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tent bound with kids
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larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
tent bound with kids on 10/24/2011 18:20:17 MDT Print View

I have been storm bound with fellow backpackers and climbers in all the mountain ranges of the west. I've seen and smelled things that make grown men weak in the knees and make promises to adopt clean living and careful grooming after just 24 hours but I never have struggled more than an evening tent bound with 2 ten year old girls in the rain.
Last Saturday we hauled up to Lake Wenatchee State Park for a end of the season car camping trip, light rain became heavier about the time darkness hit so into the tent we went at 6 pm... at 8:15 I just lied to them and told them it was an hour later and escaped to my one man refuge pitched along side their palace where eventually peace occured.
I hadn't planned for this and if we had been backpacking there would have been one less tent and I'd be asking for recommended medication doses instead of ideas for being tent bound with kids.
Spring is just around the corner, hit me with some ideas please!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Tent bound with kids on 10/24/2011 18:44:17 MDT Print View

Mostly when I've been out with kids we've had short rainstorms that didn't last too long or we just stayout out in the rain and didn't worry about it. In your area it may be colder rain and longer rain so you'll have to work harder than I normally do to make this fun.
I wonder could you have a new book, or Iphone game, or Ipod song you could have hidden away to pull out as a surprise when they get tentbound?
Another idea would be to set up a tarp outside the tent as a place to eat, hang out and in general have some elbow room. An extra change of clothes might be worth it to so you can just get wet and warm up later.

adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
cards.... on 10/25/2011 08:04:47 MDT Print View

I have been able to find miniture card games at dollar stores that weigh very little. These are great to pass the time. Most full size card decks aren't that much of a weight penalty, but as you've now experienced , you would carry five pounds for your sanity! Also board games are easy and fairly light. Pack the board against your back and put the game pieces in a ziploc bag. Works great for me!

As I previously discussed on another thread, now that you've had this experience, how would you have like to have been in this same situation in a floorless tarplike shelter?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: tent bound with kids on 10/25/2011 08:47:33 MDT Print View

Hence why my oldest started carrying a game system when he was 6 or 7. It was only for camp use. First it was a Gameboy and then a Nintendo DSLite.

Saved my sanity on long nights while I read.

Maybe you all are into singing Kumb-ya and whatever, I ain't ;-)

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
thanks for the ideas on 10/25/2011 09:38:53 MDT Print View

Yeah I got a big picture of me singing...can't keep lying to them when the sun goes down and telling them it is 10 PM though.
First trip out I'll haul some cards and game stuff and try to whittle it down from there.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: thanks for the ideas on 10/25/2011 10:38:45 MDT Print View

This is where an iPad 2 can really shine. Might want to bring along a battery pack as well, depends.

Anyway, you can play Monopoly with it, Carcassonne with it, and any other manner of board games with it. You can take pictures of each other and then make silly faces out of the pictures with it (and even save them for emailing to Mom later). You can sing karaoke with it. You can draw and paint. Really, about limitless what you can do with this thing, dozens of games (hundreds, thousands, really), activities, just plain fun for kids of all ages for an extra pound and a half. And the battery would last at least until they were exhausted for one night.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: thanks for the ideas on 10/25/2011 10:46:29 MDT Print View

And a big bottle of booze for the parent to pass out with ;-)

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
this is where the lantern is king! on 10/25/2011 15:45:53 MDT Print View

Situations like that call for a lantern, deck of cards, snack food and open season on funny jokes.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Yahtzee on 10/26/2011 21:14:46 MDT Print View

My son and I've had quite a few Yahtzee marathons. He's also *required* to bring a reading book.

Pete Anderson
(hosaphone) - F

Locale: Boston-ish, MA
Tarp on 10/26/2011 21:16:30 MDT Print View

A tarp seems like a good idea to me. If you're car camping you could pick up a big blue hardware store one. If backpacking you can pick up a cheap 8x10 silnylon for like ~$50 tops and it weighs less than 1 pound. And you could even leave your 1-man shelter at home if you brought the tarp...

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Tentbound and by the campfire - kid's questions on 12/13/2011 11:35:51 MST Print View

I do a fair amount of car camping with my kids as well as backpacking. The one thing I never leave w/o is a couple decks (when car camping, 1 if backpacking) of "Kid's Questions". Even if we're not stuck in the tent we'll sit by the campfire with me reading question after question and them taking turns answering. It makes for great conversation, although after an hour or two I'm done. Stuff like "what super power would you have and why?". There's a brand called "Table Topics" that has kid-specific series, my wife buys them for me at a local gift store, I'm sure they can be found quickly via Google. Another good series is "Would you rather?" My kids, 7 and 12, can't get enough of them when we're camping.

