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Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm?
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Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm? on 07/29/2013 08:56:27 MDT Print View

Ok, when weather permits and everyone is out and under the starts this conversation is moot. But 9/10 times I bring a shelter for myself and the kiddos. Its great and I'm including even little ones in short trips and they are eating it up! That being said, I now find myself wanting a giant shelter for all of us to hang out, play cards, sleep and chat together.

I also worry (I know it's not really warranted out there) that in the back country, sleeping in separate shelters is a bad idea for the kiddos. (11,10,8) . Yes, I can set mine up right outside their door, etc... but then I'm not with em! And being with them is the majority reason I love it!

So at what point did all you seasoned trail vet parents have your kids shelter on their own? I think I might just bite the bullet and buy a huge mid but still....... I think I'm just being a bit of a hover parent... and jealously don't want to use several smaller shelters.........I like being with em!

Your .02c?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm? on 07/29/2013 09:07:20 MDT Print View

A Looonggg time ago...

My younger brother and I shared a tent with my parents until I was 14 or 15.
That what "going camping" meant - time together.

You said it twice -
"...being with them is the majority reason I love it! "
"...I like being with em!"

Have you asked them what they want to do?

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Greg on 07/29/2013 09:29:43 MDT Print View

They want to share a shelter........

So do I....

However, shelters for 8-10 people are somewhat preventative. I'm taking 6 of us through Zion NP in late October and doing 2 overnight camps on trail. I am leaning towards actually buying a silnylon Kifaru Tipi now after doing much research. I guess I can shed the hexamid, hammock, etc... from the solo times....... (I'd still have the tarp/bivy and a Duomid) I am leaning that way. But dropping $1400 bucks on a shelter is going to actually make me weep unmanly tears. Some of the funnest times are watching them wake up in cycles with the little ones buried in the foot of their bag.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Greg on 07/29/2013 09:36:47 MDT Print View

Someone was selling a shelter, sorry don't remember who but I know it's been mentioned on the forums somewhat recently, that you were able to expand to be larger by adding pieces. Might be something to check into if anyone knows what the heck I'm talking about.....

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Ed plus 8 on 07/29/2013 10:06:59 MDT Print View

I'm in awe at your fatherly backpacking prowess! That's a huge crew to gear up and look after. You guys must be quite a sight on the trail, absolutely awesome. $1400/8=$175 per person, you probably spend more than that on your shelter already!! Enjoy Ed, you have some lucky kids.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
RE Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm?" on 07/29/2013 10:24:36 MDT Print View

I only have two kids but can identify with your concerns.

I'm familiar with the modular shelter system Doug mentioned but I can't remember the name of it for the life of me.

While I would share it with another scout, I started sleeping in my own tent when I was in the 5th/6th grade.

I've had my eye on the Black Diamond Megalight for a while. A couple of these wouldn't hit your wallet so hard and may give you more options site selection wise than an uber mega tipi shelter.

Here's the BPL review of this four person mid. My understanding is this is a < 2lb shelter (not including stakes) if you use your trekking poles.

I'm definitely picking one up before next winter.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: RE Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm?" on 07/29/2013 10:32:43 MDT Print View

Here it is. Lil Bug Out shelter.

Herman E
(hre814) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Current setup? on 07/29/2013 21:03:06 MDT Print View

What shelters do you currently use? Just 3 kids? Photo looks like you have a few more.

I have 9,7,4,2 year olds. We have used a GL SL-5. I recently had it done by bear paw designs to put perimeter floor netting and net door, which will use with a ground cloth. Also have a MLD supermid with an aftermarket floor and netting. The SL5 fits the 6 of us. In 2 years we may go to 2 shelters. Probably a mid and my TT double rainbow 2. I understand wanting to be with them, and at some point you have too many bodies and have to split up. You can still play cards in one shelter and then they go sleep in another. Just getting out there in the wilderness with them is great, regardless of where we all sleep.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Thanks everyone on 07/30/2013 15:27:42 MDT Print View

And thank you Herman as well... Love to see such similar ages! And Alaska.... I dream of a trip up there! Mine are ages 12,10,8,6,4,2,4months.... Born in 01,03,05,07,09,11,13! Odd bunch we are! 4 gals, 3 fellas. I'm thinking the duomid/floorless for me, as a card tent all sitting up, then the hogback for them and one little one in with me... I'd love some huge pyramid like the Kifaru 12 with a wood stove but I'm in San Diego and it's never really cold on our weekenders.... and we (I) am not yet a good enough dad to romp with them in the Sierras...... We've done a bunch of desert Southwest, Catalina Island, PCT Section A, San Gorgonios / San Jacintos but I am dying to get them to the Sierras... soon! I'm thinking spring... I hope your clan has many wonderful trips! Let me know if you ever come to southern california!

