Our dog loves camping as much as we do. And we've had the pleasure to meet many other campers whose dogs also love camping. Dogs love being outdoors and smelling things while exploring the area.
When we arrive at a new campground our Chihuahua, Jordan, can't wait to get out and explore. If we let her, she would be all over the campground. She loves to say hello to other campers. But she is a small dog and prone to getting into trouble with other dogs.
We don't like her running loose. And most campgrounds required dogs to be on a leash. So the best solution to having her enjoy the outdoors without getting us or her in trouble is a dog zip line.
Why A Dog Zip Line Is The Best Choice
Zip lines work anywhere. If you can tie a line between two objects, you can make a dog zip line. We've made a zip line between two trees, from a tree to a park bench, from a park bench to a park barbecue. We've even tied one from a tree to our truck. The biggest risk is our not paying attention and walking into it.
How to Make A Dog Zip Line
A dog zip line is easy to make. We use paracord because it's hard to break and stands up to abrasion. The simplest way to make a zip line is to loop a cord around a couple of trees, pull it tight, and tie it off.
We give our dog plenty of room to run and play. A 30′ long is perfect, but we've found it's hard to get a tight line by only pulling on it.
To get the cable or cord tight, we use an in-line cable strainer. This is a device used by farmers and ranchers to pull fence cables tight. And they are cheap.
When you're done with the zip line, release the ratchet, wind up the cable or cord and drop it in a box. It takes a minute or two.
Manufactured Dog Zip Lines
Commercial dog zip lines use vinyl-coated steel cables. You can also use the in-line cable strainer with steel cables. When tying to trees a piece of rubber from an old tire makes a good cushion between the tree and the cable.
Dog Zip Line Safety
While we love how a zip line gives our dog a lot of freedom, there is the risk of choking. If a dog got tangled in something, it could choke. Because that's a possibility, don't attach a dog collar to a zip line. A dog harness works best with zip lines.
5 Essentials For Keeping Your Dog Outside While Camping
- Use an enclosure or dog zip line. Enclosures work, we have one, and dogs get used to them. We prefer a dog zip line. There is no better way to keep your dog safe and happy when outdoors. They're inexpensive to make and easy to use.
- Use a Dog Harness. A dog harness will help prevent a dog from choking. And if you are going to be walking your dog around traffic, a LED harness is a good investment.
- Don't forget the water. Dogs knock water bowls over. We don't leave Jordan out all day without watching her. Here in the high desert of Nevada, it's very dry and hot. We have to stay hydrated and so does our dog. A couple of bowls of water is a good way to make sure there's plenty to drink. Stackable water bowls work great for RVing.
- Leave out a play toy. Even though Jordan is getting older, she still loves a good play toy.
- Use an outdoor doggie bed. Jordan is by no means a princess. She loves to lay in the sun. But given the option, she'll lay on a bed. Having an elevated doggy bed is more comfortable and keeps the dog out of the dirt. At least that's the plan.
Dogs get bored, so having your dog on a zip line when camping keeps it entertained while restraining it. And a zip line takes almost no space when stored.