I have a TarpTent Rainshadow 2 which I really like (Thanks OM!).
The trouble is that it is a little tight with me and the 3 kids in it, and now the youngest intends to join us.
My question is if I can reasonably fit a 6 year old kid in the ProTrail with me, and leave the 3 oldest in the Rainshadow 2?
I've got a 25 inch airmatress, and I was going to tuck his 20 inch pad under my mattress and have him cuddle up with me for a while until he decided that sleeping with the big kids made more sense.
The advantage of this solution is that I get a 26 oz tent to tote around while solo backpacking with scouts compared to a 34 oz Squall or a 36 oz MoTrail.
The disadvantage is that it'll be hard to share with older kids, and push us into using the Rainshadow 2 when only two of us go.
My other concern is fitting the tent into my next pack, which I intend to be smaller and lighter than my monster Kelty SuperTioga pack, which is the largest driver of my pack weight. So getting the length of the tent down when packed is another concern.
As the kids get older, you will appreciate two tents- an "adult" tent and a "kids" tent. As you get older the kids will appreciate being farther away from Dad, who now snores loudly!
Neither tent is really heavy. As the kids get older and there are just two of you on a trip, the kid can take more gear so you do not need to be the pack horse anymore. It will all happen quicker than you think. Get the smaller lighter pack, but keep the larger one for those few occasions you will need it. There is no one pack or one tent that is optimum for all possibilities.
I am a proponent of having the kids carry what they are capable of as soon as possible. I always wonder when I pass a family with the parents loaded down, huffing and puffing at the back, and the kids, with very little on their backs, running down the trail ahead, and "bored" because the old folks are too slow.
Thanks Wandering Daisy. That's really good perspective.
My kids are carrying gear already, and the lightweight bags we bought for backpacking are serving well as carryons as we have adventures around the rim of the Middle East. I'm going to need another kids' pack soon (for the oldest) and a sleeping bag for the youngest. I'm tempted to sew a brick in my oldest son's pack to slow him down a bit.
We'll be in Misawa, Japan in about a year, so I'll probably buy the tent as that gets closer, and spread the rest of the stuff out over the year as well. Lightweight tents won't do well out here in Bahrain on the rock and in the blowing sand.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'm tempted to sew a brick in my oldest son's pack to slow him down a bit.
Something we've all been tempted to do as the kids get older. Maybe 2 or 3 bricks! Of course as they get capable of carrying more, Mom and Dad get to carry less, which also helps a bit. Of course as the kids get older, they require more food! Last backpack I took my teenage grandson on, he carried all his own gear, all his own food, and part of the shared gear. Next time we go together, he'll get to do most of the driving to and from the trailhead, too!
Edited by OregonMouse (05/18/1606:25 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey