Camping with a dog: free, but on a leash

December, 10 2018

Dog owners love bringing their faithful four-legged friend on holiday. Fresh air, a new environment to discover and lots of space to play and run. Dogs need a holiday every now and then, too. And with an easy-to-make zip line you and your dog will have the best time ever!

Of course you want your dog to be able to have as much freedom of movement as possible when staying at a campsite. But because you don’t want to bother other people and because there are often rules on campsites, you will need a leash. Unfortunately a leash can limit freedom of movement, and it is not a nice sight when your dog’s head is pulled back when he or she pulls on the leash. A zip line is a great solution to both these problems.

Freedom and security

Pet-Friendly Travel

Image used with permission of:

A zip line is the ideal combination between freedom and security. Really a lot more convenient than attaching your dog to a tree with a leash or rope, which firstly still allows the dog to get to many places it shouldn’t, and secondly often gets tangled which in turn leads to the dog getting stuck. With a zip line, you never need to spend time untangling your dog and it is much easier to establish exactly where the dog can and cannot go.

Here’s how it works

A zip line consists of a rope that is stretched between two trees, poles or other solid objects. Preferably choose a rope that has a bit of stretch to it so that it can absorb the movement when your dog decides to suddenly pull on it or jump wildly from side to side. But you can also make a zip line with materials you already have with you on holiday, like a clothesline or guy rope. When you have set up your line, put your dog in a harness, and attach the harness to the zip line with a short leash or strap and a carabiner.

Note: never attach the rope to the dog’s collar, but always to a harness. Otherwise the dog may suffocate.

Size does matter

So how do you decide how long the zip line should be? Of course, that depends on the distance between the two objects you attach the rope to. As you can see in the picture above, the rope is stretched around a middle tree (the left tree is just visible, the right tree is not in the picture). This gives both dogs their own space to move.

The rope in the picture is somewhere between fifteen and twenty metres long. Of course you can wrap the rope around a tree a few times to shorten it. This allows you to use a zip line in other public places, for example in a park or a forest. But it also depends on the thickness of the trees or objects around which you draw your zip line.

On a holiday with your dog

More tips

When you take your dog with you on holiday, it’s important to choose a dog-friendly campsite. But if your faithful four-legged friend will not be accompanying you, you will have to find another solution while you are away. Nowadays, you not only have the choice of a kennel or boarding house, you can also entrust your dog to a dogsitter who comes to your home. Here are some tips to make sure everything runs smoothly:

  • Give the sitter clear instructions
  • Make sure that the sitter has the correct address details (veterinary surgeon and holiday address)
  • Make sure your pet is registered and chipped (if applicable)
  • If your pet is on a special diet, make sure you have enough food
  • Don’t forget to provide the sitter with the pet passport and vaccination booklet.
  • Make sure your pet has had the correct vaccinations (mandatory at boarding homes).

With these tips and this checklist you can go on holiday with peace of mind. Do you have any good tips for fellow campers with dogs? Then share them below. We would love to hear them!

  • Author: Jeroen Timmermans
  • From Calais to Cannes, and from Nantes to Nancy: I have definitely done my fair share of exploring in France. With my parents and my brother, I spent weeks at the most beautiful campsites in a trailer tent. Then we travelled around the rest of Europe in a motorhome. Now I love cultural city breaks with my wife. And I particularly love funiculars and cable cars.


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