Of course I've also successfully found that a small bottle of "daddy's medicine" (vodka) dulls the joy of hours upon hours of QT with the kids.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Cabin bound is better than Tent bound on 12/13/2011 13:07:28 MST Print View

We BP a fair bit with our 7 + 11 year olds. Unlike my childhood trips in CA, there's no predicting summer weather in AK, so we often reserve a USFS cabin (12x12 with bunks, wood stove, outhouse, often a boat on the lake, etc). The State Parks and National WIldlife Refuge also have cabins to reserve - $25 to $45/night. Nicest ones we've used were in Haleakala NP on Maui ($75/night, but have wood stove with wood, cook stove with fuel, pots, utensils, and sleeping pads). Oh, wait, "huts" in New Zealand were even better - they offered laundry options. In Alaska, it really helps extend the season into 10-20F weather and is SO much better in the rain.

But, regardless: They're both avid readers so it is a given that 1-2 books (or ebooks) are along for each. We try to minimize electronics at home and during travel, but a rainy camping trip would be an exception and a fully charged iTouch is pretty light and lasts a while.

Card games, of course. Yahtzee is very compact (5 dice and copy the score sheets at 50-60% magnification). Play hangman for pretzels or M&Ms. Each kid has been thrilled to try his hand at carving a spoon or fork (with close supervision and safety lectures) there's an hour right there. One-match fire bulding contests.

Spreading a tarp 7-8' off the ground so people can have an outside place to stand up, stretch their legs and look around really helps the mental health. Pitch one up in the view direction.

Standing-room cabin tents are hardly SUL, but I've brought them on family trips (albeit more often on the canoeing than the BP trips) - not being bunched over all the time helps a lot whether that's a higher tent or a tarp outside the tent.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
tarp bound with kids on 12/13/2011 13:24:40 MST Print View

Geez, my kids just want to take their clothes off, run around like mad people and throw rocks into a creek for hours.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Cabin bound is better than tent bound on 12/13/2011 13:26:29 MST Print View

I like the cabin idea. I know in some areas you can also rent out old fire lookouts, that sounds like fun.
Space is nice in bad weather so a larger tarp is a good idea. With kids we've done a variety of things hanging out under tarps. Wood carving is one. We got the boys (not mine I don't have any) carving spoons, letter openers etc. A couple carving knives aren't heavy. Books of course. Magnesium fire startes and a lot of cotton balls to light on fire are fun for kids with that bit of inner pyro.
Whats that game were teams take turns trying to guess random words diplayed in a little handheld gadget? I forgot the name but it was a hilarious game.

This summer we couldn't have fires due to dry weather. We got stirrno stoves and let the kids cook marshmellows over those. Could work under a big tarp too.

Edited by Cameron on 12/13/2011 13:29:39 MST.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
car camping on 12/13/2011 13:43:20 MST Print View

As a kid, when car camping in the rain, my mom put us in raincoats and galoshes and shooed us outside. We weren't going to melt. Just make sure towels and dry clothes are available. Hot drinks are also nice. If fires are allowed, hanging underneath the dinopy and dashing out to keep the fire going and cook and make an unending stream of food on a stick is also good. I seem to recall a lot of Uno and go fish.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: tent bound with kids on 12/13/2011 14:37:40 MST Print View


Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/29/2012 12:54:54 MST.

Erin McKittrick
(mckittre) - MLife

Locale: Seldovia, Alaska
re: tent bound with kids on 12/13/2011 14:41:20 MST Print View

It's somewhat easier with my younger ones (that still love to play with sticks). But then harder because they climb all over me and destroy everything.

What would you do if you were tent bound with other adults? And perhaps if they drive you nuts enough, it's worth taking a solo walk in the rain for awhile?

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: re: tent bound with kids on 12/13/2011 15:05:12 MST Print View

I'd want one of those armed dogs.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: tarp bound with kids on 12/13/2011 15:17:04 MST Print View

"Geez, my kids just want to take their clothes off, run around like mad people and throw rocks into a creek for hours."

Sounds like a good way to spend the weekend to me!

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Re: tarp bound with kids on 12/16/2011 11:53:16 MST Print View

" "Geez, my kids just want to take their clothes off, run around like mad people and throw rocks into a creek for hours."

Sounds like a good way to spend the weekend to me!"

last camping trip the kids and myself did throw ricks into a lake for hours....

My oldest is the best camper ever. She spills everything at home, but when camping somehow doesn't. She puts up with cold, dirty, wet, whatever and happily goes to bed a little after dark. She even wakes up in a good mood.

My youngest however whines about everything, spills almost everything, doesn't sleep well, wakes up mad, is constantly hungry, etc.etc.etc.

I am hoping in another year or two my youngest will get into it. until then i just appreciate the fact that i am outdoors with the girls.