Our First Pacific Northwest Camping Trip (And the One Thing I’m So Glad I Packed)

This post was created in collaboration with Carlson Pet Products, but all opinions are our own.

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When we moved away from NYC, one of the things I was most excited about was the opportunity to take the pups on more outdoor adventures. So this past weekend, we loaded the dogs and all our gear into the car and headed out on our first-ever PNW camping trip.

Spoiler: the dogs loved it.

There are so many great campgrounds around Seattle that it was hard to pick one for our first trip. We ended up choosing Deception Pass State Park, which is the area surrounding a stunning strait between two beautiful islands—Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous—beaches, lakes, cliffs, and islands everywhere. I knew the dogs would love the varied terrain and hiking trails.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Since it was the pups’ first time camping, we were a little nervous about packing everything they’d need for a safe and easy trip. I have to say the clear MVP of our adventure was definitely our new portable dog cot from Carlson Pet Products. It fits into a small travel case, but folds out into a large travel bed that Dave and Lizzie can share. We loved that it gave the dogs a comfy place to hang out in the middle of the action, while keeping them off the ground and out of the dirt. During our stay, we moved the cot next to the campfire in the evening and next to the picnic table during meals so the pups were never left out.

We also packed some snuggly vests to keep the dogs warm at night, travel dishes, poop bags, a first aid kit, and long leashes so they could roam around our campsite and explore.

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Deception Pass State Park has three different dog-friendly campgrounds, although all do require that pups be kept on leashes. We stayed at Quarry Pond Campground, which is just a quick five-minute drive to the beach. Campsites book up fast, so you’ll want to reserve a space online in advance. We loved that our campsite was quiet and private, even if the campground was at full capacity.

We spent a blissful two days making s’mores, taking the dogs to the beach, and exploring the trails near our campground. If you’re visiting the area, a trip to Cranberry Lake and West Beach is a must. Since it was one of the first warm weekends of the year, both were packed with picnickers, dogs, and kayakers. Dave got to dig on the beach (his favorite) and Lizzie spent an afternoon chasing waves.

We really couldn’t have asked for a better first camping trip in our new home. By the time we headed back to Seattle on Sunday, we were sandy, sunburned, and exhausted. Here’s hoping this is just the first of many PNW adventures for us. 🐾


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Deception Pass

Deception Pass

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Lizzie and Dave on their Carlson Dog Cot

Lizzie and Dave on their Carlson Dog Cot

West Beach

West Beach

Lizzie at West Beach

Lizzie at West Beach

Hanging out in the tent

Hanging out in the tent

Josh and Dave twinning in plaid

Josh and Dave twinning in plaid

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Cranberry Lake

Cranberry Lake

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