Kids Outdoors

All of my children enjoy the outdoors in one way or another. All of them enjoy camping but a few of them are fair weather campers. Some of them are interested in winter camping and that’s the subject of todays post.

My youngest son and daughter have been interested in colder weather camping but have never owned a proper sleeping bag or pad, so I decided to remedy that.

I ordered Big Agnus Duster sleeping bags and REI Co-op Kindercamp sleeping pads for them. This combo should be good down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and should last them for awhile.

Once we received them we decided to get out and give them a test run. We ended up with a warm spell so it only got down the 40 degrees the night we tested them. I love the fact that the sleeping bag has a pocket for the pad so that the kids won’t be rolling off the pad at night. This is huge in my opinion. It means they won’t be waking up cold at night and that they’ll be less likely to be rolling all over at night.

When testing any new products I always test at home first. That way if there’s any issues it won’t put anyone in serious danger. This is extra important with kids. We ended up with high winds that night and my son decided he didn’t like the wind so he was able to walk to the house and sleep inside. My daughter and I decided to stay put and enjoy the evening.

The next morning when we woke up I asked her how she slept and if she liked her new pad and bag. She said she was plenty warm all night, which I figured since it only got down to 40 degrees. We slept under my waxed canvas tarp with the front open.

I count this as a win since she enjoyed herself and I look forward to slowly working down to see what temperature she can comfortably get down to with this setup. We’ll keep testing close to home and use it on trips that we know she’ll be fine temperature wise.

Do you have kids that enjoy camping? Do they winter camp? What gear are you or your kids currently testing and how do you go about testing new camping gear with your children?

3 thoughts on “Kids Outdoors

  1. Great post! I love camping with my son Tom, the sole camper in the family besides myself.

    Tom is a Boy Scout; he has loved camping since joining the Cubs and he is now a 16-year-old Eagle Scout. We have camped under all kinds of circumstances, including a fair bit of 3-season backpacking. Our main winter camping has been with the Scouts, and our winter gear “testing” usually involves one of those trips.

    I have usually layered up a few sleeping pads for the cold, but I finally got us a couple of insulated Klymit pads to try, which we’re going to get to use for the first time on an overnight campout this weekend with expected temps in the 30s here in PA.

    I have a 10-degree rectangular bag for winter camping, which I layer up with a Coleman fleece bag but it still gets drafty around the neck and shoulders so I need to improve upon that. For cooler-weather 3-season backpacking (down into the lower 30s overnight) we have pushed the limits of our 3-season Marmot 45-degree bags with fleece liners, layered sleeping pads, proper base layers, and sleeping caps. In time, I do need to get a colder-weather mummy bag.

    One challenge with us is we can’t have down fill in the house because it makes my wife sneeze so we always need synthetic options.

    Somehow, we’re always testing out new gear. We got silnylon tarps the other Christmas which we tested on a one-night shakedown hike (we live pretty close to a state forest, which makes these one-nighters a very simple and practical proposition). I also just got a Helinox Chair Zero at the REI sale which I’m dying to take out on the trail, an Osprey backpack, and a few things from Christmas that I have yet to try. There’s always something!

    Judging by your pictures, it looks like you have a great property to test out some things.

    • Thank you! Congratulations to your son on continuing in the Scouts and becoming an Eagle Scout.
      I enjoy camping with my kids. Some of them are fair weather campers and others could care less what the weathers like.
      It’s definitely rough that you can’t use down insulation. I have some down and some synthetic. I use a 0 degree F. down over quilt for winter camping and I generally do the same as you and use multiple pads depending on what the temperature will get down to.
      I for the most part have my three season setup fine tuned but my winter setup is ever evolving.
      For three season camping/backpacking I’m usually using a hammock because its so much more comfortable for me. I do still ground camp sometimes. Winter camping is generally always on the ground. But that’s mainly because I don’t have an under quilt rated under 20 degrees yet.
      I got one of the Helinox chairs for Christmas as well and can’t wait to try it out. Some short trips coming up and then a long canoe trip in the Boundary Waters this summer. I can’t wait!!!
      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you and your son have an awesome adventure filled year!

      • Thank you! I have not tried hammock camping but I tend to sleep on my back, both sides, and stomach alternatively so I tend to be happy on the ground. Tarp camping is amazing – waking up with the woods all around. At least it’s amazing when the bugs aren’t out, anyhow! Keep enjoying camping with those kids. Hard to believe my son was a 6-year-old Tiger Cub what seems like yesterday, and here we are ten years later.

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