Recently, I overheard a customer asking a sales person about what type of camping supplies they should buy.  The retailer asked, “Are you backpacking or camping?”, and it made me think of the differences between the two activities and why it’s important to consider the type of overnight adventure you are planning before purchasing outdoor gear–yes, even dog gear!

Ruff Wear makes a variety of canine gear for outdoor adventures.  But before the first design is drafted, the first stitch is sewn, or the first dog hair is shed on it, our design team determines the use, conditions, and activities for the product being designed.  In our pack, bed, and bowl lines, our goal has been to design products ideal for backpacking and camping, with features that complement each activity.

Since backpacking gear requires long hikes over many miles, weight and space were huge considerations in our design plan for backpacking gear.  The Highlands Bed™ and Bivy Bowl™ were designed to be lightweight and compact, while capacity was a huge factor in the Palisades Pack™, so your dog can carry it comfortably during multi-day adventures.

Conversely, camping usually allows for a greater number and size of supplies, providing the opportunity for increased sleeping space (our Mt. Bachelor Pad™ comes in a 3′ x 4′ large size), and larger multi-day food and water bowls, such as our Quencher™ bowls.

Here are our recommendations for the best canine camping and backpacking gear options.


Backpacking Gear List

The Pack – Palisades Pack™

The Palisades Pack is our largest capacity pack; with enough room for a bowl, food, a Highlands Bed™, and 2L of water.  It comes with two, easy-pour water bladders, removable saddlebags for breaks and water crossings, and a compression system to help balance a large load.

The Bowl – Bivy Bowl™

The Bivy Bowl is single-walled, so it packs down into small spaces and weighs less than 2 oz.  It also shakes dry, making cleaning and drying a breeze when there’s no extra water to spare.

The Bed – Highlands Bed™

The Highlands Bed comes with its own stuff sack which compresses to fit inside any size Palisades Pack (total stuffed size is 12″ x 5″ [30 x 13cm] and 14 oz [400 g]).  The water-resistant, quick-drying shell doesn’t require the shelter of a tent, so Fido can enjoy the outdoors…outdoor!  The synthetic shell fabric was built to withstand tears from dog nails, sharp rocks, and campsite debris, and includes four stakeout loops to help keep it in place or for hanging out to dry.


Camping Gear List

The Pack – Approach Pack™

The Approach Pack is large enough to fit all the essentials: water, leash, food, and bowl.

The Bowl – Quencher Cinch Top™ Collapsible Bowl

The Quencher bowl comes in a variety of sizes from 24 fl oz (.7L) to 2.6 qt (2.5L).  The cinch-top version is great for filling with kibble and cinching shut, while the open-top style is great for water.    The pyramid-style, tapered shape works well in the car, minimizing spillage.

The Bed – Mt. Bachelor Pad™

The Mt. Bachelor Pad rolls up into a convenient bed roll for carrying to and from the campsite.  It has 1″ of loft and up to 7″ x 19″ (18 x 48 cm) of bed space (size L) for your dog to “sprawl” out on.  It will hardly seem like your dog is “ruffing” it!

4 thoughts

  1. Awesome! We took our dogs camping on July 4th and brought exactly the same pieces of gear – Approach pack, Mt. Bach. pad, and the quencher!

    The Mt. Bachelor pad goes everywhere with us. I love that I can clean it with biodegradable soap and the hose in the driveway when we get home, then dry it on the line. The polycloth base even resists sticky pine needles!

    Another camping tip: the Beacon is perfect for keeping tabs on your pooch while you and your friends hang around the campfire. If they follow their nose into the woods, you can see where they’re at and calmly call them back to the party. We left it on the non-strobe mode all evening.

  2. Love this post! I definitely needed some tips on packing these, I have one of each pack… my smaller dog wears the approach and the bigger dog wears the palisades.

  3. Love this post! I definitely needed some tips on packing these, I have one of each pack… my smaller dog wears the approach and the bigger dog wears the palisades.

    Thanks so much! Now I need some of those sleeping pads. 🙂

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