Tips for camping with young kids.

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
My first camping trip with Dad and his cop-buddies was what got me hooked. Peeing outdoors, snakes, M-16's, steak, and all the belching I could manage?
Fond memories; thanks, Dad.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
Mike, I am so sorry to hear about this. Would you mind sharing with us the virus that caused this so we can all prepare ourselves as best we can?
 

James86004

Expedition Leader
We took our daughter camping with us for the first time when she was 3 months old. We camped near town so it wouldn't be a big deal if we decided to pack up and come home in the middle of the night. We brought her pack and play as a cage.

The tent worked well for the first year and a half. Then one time, we were camping in the Chiracahuas. The weather forecast was for a weekend of sunshine and warm temperatures. There was not a cloud in the sky. The kind of weather you can get for 3 weeks in a row in Arizona. We set up camp. That night, the wind picked up, it started raining, and then the temperature dropped below freezing. Grace would not stay in the sleeping bag - she kept kicking it off. We were afraid she was going to freeze. So we were up all night keeping her warm, and absolutely miserable.

So we bought the littlest tent trailer we could find, and having been using it ever since. It has a heater. It is always packed, so we go camping way more often, and we go out now even if the weather is questionable.

Now we have the Dormobile, too, which has advantages and disadvantages, but it is still way better than a tent.
 

discodisco

Observer
Mike, I am so sorry to hear about this. Would you mind sharing with us the virus that caused this so we can all prepare ourselves as best we can?
Thank you for your thoughts. Problem with Mosquito borne viral encephalitis is that of 1000 or so mosquito borne illnesses the medical community has tests for 22... so I can tell you the 22 my son didn't have! unfortunately we will not ever know the exact name. Also, they told us that it still "might" have been west nile but thy're weren't enough markers to officially call it that and they did not want to risk mis-labeling it west nile as it tends to cause panic
As far as preparation, watch out for kids with flu like symptoms combined with a persistent headache if they're old enough to vocalize that. Also kids who have had recent boughts with other illness are especially susceptabile . So really cover them in anti-skeeter stuff. Personally we no longer believe in over kill and take the mosquiter-deleter by coleman to the woods with us it runs on a full size propane tank and is supposed to to keep a 1/2 acre mosquito free. WMD weapons on Mosquitoes is still allowed by the UN. Another issue with detection is that it effects everyone differently. A co-workers kid was bitten a year after mine and he had head-aches that lasted a week prior to diagnosis where-as my son went from 0-seizure in 10 seconds flat. The problem is it attacks different parts of the brain for each person. Sorry I know that every parent wants clear signs but there just aren't any.
Mike
 

VPirates64

New member
Figured I'd jump in on this thread with a question of my own if no one minds. My daughter just turned one and my wife and I decided to take her on her first camping trip. The problem we are running into is with sleeping arrangements. I figure I'm gonna have to buy a pretty large tent for the three of us. Problem is that my daughter moves around a lot in her sleep and so do I. I'm wondering what kind of sleeping arrangements other people have used that have worked out. One idea I have is to just get a two room tent. Another idea I have is a small tent like portable bed. It's called a Peapod, made by KidCo. Does anyone have any experience with this product or something similar?
 

shogun

Adventurer
Thank you for your thoughts. Problem with Mosquito borne viral encephalitis is that of 1000 or so mosquito borne illnesses the medical community has tests for 22... so I can tell you the 22 my son didn't have! unfortunately we will not ever know the exact name. Also, they told us that it still "might" have been west nile but thy're weren't enough markers to officially call it that and they did not want to risk mis-labeling it west nile as it tends to cause panic
As far as preparation, watch out for kids with flu like symptoms combined with a persistent headache if they're old enough to vocalize that. Also kids who have had recent boughts with other illness are especially susceptabile . So really cover them in anti-skeeter stuff. Personally we no longer believe in over kill and take the mosquiter-deleter by coleman to the woods with us it runs on a full size propane tank and is supposed to to keep a 1/2 acre mosquito free. WMD weapons on Mosquitoes is still allowed by the UN. Another issue with detection is that it effects everyone differently. A co-workers kid was bitten a year after mine and he had head-aches that lasted a week prior to diagnosis where-as my son went from 0-seizure in 10 seconds flat. The problem is it attacks different parts of the brain for each person. Sorry I know that every parent wants clear signs but there just aren't any.
Mike
A friend in Tucson took his family to the "dunes" in SoCal (where ever that is, glamis?) for a weekend. His son (4yrs) felt sick on the way home, flu, fever, nausea etc). They figured food or something. Condition deteriorated over next few days, doctors unable to diagnose. Eventually coma and medevac to PHX where they diagnosed some sort of virus that is very rare. Weeks of waiting and eventually turned around. Brain damage, complete physical inablity, had to relearn walking etc. Slowly recovering two years later, probably not fully. I dont know the origins. Dont know the lesson here, except hope the medical staff can diagnose.

