate, blanket, insect repellent.

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Guru Spotlight
Carol Sponagle