Welcome to part two of “Keeping your kids warm” in our series, Camping Chronicles! Today I am simply the messenger. I called it a bloggers “mashup” cause well, we are mashing it up! Taking lots of ingredients, from lots of places and mixing it all up for ya. I asked my fellow outdoor mom’s what they do to keep their kids warm in a tent and here is what they said:
Kristen from Brave Ski Mom
Our family’s strategy – wear a beanie. I cannot believe what a difference a covered head can make!
Jessica from Bring the Kids
Our big thing is good sleeping bags for the kids. Andrew and I have okay sleeping bags, but the kids have awesome North Face bags that they have never gotten cold in. Not only does the sleeping bag keep them warm, but since it’s kid sized, it does a much better job of insulating them. When they’re really little, we fold it in half so that they have padding and don’t have to try and keep all that extra space warm too. We have the Blue Ridge and the Tigger. I’m pretty sure they’re both warm down to 20 degrees.
Hayley from Climb Run Lift Mom
My kids like sleeping on the crash pad if we have it with and I always have extra blankets under and over their sleeping bags. They always wear their warm winter jammies too. It’s been a good combo for us.
Erin from Ground Truth Trekking
“Dress them in hooded fleece suits in their sleeping bags (and we had my son in our bag until 2.5 yrs or so – little one still sleeps with us).”
Tanya from Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies
We’re pros at that here being that it’s never above zero Celsius at night when we are camping. First most important thing – small tent!! Our friends that go out and buy the monster tent from Walmart always freeze. Second, cover your head with a tuque, hat, or whatever you call them down there. We dress our son in fleece pjs (a blanket sleeper with feet when he was small), and have even put him to bed in his fleece snow suit. That means, warm pjs, snow suit over top and even sleep sack over top that. You can buy winter weighted sleep sacks where the arms stick out but the rest of them is bundled inside. We’ve put mittens on our son to sleep in the past too.
Third – We always bring a large blanket and put it over top of my son and myself. That way even if he doesn’t stay inside his sleeping bag, he’s covered by the big blanket. I don’t like to be inside my sleeping bag fully zipped up so it helps me too.
Four – we have a three season tent and winter sleeping bags (down mummy bags)
Tiffany from A Little Campy
Dare I say it. We bring a heater. We mostly car camp in state and national parks, many of which have electricity at the campsites. If electricity is available, we bring a small portable electic heater. If electricity is not available, we bring a propane heater. Safety is a big issue with small heaters. We turn the heater on in the tent before we go to bed. When we are ready to go to sleep, we turn the heater off. Always keep your heater at least 2 ft away from everything and provide at least 6 square inches of ventilation. Most new propane heaters have several safety features which include an automatic shutoff, push button ignition and oxygen depletion sensor. Your heater should be certified for indoor use. Always operate your heater according to the operators manual.
Shawna from Nature for Kids
We’ve found that buntings work better than a real sleeping bag for the little ones. They wiggle out of the sleeping bag and have to be covered up a gazillion times through the night. I wish they made a 0 degree bunting
Erin from AK On the Go (as in Alaska)
Hey, we use the Little Hotties hand warmers (also found some huge ones at Target last winter) and stuff them in pockets, socks, etc. for use in sleeping bags. Very cozy. I also make sure no one is wearing cotton, and that everyone is wearing a hat to bed. And clean, warm, socks. We do a lot of snow camping up here in Alaska, and I’m surprised at how well everybody does.
Jen from Backcountry with the Kids
Am I too late to add that turning your Nalgene bottle into a hot water bottle works great too? Also stuffing the dead space of a sleeping bag with clothes prevents your body from trying to heat it and wasting valuable energy (which in turn actually makes you colder). And having a smaller tent…that advice was dead on for the same reason. Four season tents have a lower profile, less mesh in the walls and make for warmer nights.
Melissa from Adventure Tykes
I did a post about FREEZING while camping and you can see what other’s suggested in the comments section: http://www.adventuretykes.com/adventures-2/tuesdays-tip-of-the-day-our-feet-were-blocks-of-ice/
Also, I was going to recommend the water bottles filled with hot water, merino wool layered with fleece, beanie and a good sleeping bag. J-man sleeps in fleece footie jammies and we all sleep together in the Kelty sleeping bags that zip together. We never get cold, except when we don’t bring our sleeping bags. hahaha
For more information on camping with your little ones visit Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies, as they join us on this series!