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I am just not sure we can take 5 kids and take a tarp, string or bungee it up, and throw them on the ground with their 20 degree bags and have them live.

Could we take (3) 2-man tents that are 3 season and put a reflective tarp over and under each and live in say 10 degree weather? It's mostly in the 30's here but does dip.

I think the snow camping / winter tents and subzero bags are crazy pricey.

Thoughts? Can you people bugging out or trekking and backpacking on your own or just with a spouse use some spare brain cells, experiences and airtime to think what you *would* do if you have a small tribe in your care.
 

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Well, for my family (wife + 3 kids) I have a 12x12 outfitter tent with a wood-burning stove for our emergency shelter. Of course this is too large and heavy (~ 75 lbs) to carry, and it wasn't cheap either. I use it mainly for hunting camp, but if I were looking for something cheaper and perhaps more portable I would get a decent backpacking tent. I have a couple of Eureka's, but I think Kelty's are good for the price too. Lightweight backpacking tents don't usually come very big though so you might need to get a couple for your whole family. Check out www.campmor.com. They have better prices than REI.

The best thing you can do however is to learn how to make your own wilderness survival shelter. Then you can keep your family alive without relying as much on having the right gear. A good hatchet, small shovel and some cordage are all you need to make a natural shelter that will keep your family warm and safe in a survival situation.

One important thing I forgot to mention about backpacking tents is to make sure you get the kind with aluminum poles. The fiberglass poles are heavier and become brittle in cold temperatures and can shatter. The aluminum poles are much lighter and stronger. Out here in the Rockies this is important because it can snow 9 months out of the year and your tent needs to be able to hold up under the weight of 6 inches of snow.
 

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I have six children. One thing that we always do in the winter when the children are younger, is zip the sleeping bags together. Shared body heat helps them stay warm. My youngest are 5, 6, 8. the two younger ones buddy up and the 8 year old sleeps with one of my older daughters. That seems to help with the cold.

Also adding a fleece bag inside the regular bag helps in below zero temps. We just sew a fleece blanket to make a bag. That makes a good liner for added warmth. Also we got in the habit of finding some rocks and setting them by the fire. By bed time they are nice and warm. Slip a couple in a pillow case or cloth bag. Toss the bag in the bottom of their sleeping bag. The rocks hold the heat well, and make for warm feet.

As far as tent, we use them some but mostly in the winter we build a shelter where we can sleep by a fire. If the weather is no to bad we just sleep out in the open by the fire. You will have frost on your bag in the morning if you sleep in the open, but we just shake it off and it seems to work for us.

One thing we did was start out by doing some sleep outs in our yard to see what works before we headed out into the woods. Once we got the first three use to it and figured things out, it was all down hill as our family grew.
 

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colder weather camp recommendations

You mean to tell me there is someone here that does not claim to be capable of camping naked in 20 below temps with nothing but their skinning knife and a thousand rounds of ammunition, I am shocked, ha.

No kids here so I am making this up as I go. I will also assume you are camping, and not trying to live off icicles in the woods.

I imagine that buying Gore-Tex gear for kids that change sizes every year is just crazy.

On tents...
If you plan to hike in, you will be stuck with small tents, to distribute the load, otherwise I would probably go with a larger tent, more bodies means more heat. Putting down a foam pad, and getting up off the ground will help a lot in staying warm. Due to the kids smaller thermal mass, they will probably get cold first, so maybe move them to the center of the tent and let the adults shiver around the sides.

Layers...
Wear layers, either Norway, or Sweden used to issue what looked like pantyhose to keep their troops from freezing in the bitter cold. I am not recommending that exact idea, but keeping an extra layer of clothing on at night in sub zero temperatures helps. Layers in bedding works too (below). I would spend more on quality adult gear than for a kid that will outgrow it in another year. Shop at thrift (second hand stores) for kids coats and ski clothes. I have found nice bedrolls at the thrift store for 15 bucks. Apparently some people go camping once, swallow a bug, and never want to go back, something like that.

The following cost nothing and really help.
Set up your tent in an area that will get early morning sunlight. If you set up in an area that is shaded in the morning, you wont get out of bed until it warms up, ha. Don't set up camp in a depression (low area) it will be 10-20 degrees cooler than if you set up on higher ground. Keep your camp out of the wind.

For first time adult bed roll purchases, I like the 2-3 layer bedroll systems. Due to their cost, and since I already have several bedrolls I wont buy an expensive new system, I will improvise. You can add another 10-15 degrees to the sleeping bags winter temperature comfort range by adding another layer, like a fleece bag in the bag. Note, a fleece bag can wind up in a knot around you if you tend to twist and turn all night. If you can sew, and clever you can custom cut/fit and sew a nice inner bag for winter use, and use it alone in the summer as a warm weather bag. The layers can be used separately in milder temperature.
 

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Proper insulation/padding under your bag is a must! Cheap fleece sleeping bags make great liners boosting you bags potential. It would suck. I have 4 chaps. There are lots of tricks and techniques to learn through experience. Wet socks evaporating heat from you feet all night long sucks!
 

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If you are in snow country, have you thought about building a snow cave or igloo? They are surprisingly comfortable. If you leave yourself a built up ledge to sleep on, you can even heat it a bit with candles or a lantern in the middle of the floor. (you need the ledge to keep you out of the melted ice which accumulates on the floor).
I had a friend in Alaska that had a really neat tool for quick building of an igloo. I was very impressed with it. I'll see if I can dig up the name of it and get back to you.
 

