Camping with Giants
Camping is an amazing past time for many American families. When you have two giant breed dogs, camping can be even more of an adventure. Camping with Great Danes means more space, more food and higher graded equipment to keep them in our camping area. When it was all said and done, though, this was a wonderful first-time camping trip with our furry family (and no, we couldn’t resist getting a lion’s mane for Maximus).
Related article: Meet the Danes
The Perfect Tent
My parents invited us on all of their camping trips this year, so once a month we get to visit a new campground. We drove out to Bend, Oregon and stayed in Tumalo State Park for two nights. Caleb and I have quite a bit of camping knowledge between the both of us, but his skill set is way more advanced than mine. Growing up in the wild country of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will do that to a man.We did have to buy new equipment for this camping trip, however. Our cute, 2-person Ozark Trail tent was not going to cut it with our massive canines. Luckily Ozark Trail makes another perfect tent to accommodate our family, the 8-person yurt tent. It is the coolest tent I’ve ever owned! I love that it stands out from the crowd, it kind of resembles a circus tent (which is perfect for my crazy family), it was affordable (only $98!) and it’s incredibly roomy. Caleb woke up the first morning and looked up at the ceiling, “I feel like I should be going to war today.” It’s just perfect.
Location, location, location
When we pulled up to our campsite, I felt pretty proud of the location I chose. We were right near the bathrooms (great for my constant pregnant need of the toilet) and a water source was directly on our site (great for the dogs and washing up dishes). Also, we were directly across from my parents full hook up site, which was awesome when we needed to borrow the electricity to blow up our queen air mattress.
For the Great Dane equipment, the best purchases (besides the tent) were 20 ft leads and spiral metal stakes. Both pieces were tested up to 100lbs and cost about $13 per dog. Maximus is well above the weight limit at 140lbs, but he’s a gentle soul. Little Vixen might, but her 70lbs couldn’t rip that stake out of the ground, even if she wanted to. We brought their beds to sleep on. Great Danes should never sleep on hard ground or bare floor without some kind of cushion. Without padding, the hard ground is damaging for their joints. Also, we brought two huge bowls, their normal 2.5 gallon water carafe and a plastic container full of their dry food (honestly I barely squeezed by even with the container full to the brim).
A Brisk Night
The highlight of camping with Great Danes was definitely the second night. In the high desert of Bend, temperatures reached mid-80’s in the day and dropped to mid-50’s in the evening. Now, 50’s shouldn’t sound that cold, but in a tent on the ground, it felt chillier than normal. We all settled down for bed that evening, and you could tell it was going to be frigid. Maximus was easy to cater to for this; he settled down on his bed and we cocooned him in a heavy blanket. I swear he didn’t move an inch all night.
Vixen was another story. She was so cold that she kept coming up on the queen air mattress with Caleb and I. Now, I don’t blame her for wanting this, she was obviously freezing, but the space on that mattress was not enough for two adults and a 7 month old Great Dane. We kept kicking her off, trying to wrap her in extra blankets, coerce her into just laying by our feet….nothing worked. As you can imagine, little sleep was had that evening. So for the future, we will be bringing a small space heater to warm our furry tent mates.
All in all, extra precautions should be taken when camping with Great Danes. But as long as you make the space for them and make sure their warm enough, camping should be just as fun. Until next time!