First Camping Trip…Buy Me a Tent!


I am a natural planner. I don’t just pack up things last minute and go. I can’t. I am not designed that way. And naturally, I have a dog who has a similar personality. Don’t shock us with new experiences. Let us take our time to ease into it. But when we are ready, we will jump in joy!

I was interested in camping for months before I actually made plans to try this new experience with Xena. First, we tried glamping for a couple of nights. It didn’t turn me off from the camping idea so that was good. If anything, it made me more curious. So the next in the plan was to try car camping for overnight. It’s one night, I thought we can handle one night even if all goes south.

I drove up to Big Bear Lake to meet our adventure buddies (Jen, Jack, and River) at the Serrano Campground. Jen, who has camped all her life, picked this campground because she thought I would be more comfortable at an established campground. She is thoughtful like that. I was happy with the flush toilets. I won’t lie. Jen came early and set up the place before we arrived. She even lent me a tent to try in case we don’t like camping. No need to buy gear if I am not going to use them again, right? Love her!


We set up the tent together then walked the pups to the lake for a stroll before dinner. They found a dead fish and rolled in it at the lake. Eww

We don’t stink like dead fish… no more

Xena and I watched and learned. We absorbed every detail of the new experience with curious minds. To my surprise, Xena had no problem sleeping in a tent. She slept through the night for 9 hours! She doesn’t even do that at home! She wakes up a couple of times at night to scratch her back on the carpet. None of that nonsense! After breakfast, she went and sat in front of the tent waiting for me to open it so she can go back inside. Say what?! I was shocked and thrilled! Omg, she loves camping!! That made me love camping instantly!

Can we hurry and eat?  I need to go back to the tent
Playtime after breakfast

Time to get a tent. We are now ready to take it to the next level. I foresee an extended camping trip. 🙂

Dusty and dirty but I don’t care! 🙂

Do you have an adventure buddy? How do you help each other on adventures?


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30 comments on “First Camping Trip…Buy Me a Tent!”

  1. Well done! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Camping with dogs is so much fun! My dogs also sleep through the night in a tent which they never do when we’re at home! 🙂
    Many happy camping adventures to you and Xena!

  2. This is wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoy camping! We absolutely love camping and adventuring with you and Xena!

  3. We went camping with my sister’s dogs about this time last year. It was a good experience despite discovering her dogs were actually fraidy cats and begged to go home while trying to herd us closer to the fire all night. My sister’s shepherd-lab mix was the worst. Her lab just slept anywhere and collected ticks. Glad you’re buying a tent. Maybe you could do a review when you find the right one for you. I’ve been looking for a new tent for our travels.

    1. That’s a good idea about the tent! Too bad about your sister’s dogs not enjoying it. Xena’s scared at night too. But she was fine in the tent. We didn’t sleep much at all on our glamping trip so that was a real shocker. We are doing more primitive camping next time so we will see. 😄🐶🏕

      1. When we went camping we picked a local State Park. It was crowded and I think that was part of the problem. I prefer primitive camping. You’d be surprised how much nicer these places are.

  4. My dogs are the same way with tents: as soon as it’s up, they want in. I’m glad you had a good first camping trip. I don’t know if it’s just the angle but that site looks MASSIVE. I can’t wait to hear how your next camping trip goes.

    1. It was a big campground. As a first timer, it was great! However, I just came back from my second camping trip and we stayed at a small primitive campground this time and loved it so much!!

  5. I miss camping in California! We once tried to camp without reservations at Malibu State Park to be second in line on the wait list and ! Well, we didn’t have reservations anywhere else (it was a very last minute decision), really just continued to drive down the coastline and decided to bum it out at KOA San Diego and also hang out in San Diego for a day trip (yeah a bit far from Malibu!). Talk about a last minute trip! We actually had a lot of fun! KOAs are great, but to me it just wasn’t real camping to have someone bring you firewood on a golf cart directly to your campsite. We can and have definitely roughed it out much more! Carol and Carmella, Pawtivity

  6. Hi! I am looking to start camping/backpacking/hiking with my dog and have already tried camping at Serrano once when he was younger. He loved it!

    I see a lot of your pictures at campgrounds and hikes have you dogs off leash. Where a lot of the campsite rules and hiking areas say that the dogs have to be leashed. How do you reconcile having them off leash? Have you ever gotten a ticket? I am more worried about getting in trouble than my dog getting into trouble. He loves to stick by me and never leaves my site. So really curious about how your experiences have gone!

    1. Hello! I am exciting for you guys! Yes there are leash rules at campgrounds especially when you are going to established ones. So far, we’ve been lucky with off-leash thing. First, I make sure Xena doesn’t leave our campsite and wander freely and be mindful of other campers walking by. Serrano is nice but the sites are too close together for my liking. After that, we camped at primitive campgrounds for more space and less people/dogs. We’ve been lucky with the neighbors and rangers that they were dog lovers and didn’t mind so much as long as Xena stayed at my campsite with me. When I was setting up the camp, I kept her in the car since I can’t watch her the whole time. My experience has been very pleasant! It will be depending on each campground and your future camp neighbors. I hope yours is as pleasant as ours!

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