Our First Time (Camping at Porteau Cove)

We knew Lucy could sleep near us, but expecting her to sleep with us outside in a tent was a leap of faith. You can't have an adventure dog without having a dog who's down with tents, so we decided to break the ice with a close-by overnight - hello Porteau Cove.

Porteau Cove

The Porteau Cove park and campground is between Lion's Bay and Squamish, so a quick 45 minute trip from Vancouver. It's one of those places you always dismiss because it feels "too close" but banish that thought now, because it's a perfect weekend getaway - as long as you can get reservations.

The park is small, without any real trails, but there are beaches to walk and views to take in. If we'd left earlier, we would have done one of the Squamish hikes (like High Falls Creek) but instead we packed up late and got to the campsite in the early evening.

Porteau Cove at sunset

All of the sites at Porteau Cove are great, but some are greater than others. Pick one on the water-side of the road or path, and you'll have ocean-side views that rival 5 star hotels around the world. These campsites get booked up quickly, but don't be scared of the handful of 'walk-in' sites. We reserved #5 a week before, and the walk from the van was 200M tops - easy to do with coolers, bags and whatever else you need.

Porteau Cove Campsite

After setting up the tent, we wandered along the beach for a bit, before heading back for an ocean-side meal. Lucy behaved herself quite well, though consumed half her weight in sticks/bark (perils of all wooded areas with this one).

Dog-Friendly Camping

When it was time for bed, we took her into the tent and she promptly began to freak out. She ran in circles, pawed at the tent walls and whimpered, but when we lay down with her between us (with lots of pets and belly rubs) she settled down. We had to repeat that pattern every time I got up to use the bathroom, but she settled down quicker each time.

Learning how to camp

At around 2 am, some intrepid critters attempted to get into our cooler (rookie camping move) and Lucy was ready for a scrap. I ran the coolers and backpacks back to the car, mildly terrifying since the three raccoons were just as loud as Lucy inside the tent at unknown points outside it. But, by the time the dinner remnants were safely stored, the racoons were gone and Lucy had done her part keeping the campsite safe.

After a breakfast of camping champions ever (instant oatmeal and coffee), we packed up our stuff and headed back to the city - successfully transitioning to the next stage of our adventure dog life.