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Sarah M
Sarah M
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Carrot_blueborder

How cold is too cold for camping with kids?

We wanted to camp up in the White Mountain Area to see the foliage. However do to schedules we are looking later in the month of October. We think it might be too cold for our 5yr old and 1 yr old. Does anyone have any advice or gear that might make it possible? We are from Boston, so 60 degrees is still beautiful weather for us!

asked on September 26, 2010 14:23
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Carrot_grayborder

We have enjoyed camping with a 1 year old, but found that the temperature really mattered during the night time hours. We camped in the high Sierra in Yosemite National Park in August where the temp was a balmy 70 during the day and dipped down to freezing during the nights. We bundled our son in 2 layers of jammies, a sleeping bag, and several blankets and he still woke up crying in the night because his hands and ears and cheeks were so cold. I spent several stressful nights either worrying about my baby being cold, or having an extra bundle next to me in bed. Needless to say, I was pretty tired during that camping trip! The days were beautiful no matter the weather, but it was the nights that were very difficult.

In the recent "Family Fun" (Oct. '10) magazine, there was a great article about enjoying nature with camping fun activities, including renting a campsite for the use of the campfire at night, and then going home to sleep in cozy beds at night. That might be a fun solution! If you want to stay overnight, I'd suggest lots of warm jammies, a sleep sack, mittens, and a hat. Enjoy those beautiful fall colors!


on September 27, 2010 21:27
tmiller5
tmiller5
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We camped in western Nebraska when our kids were 5, 3, and 1. The days were in the 70s but the nights were in the low 50s to high 40s. Our two older children had no problem staying in the sleeping bag/under the covers. The youngest could not stay under the covers or in the sleeping bag to keep his extremities warm. He didn't or couldn't keep a hat on his head. Therefore, we brought him to bed with us so he would stay warm and get some sleep. As a result, it was pretty miserable time for him (before we brought him to our "bed") and us (after we brought him into our "bed"). After one night, we decided that it would be best to stay in a motel. The two older kids were disappointed but the whole family slept much better. Good luck and enjoy the fall colors.


on September 30, 2010 02:38
fani*fam
fani*fam
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Carrot_grayborder

We love camping and have taken our young son tent camping several times now. He is just turning 20 months. My husband and I are experienced cold weather campers (we love to camp in the snow!) but taking our son out in the extreme cold is not happening until he is very vocal about his needs. I worry about his warmth all the time and we've only been tent camping in the low 40s with precipitation. I never sleep well, since I'm always checking our son :)

But we have tons of fun and our son is SO happy out there. Our son has his own camping gear - which includes a zlite foam mattress (ground pad), an infant size sleeping bag by La Fuma (called snow patrol). We dress him in a one piece footed pj and then layer soft pants and a sweatshirt over that. He has a hat with velcro chin strap that he can wear to bed and mittens. He has soft slippers too. In addition to his sleeping bag we bring a nice (polyester) fleece blanket to layer on top of him in the sleeping bag. Layers and polyester are your best friends out there :)

Also, he gets plenty to eat, whenever he would like...it takes a lot of calories to stay warm overnight. House rules about food do not apply in cool weather tent camping. Eat high calorie meals and have high calorie snacks on hand. Cookies, candy bar, pb & js, mac n cheese : YUM!! Drink plenty of fluids and remember a nice cup of hot chocolate before bed is warmth and calories!

Also, if push comes to shove you can heat water and pour into a nalgene water bottle (they are leakproof!) and put the heat at the foot of the sleeping bag for those that need extra warmth. wrap it in clothing to prevent kiddies from getting burned.

Good Luck! Hope you have a great experience.


on September 30, 2010 09:53
AJ_Lundell
AJ_Lundell
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Carrot_grayborder

Great suggestions from Fani Fam- totally going to remember the hot water bottle for next time we camp! Just one suggestion to add: we layer the bottom of the tent with a rug and thick blankets for extra warmth. Especially helpful if your kid moves around a lot while sleeping.


on September 30, 2010 11:18
Sarah M
Sarah M
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Carrot_blueborder

Thank you all for the great tips! I think the best tip was waiting until he's able to tell use he's cold. Thankfully, we have a summer home about an hour from North Conway we can stay at. =)


on September 30, 2010 12:28
Carrot_grayborder

Wow! Such great suggestions. With our 1 year old, we've also omitted the sleeping bag and bundled him up in a winter snow suit with a fleece hat with strap that cover over his ears as well. He would never stay inside of a sleeping bag. In fact he's 4 now and he barely stays inside a sleeping bag when we camp.


on October 07, 2010 10:31

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