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  • Writer's pictureMrsMollyWilcox

Spring Camping in Tennessee with Our Puppy!

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

We have always wanted a pup who could keep up with our adventurous lifestyle, so we decided it was time to teach our mini golden doodle puppy Finley how to camp with us. The weather in the spring and fall in Tennessee is perfect for camping, and we’ve been itching to get out of the suburbs of Nashville. Especially with the chaotic season due to the Corona Virus we have been eager to get outdoors and enjoy the normalcy of nature.

How we pick our camp sites:

We picked our camping location, Dogwood Climbing, off of the app HipCamp. Tennessee is a beautiful state, but we aren’t super familiar with it yet. HipCamp is similar to airbnb except with camp sites. It allows property owners who have an epic space to allow other people to enjoy it! Our site was on the edge of a state park, and had huge rocks for climbers, beautiful hikes with waterfalls, and great views to relax and enjoy. We were so happy we found it, it was random and unique and the perfect weekend getaway for the Spring camping season in Tennessee.

What we packed:

I like to keep it simple when we are camping. In the spring, it’s important to wear and bring lots of layers. At night, I was wearing a coat, but during the day I could comfortably be wearing shorts and a tshirt. I wore my favorite comfy joggers, a Tshirt, and jean jacket on our first day. Hiking in Colorado I wore shorts often, but for the types of hikes we go on in Tennessee I usually wear long pants because there are so many bushes and trees. To be honest I usually end up tripping at least once so I have to be prepared for the clumsiness. I wear hiking boots, Chacos, or Birkenstock’s for shoes and that’s all I need. Smart wool socks are the best for hiking! You can never have enough if you love being outside.

For simple hikes, my Kavu backpack is my favorite. It has a spot for your phone, and it keeps you hands free. Since our camp site was near huge boulders for climbing, we had to use our hands quite a bit as we maneuvered around. I usually don’t have pockets if I’m wearing leggings. It also can fit a small puppy, if your pup gets tired of walking like ours does...

What we did:

We spent most of our time either hiking or relaxing. There were so many beautiful places to explore near our campsite, but we also loved the views from our campsite and were happy to hang out with each other and enjoy some time unplugged.

The hikes we went on were all around the state park our campsite was near in Dayton, TN. We were able to follow the trails pretty easily without help. They were will marked and pretty clear, although there were some fallen trees from recent storms. But hey, we love a challenge. If you love maps, here’s a link to AllTrails, if you don’t already have it, definitely get the app! It’s the best app to find hikes wherever you are and it’ll give you all the information you need to know before you head out for your adventure.

Tips for camping with a new puppy:

Honestly, I’m convinced we have the best puppy! She was so well behaved on her first camping trip and she was super hyped about how many sticks there were available for her to chew on. We brought a recall leash and tied it to a tree so she had the ability to roam around our campsite, but wouldn’t run too far off. She knows her name now, but still isn’t completely committed to coming to us when we call her, so this was for her safety!

We knew she wouldn’t be able to keep up on our hikes yet, so we brought along multiple backpacks for her to enjoy. We tuck a cozy blanket inside and she falls right asleep.

We also brought her kennel and had it set up in our car, so she could take naps in it if she was sleepy and not comfy outside. We brought a travel food container from Chewy to store and pack her dog food for her meals. It was the easiest and most compact way to bring her food along on our trip. For the car ride, we made sure to have a blanket on the backseat for Finley, and we also got her this seatbelt. It hooks onto her harness and keeps her safe during trips in the car. As you may have seen on her TikTok, she falls in the car a lot.

Our puppy has been sleeping through the night already, and she had no issues falling asleep at our campsite. She loved spending time with us outside of our home and getting to explore. Finley is quite the little adventurer and we are so happy about it! We can't wait for our next adventure and we are open to suggestions, where should we go next?

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