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#300212 - 10/15/21 07:16 PM Tips for kid's first night in a tent.
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 862
Loc: Southern California
I'm trying to get my kids to camp out somewhere that doesn't involve the couch and a TV. But, I'm getting a serious"Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh no." pushback. Any ideas on how to make the first night in a tent easier?
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Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#300213 - 10/15/21 07:27 PM Re: Tips for kid's first night in a tent. [Re: Mark_R]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2690
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
As someone who had a miserable experience, here are some dos and don'ts.

Don't camp in the winter or any other time when it's cold.

When you expect someone to hammer tent stakes into the ground, make sure a hammer is available.

Before pitching the tent, first check the ground for sticks, tree roots, or anything else that can poke into the person sleeping in the tent.

Jeanette Isabelle
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“Birds of a feather sure know how to clip each other’s wings, huh?” Lutz, Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 2 Volume 4

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#300214 - 10/15/21 07:36 PM Re: Tips for kid's first night in a tent. [Re: Mark_R]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2690
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
If at all possible, avoid squeezing three kids into a two-person tent.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Birds of a feather sure know how to clip each other’s wings, huh?” Lutz, Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 2 Volume 4

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#300215 - 10/15/21 07:54 PM Re: Tips for kid's first night in a tent. [Re: Mark_R]
M_a_x Online   happy
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1167
Loc: Germany
It depends on the age of the kids.
If you have a suitable backyard, start it there and make aborting an option.
Let them pitch the tent. Assist as much as neccessary - no more, no less.
Involve some fun activity that gets them tired.
A camp fire or a twig stove for preparing a meal or toasting marshmellows is no mistake. If you decide to toast marshmellows, make sure to have enough of them. It´s no fun to run out. Leftovers can be used for breakfast.
If possible select a time without rain. Make sure that the tent does not leak - just in case it rains anyway.
The morning after is important.
Have a nice breakfast ready for the after action briefing. Maybe use the camp fire or the twig stove for preparing it.
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If it isn´t broken, it doesn´t have enough features yet.

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#300216 - 10/15/21 08:29 PM Re: Tips for kid's first night in a tent. [Re: Mark_R]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3657
Loc: USA
We started our kids fairly young in the back yard. With s’mores. Those were critical.

When we started car camping we’d ironed out some of the difficulties (more comfortable sleeping pads, a warmer sleeping bag, who slept where, having all required stuffed animals in place). Mrs. Magnet is a genius cook and had made a really delicious campfire meal, which was much appreciated. There were other kids nearby and ours were equipped with headlamps and allowed to run around and get worn out playing. At bed time, we ran into one unanticipated challenge: the campsite was dramatically darker outside than our back yard. I had a flashlight in my pocket that I set to Moonlight mode and clipped near the top of the tent, and that got it done.

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#300240 - 10/19/21 04:51 PM Re: Tips for kid's first night in a tent. [Re: Mark_R]
Michael2 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 63
I'd look for a nearby state park that's not too long a drive away - so as to arrive in daytime - that has some kid-friendly naturalist programs, other families in neighboring camp sites with kids in tents (to provide role models) and that has familiar-looking flush toilets and sinks in the bathrooms.

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#300241 - 10/20/21 01:31 PM Re: Tips for kid's first night in a tent. [Re: Michael2]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1679
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
you might consider an aluminim "foil pack" menu... let the kids assemble their own meals and keep in the cooler...

the classic is a burger patty between upper and lower layer of sliced potato,onion, a little olive oil, seasoning... tightly wrapped in a foil pouch... tongs or pliers to retrieve from the fire...

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