My husband and I are planning a 9,000 mile expedition around the USA. Pretty much off-road camping in all different National parks. I was wondering if anyone has done this before and could you give us any advice? Also the type of camping we are doing is overlanding where you rely on your vehicle. If you have done this before what modifications did you do to your vehicle to accommodate your dogs?   

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Comment by Jane Christensen on February 12, 2014 at 11:12am

We have camped a few times and traveled long distances with our Corgis. All the info you were given is great so I will just add that "if" you have room I would suggest a pet lodge fence about 3' tall or taller to be able to set out while you're sitting by a campfire instead of always tied out. A little more freedom and I would not leave them unattended. Have fun...I love traveling with my Corgis!

Comment by Bev Levy on February 12, 2014 at 7:56am

We travel in our Motor home so quite a bit more cushy than you are talking. We also used to travel by boat to some pretty remote areas. My first advice is make sure you have your dog micro-chipped and know what the rules are in each state you travel to. Most require some kind of paper work. Then have a muzzle, athletic tape, benedryl, and water. Also have a bag with your dogs hair and a fabric that has been rubbed over him in case they get lost. Have a blast!

Comment by Melissa and Franklin! on February 10, 2014 at 6:27pm

We used to do a lot of four wheeling with the dogs. No special precautions, just what you would normally do when going off road (make sure you have lots of water/food and medical supplies). It is recommended to never go alone, cell phone service often doesn't work at all in the wilderness, bring a HAM radio or other such communication device so you can contact help if needed. Other's recommendations for lost dog posters and emergency contact info sound great too. When I went our dogs always rode in the back seat and slept in the tent with us, we didn't do any vehicle modifications. All of my dogs grew up camping and were reliable off leash which made the camping easier knowing none would wander if your back was turned or attempt escape from the vehicle. If your dog(s) are not reliable off leash I would start working on that ASAP. You need a solid emergency recall when traveling in case your dog slips a collar or a leash/collar breaks or anything like that. 

Comment by Priss, Charlie & Kaylee (PK) on February 10, 2014 at 2:26pm

We've taken Kaylee from VA to TX two times but never off road. We carry her medical records (esp rabies vaccinations), lost dog poster print outs (just in case), food, water and treats. She wears a harness at all times (even in her travel crate) with a name tag, address and two cell phone numbers. The harness is less likely to catch on her crate (choking hazard) and if her somehow gets out of our control, she has our contact info with easier access than her microchip. During the trip, she sleeps in the crate most of the time (up to 5 hrs) between stops where we water, feed and exercise her a little.

For your trip, I would definitely bring plenty of drinking water just in case you have an unexpected stop and are far from civilization. I'd also consider those camping water purifiers as a last resort. I'd also include your vet or trusted friend/relative to be a contact number on your pups' ID tags, as your cell phones may not get reception where you are going.

Comment by Marcie on February 9, 2014 at 9:10pm
I've never taken a trip this long, but I have driven cross country with a dog and cat. I had tags on their collars with my number as well as my mother's. I carried a document stating what to do in an emergency where I could not care for them. It gave contact information of my vet and mother. Both pets would have been shipped to her. I had copies of vet records as well.

Bottled water was also a necessity. Will your dog food be easily available across the country?

I did camp near Carlsbad Caverns with that same dog. They had air conditioned kennels at the caves for pets. Kramer stayed safely there while we did the tour. I'm not sure if the park service still offers this.
Comment by Roger/Laurie on February 9, 2014 at 9:04pm

Your adventure sounds a lot more rough and basic than traveling down the road in an RV.  But maybe some of the people in the RVing Corgis group could help. We always stop every 2 hours and let them run around and give them water. Then they sleep until the next stop.

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