Donnie Lacer
Re: Greg on 07/30/2013 17:47:52 MDT Print View


The wife, my daughter and I spent two nights in an 8-man Kifaru last fall close to Mt. Fuji. Although we had the stove going all night, it was not something I would want to stay in again. It was an 8-man but really only 4 people would be comfortable without the stove. However, it would probably be the lightest tent for it`s size on the market without the stove.

Nevertheless, I sold it.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Hogback on 07/30/2013 18:18:02 MDT Print View

Could you do a Tarptent Hogback and rig a light weight tarp between them? It seems pretty straight up and down at the doors, so a few stick on loops on the outside of each and a tarp between could work. Wouldn't be the best for bugs though.

65oz each + 5.3oz (7x9 Cuben Tarp) = 8.5#'s, still kind of heavy but you could split it up a bit. Cost would be ~$1,000.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Did some tinkering on 07/31/2013 07:16:14 MDT Print View

I did some tinkering with the hogback and a rainshadow at 90 degrees and it should work... Just not ideal. But what is ideal I guess? I think we are going to be set for now... Still hunting for something ideal for groups though.... but it's quite limiting with large tents and sometimes I get the feeling if we all share a mega shelter like the giant mids.... due to site selection also we'll be relegated to base camp stuff. Which we could do a lot of places ......... not knocking it but not what I'm looking for Ah well.

Keeping an open mind.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
family tent SOTM on 08/01/2013 14:57:44 MDT Print View

Didn't know if you had seen this article:

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm? on 08/07/2013 14:49:44 MDT Print View

Tents are for sleeping. You are being a hover parent. You are with them all day, let them have an hour before bed to be kids without the parents on top of them. It's not like you can't hear what's going on.
Get stuck in a rainstorm? You can still play games in seperate tents, like battleship.
Having their own shelter also teaches them to be more self reliant if you make them set it up themselves. Helps them feel more independant and makes the transition to camping without parents easier. Also helps them to get over their fears of the dark and scary noises.
Just my opinion of course, but I have a strong oversion to parents that don't let kids have their space and are over protective.
Good job on getting them out though, that's awesome!

Edited by stingray4540 on 08/07/2013 14:52:21 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Paranoia? Good parenting? Hmmm? on 08/07/2013 16:32:20 MDT Print View

11x11 pyramid?
Perhaps David might custom make larger if you think you need it.

FWIW, my 2 boys (6 & 15 now) sleep in their own tent when they go with me since I have nothing that would fit all 3 of us. They wiggle and move too much for me to get any sleep though so that's fine with me. If it's just one of the two, we share the shelter.

Brian Reyman

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thoughts on 08/18/2013 20:21:56 MDT Print View

It's great you're getting your kids out and love spending time with them. I'm a Scoutmaster and camp every month with the scouts and on most months with my family. Too many parents are happy shoeing their kids out the door and not looking back.

In terms of being ready, each kid is different. Most are plenty ready by 11, though, and many at an earlier age if they're with siblings. We've let our 4, 6, 8 and 10 year-old stay in a tent while my wife and I stayed in another. While I do greatly enjoy waking up next to them, I agree with a few other comments that letting them start to grow out on their own is a good thing. The more they can experience things on their own in a setting/place you have large influence over, the better.

Most 4-man tents - or something like the GoLite Shangri-la 5 - would give plenty of room for playing games/spending time together before bed. Then, you can retire to your own tent whenever needed. A bit of the best of both worlds - at least for my family.

NW Hiker
(king2005ify) - M
Hilleberg Altai UL on 08/19/2013 22:26:04 MDT Print View

Try the Hilleberg Altai UL - 9 lbs with all poles, sleeps 6 no problem and my kids and pups love it!