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The outfitter tent might work if you can put it on a sled or cart. A wood burning stove would be really, really helpful.

SnowTrekkerTents
 

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It really depends why not stay were you are or is that not fessable to take all your kids to the woods with out experance will be really tough on you and your kids... If your house is destroyed your preps are inside so how will you recover them thats the bigger issue.. now say theres a fire and you have to evact all I would take is 1 tent Big enoff for everyone 1 or 2 tarps depending on size... 2 sleeping bags.. dont cheap out cheap out you freeze period.. I take 1 duck feather sleeping bag and 1 cheapo sleeping bag that i use inside or out side depending on how i want to use it... Get something to cover your head... That can make the diffrence from wakeing up cold and hmm I had a good sleep

Go camping.. you will see how hard its just to go camping and once you sleep on the ground you will want something under you I personaly just use a foam pad and pick a good spot and remove rocks from under the tent befor i set it up nothing worse then haveing a rock jab you in the back as your freezeing your but off in a tent...

Now for winter that can help if it snows alot you can make a snow shealter... and if worse comes to worse you can simply stack up logs make a lean too shealter and seal in the sides put the fire close in and make a wall to refelect the heat back too you that can work well in a pinch but if your strested out you would want something simple.. easy too setup Big tents means you have to bring them in a car suv or truck more then 1 tent can be a hassle to setup ect more time but sometimes smaller is better


I camped in yellow stone park this summer it was insanly hot durring the day and at night there was 2 feet of frost on the table so location makes a big diffrence.. I ended up saying why am I in this tent and sleep in my car alot warmer then a tent and held the heat alot better all the people that slept in the tent were like I barly slept it was so cold and they made a fire in the middle of the night it was that cold that they did that... and i slept till morning nice and toasty in the car... with my 2 sleeping bags and a pillow..

Just take the family camping you will see in the frist few nights what you need and dont need right away when you cold you dont want to be cold the next night so you go and buy that expensive sleeping bag all my camping gear was bougten by my parents and we went camping often so its good to invest in good gear cheap out and you replace it every trip buy descent cook ware, stove, sleeping bags, axe/saw, and tarp. They will last you a long time were you can cheap out on is Foam/to sleep on I use the blue foam from the 70s and it still works fine and is suprizeinly compterbale light weight and does the job I've used it as a sled slept on it used it as padding and i still have the orgianal peice and never had to replace it now its got a few dents and imprint from rocks but it still keeps going
 

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If you are in snow country, have you thought about building a snow cave or igloo? They are surprisingly comfortable. If you leave yourself a built up ledge to sleep on, you can even heat it a bit with candles or a lantern in the middle of the floor. (you need the ledge to keep you out of the melted ice which accumulates on the floor).
I had a friend in Alaska that had a really neat tool for quick building of an igloo. I was very impressed with it. I'll see if I can dig up the name of it and get back to you.
The snow has to be good quality to build an igloo its hard too build it were i live because the snow is wet not dry in some areas across the country you pick up the snow and it will crumble in your hands were i live its soaking wet you touch it you get wet it snows and rains at the same time and it can snow even when its above freezeing because of the mountain range near by
 

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Sleeping in the snow

I once slept in a dug out trench (maybe 2-3 ft deep) in the snow in Grand Teton NP (back country permit), it was very interesting. I had a good down bag at the time so I stayed toasty all night. The trench kept the wind and a little blowing snow off. The spooky part was finding the bear tracks the next day, yikes. I bet my down bag smelled like a nice frozen dinner on ice, with a chewy center, ha. Anyway, I never heard the bear during in the night, it was curious, probably a black bear. Anyway, the bear checked me out and moved along. I was surprised how comfortable sleeping the snow turned out, or maybe it was total exhaustion, ha..
 

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You mean to tell me there is someone here that does not claim to be capable of camping naked in 20 below temps with nothing but their skinning knife and a thousand rounds of ammunition, I am shocked, ha.

Naw most people endurance runs out at around 15 below zero. But to make up for that we generally carry about 10 thousand rounds:thumb:
 

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On the other hand, they are good little workers and can make the survival work. They can collect fire wood, clean and prepare foraged food, carry water et cetera.
 

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Found it.
These babies carry well in a backpack and make a family sized snow shelter a breeze to build.
Grand Shelters

Maurepas, Is that Igloo Ed's company?


I camped in yellow stone park this summer it was insanly hot durring the day and at night there was 2 feet of frost on the table ...
:confused: Is that a tall tale for how cool it was? When I lived in Colorado, we called 2' of frost, snow. 2 feet? In the summer? C'mmmmon! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay. I have everyone thinking I live in MN or Canada or AK. Not that dire, just temps in the 20's and rare snow. But all very helpful and interesting. BIL was into snow camping near Sedona, AZ.

Will attend to making fleece liners as first line of defense. Just bought weather proofing stuff for boots and clothes. Need something for tents/seams. Oh, yeah, I can't afford the tents. (roll eyes) Only $1,000 spent for socks, MSKs, water systems, and what I am told is a Not-in-the-Top-100 Shovels......cough, cough. Surviving American Style with an Unamerican Sized family is spendy!!
 
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