Not to be alarmist, I still take my kids camping, but info transfer is important.
 

Brian McVickers

Administrator
Staff member
Figured I'd jump in on this thread with a question of my own if no one minds. My daughter just turned one and my wife and I decided to take her on her first camping trip. The problem we are running into is with sleeping arrangements. I figure I'm gonna have to buy a pretty large tent for the three of us. Problem is that my daughter moves around a lot in her sleep and so do I. I'm wondering what kind of sleeping arrangements other people have used that have worked out. One idea I have is to just get a two room tent. Another idea I have is a small tent like portable bed. It's called a Peapod, made by KidCo. Does anyone have any experience with this product or something similar?
One idea is to get your daughter a small bassinet and get yourself a mummy bag to keep yourself contained. One think to remember with Large tents is that they can be cold and stay cold in cold weather. A six man tent with two people in it will not warm up the same as if it had six people contributing their body and exhaled heat. Same goes for the height of the tent not just the footprint size. It all depends where you will be camping and when.

Then again I am currently sleeping the four of us, me 6', wife 6', daughter 4 and 37lb, son 2.5 and 37lb, all in a Maggiolina Airland RTT --- size Small intended for two adults.
 

RgrBox

Adventurer
Firstly, Mike so sorry to hear of your lose.. man that just kills me inside.. so sorry.

I've been camping for many years, and we try to take the kids with us when we can. We were in the UK traveling around several years ago, and camped when we could. The kids loved it, but the weather wasn't always great.. When we are in the States we go with my parents camping, and again the kids love it.. we have them bring what the need. Toys, books etc.. because we travel with them often, they are used to using their back packs, and carrying kit with them. My wife uses the train to travel up to Germany with them so they are use to it.. We will be camping out this Summer for two weeks. But on a camp ground. Now European Camp grounds aren't like US ones. Here they are cramped often, and load. I remember going with friends to camp grounds in the States and they were always very nice.. with lots of space.. I was probably the only guy in the Army who would go 2 months in the field, then come home and bring the wife camping.. I just love being outdoors. Anyway, back to bringing the kids.. I think that because kids adapt so well to everything, that I would just go for it, and they will like it.. You have good weather, and they can play outside like they do at home.. I have a friend who has a portable fence he would carry and put it up so the kids when they were small would stay inside and play.. He even though about getting a bigger one to put around his camp so he could bring his family dog..

RB
 

troy

Adventurer
Mike, sorry for your loss. Also, thank you for posting. I will definately take additional precautions for the skeets.

Troy
 

bob91yj

Resident **************
Our first grandson (Gage) just turned one year old last weekend.

I managed to get my daughter and her husband to go trailer camping (primitive campground) last summer. It's just not their thing.

My wife and I are looking forward to taking him camping with us in the near future. I'm determined to give him the chance to enjoy the great outdoors. Being new to the whole idea, this thread, and a couple of others is great info for me. Keep the experiences coming. I've got a steep learning curve here.

One rule I've already decided on...no electronic toys in grandpa's truck or Jeep! I'll make sure that whatever the seating arrangement is he has a decent sight line to watch the surroundings.
 

BIGdaddy

Expedition Leader
I've got three kids, and honestly I have to disagree with some of these posts.

My kids do not play video games, but they LOOOOVE disney movies.

They also LOOOVE imaginitive play, the outdoors, riding bikes, etc.

I do not see a reason why the outdoors and the other (electronic or otherwise) things they love have to be mutually exclusive.

If I take them for a hike, bring them back to the tent for a snack and part of a disney movie before naptime, and then have them working on crafts for 2 hours after nap before dinner time, I see absolutely no problem with it.

They're kids. Let them have fun. If music or a movie during a rainstorm or before bed is fun for my kids, they'll certainly be able to enjoy them on a camping trip. If you've got a teenager, why not listen to some music with them on their ipod and ask them what they like about it. Maybe take EXTRA time to invest in what they find important.

I work with kids A LOT, in the jr. high and high school age, and its amazing the response you get from them when you take them seriously and listen to whats going on with them.

Seems like a lot of you are taking camping VEERRRY seriously with your hard and fast rules. I mean, who would want to go camping with a dictator? I certainly wouldn't choose to do a trail ride with a person like that...

To the OP, I think its all about compromise. I think you'll make the right decisions since you care enough to post about it here. Good luck!
 
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