Little Car…Big Dogs? [And FREE PRINTABLE!]

Taking a break from house projects, let’s talk about summer travel and camping! There are still a few more months left before autumn comes! Perhaps your big summer vacation is already done? Maybe you’re looking for budget friendly weekend jaunts? Are you taking the dogs with you?

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This post includes our printable checklist for camping and travelling with dogs.

Don’t have a truck or SUV?  This post includes how we space save and pack all the camping gear and two big hounds into one little car.

Despite having two big dogs and the ongoing home improvement projects one would assume we had a truck?…NOPE! We own two little cars; one as a commuter and one as our “Cruck” (a car that thinks it’s a truck).

Instead we’re perfectly happy with the “less is more” approach (especially as gas prices go up). Like most dog owners, we’ve also found camping to be the best economically for overnight trips. However it can be tricky to fit an entire camp, us, the dogs and two enormous dog crates in a little car. Therefore we’ve had to master the art of camping and traveling with very little space. No roof rack, no trailer, all the gear in the car trunk! Here’s our gear list and packing tricks…

First all the camping gear laid out…

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Now here’s all the gear fitting into this tiny little rubbermaid…(The kind that slides under the bed as storage)

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A great space saving camping tip is to take a back packers approach to cooking. We bring foods that don’t require a stove or ice chest, and can be boiled like spaghetti, and soups. (Which are fabulosuly inexpensive for the traveller on a budget) Also we use backpackers cooking utensils, such as the GSI kits, and Jet boil heating system, which allows us to ditch the big propane camp stove. If we want grilled or fried we use the campfire.

Need more details? Check out our free printable camping gear checklist! 

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Printable camping list

As the checklist includes, here are the dogs’ gear and first aid kit

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Now for packing the car…

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We normally pack away the two foldable dog crates on the bottom, and place the camp gear on top.The tent packs neatly to the side and if we want, we can store away a small cooler towards the back. This leaves plenty of space for  food, sleeping bags and our backpacks of clothes to sit atop the rubbermaid. As for the aerobeds, pillows and our porta potty…(Oh yes if you looked at the checklist you’ll see those items listed as well.)

These easily stow behind the front seats…

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The dogs foam mattress and blankets go right on top…leaving them extra space to stretch out…

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Luckily once they’re harnessed and belted in, they curl up behind our seats for long naps…Oh yes, like big babies, a car ride puts these two to sleep.

Ready for the weekend! Time to hit the road…We have lakes to play in and hills to hike! Any good packing strategies? The pups want to know!

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