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#108720 - 01/03/09 06:21 PM Winter Camping Trip with kids
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Every year I take a winter camping trip with friends up to the North Shore of Lake Superior. Of course my kids, who love to backpack, have been clamoring to go winter camping with Dad, so this past Friday-Saturday I took them. The weather was perfect with highs in the teens and a low of -1F. The snow base was around 10" of puffy white powder. We put everything on two sleds, one of which I pulled and one of which my 11 year old son pulled, and headed out at a state park on snow shoes. After getting to our campsite, we set up the tent and unrolled pads and sleeping bags. The kids each got two bags, one inside the other, because I don't have winter bags for them. When it got dark we crawled in and stayed there until the sun came up around 13 hours later. Needless to say the kids were restive from being cooped up so long but did fine once they were out of the tent.

Food included Cranberry Chicken and rice, Ramen Soup cups, bacon and eggs, bagels, hot cocoa, cheese, salami, and lots of chocolate! Toe wamers and hand warmers were used in abundance and are a very necessary part of taking kids winter camping IMHO.

On Saturday we hauled the sleds out with skis and spent several hours cross country skiing before heading home. All in all it was a great trip. My daughter has decided that she does not want to go winter camping because "it is too cold" and my son want to go again "as long as I have lots of hand warmers" smile

Hope you all get to enjoy similar joys with your kids.
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#111323 - 02/15/09 01:26 PM Re: Winter Camping Trip with kids [Re: thecook]
Waffle Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 11
Loc: North Idaho
My wife and I have been wanting to go snowshoe camping all winter, but we're a little worried about packing our two year old with us. She goes backpacking with us in the summer. Audrey packs her in a child carrier, and I load up my pack to over capacity with all our stuff.

I'm worried that she's too young to tell us if she's cold or needs anything. Anyone ever brought their really young kids with them on winter trips?
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#111331 - 02/15/09 05:10 PM Re: Winter Camping Trip with kids [Re: Waffle]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I took my son for the first time when he was 7 because I did not think he was capable of dealing with the conditions and especially keeping he clothes dry. We still went through multiple pairs of mittens, two jackets, and two pairs of snowpants.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#112071 - 02/28/09 03:43 PM Re: Winter Camping Trip with kids [Re: Waffle]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Waffle,

If your wife carries the baby you would need to carry gear for three. If there is a "situation" you would have a kid too young to fend for themselves or even tell you they are too cold. Maybe car camping the first time would be better. You can then make as many trips to the car as you need for warm gear. Would your child sleep in a sleeping bag with an adult? If he didn't, how would you keep him in a sleeping bag? Sleeping in a hooded sleeping bag is not for someone who could suffocate. I think maybe a NO, in the interest of the babies safety.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#112160 - 03/02/09 12:09 PM Re: Winter Camping Trip with kids [Re: Jimshaw]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Maybe not below 0F with kids, unless you're already doing it.

Of course hiking and camping outdoors is the most natural thing for humans to do at any age, any time of the year. But we have to take extra steps and precautions with children when it is no longer part of our culture. At my daughters elementary school they have 'indoor play' when its colder that 20F or so, which is rediculous, because we get that alot, but if they send them outside parents complain. We are teaching our kids to avoid the outdoors. Its insane. Kids still play in the snow, but not like they used to. Now its one or two hours tops. We used to come in soaking wet, be given a bowl of hot soup and sandwhiches while our clothing dried, then got kicked back outside again. Below 0F does get crazy though. If you live somewhere where you get that all the time, then you adapt and deal with it, but if you don't get it that often. I guess no matter where you live it makes sense to avoid the very worst, which might be normal everyday living some place else. The essential thing is that kids should be outside all day alot more than they are, but perhaps not at 0F. I've taken my daughter on day-hikes in 0F, but I wouldn't do -20F. We haven't overnight camped in winter yet except in the backyard. We should, but its a constant struggle against this modern world we live in.

It takes a village to spoil a child.

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#113540 - 03/30/09 07:07 PM Re: Winter Camping Trip with kids [Re: Jimshaw]
Waffle Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 11
Loc: North Idaho
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Waffle,

If your wife carries the baby you would need to carry gear for three. If there is a "situation" you would have a kid too young to fend for themselves or even tell you they are too cold. Maybe car camping the first time would be better. You can then make as many trips to the car as you need for warm gear. Would your child sleep in a sleeping bag with an adult? If he didn't, how would you keep him in a sleeping bag? Sleeping in a hooded sleeping bag is not for someone who could suffocate. I think maybe a NO, in the interest of the babies safety.


Very good point. I was just curious if anyone had brought young children on winter trips, and we never did do any winter camping with her. I will be getting a babysitter if we do decide to do any winter trips next year. She loves summer trips, and she has been car camping as well as packed in on overnight hiking trips. She's only two, but she loves camping. She's been telling us she wants to go camping all winter. We just tell her it's too cold, and we have to wait till summer.
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