Cold weather co sleeping with toddlers

MountainMuley

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Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
19
We are entertaining the idea of taking our four kids 11, 8 and twin 2 year olds camping in the backcountry for a quick overnight hunt. Just for a good experience as a family, obviously not serious hunting….
Anyway, we have a Seek Outside hot tent coming from a great guy on here. But we are hesitating on which direction to go with the sleep system for our twins. We think having them co-sleep with us. One with me, one with my wife. I expect temps to be close to zero…so am looking for extra wide 0 def bags, but have also been looking at quilts and wanted to get your guys opinion on what you think are some good options?

Any thoughts on this? Other than we are crazy?….
 

Zach Herold

Super Moderator
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Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
186
You aren't crazy I take my kids all over hell and almost never have a hot tent. I've found what works really well is a double sleeping bag for adults and then have them in their own sleeping bag or blankets on the inside.

When it's warmer, I just put my kids in their own bags and they do great. Big Agnes actually makes a 15degree bag for kids that can be adjusted to fit their body size which is excellent because it's less space for them to heat.

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Packin_packout

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
202
Cannot comment on the sleeping system but mandatory head lamps on all kids and a glow stick on their back. Had my son get up and wander out to take a piss and he got turned around without a lamp in the middle of the night. Thankfully I am a light sleeper and heard him calling. He was probably 10 or 11.
 

fivebikies

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Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
7
Location
New Zealand
Put them to bed warm.
Well rugged up, food in their belly.
Make sure they are insulated from the cold, too many people put the kids on a stretcher/cot without insulation underneath them.
We used to regularly camp with our kids down to -9/10c.
They loved it.
 
OP
M

MountainMuley

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
19
Great input eveyone. We were able to check out big anges double sleeping bags, rated for 15 deg. Seems like they will be big enough and work well. I think I may be up all night stoking the stove though…Montana nights in the fall at 6000’+ Get chilly!!
 

bpietila

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Joined
Feb 8, 2020
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39
Location
Northwest AK
I do a fair bit of winter camping with my family. Live above the Arctic circle and kids 9, 7, and 4. A good tent and a wood stove go a long ways. We have wiggys 0 degree bags. Sleeping in a winter hat also makes a big difference when it is cold.
 

Moserkr

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Feb 26, 2020
Messages
524
All good suggestions for my future adventures with my little one too. I have a hot tent, have not taken my 3.5 year old in it though. I can say that if its 0* and snowing 6” overnight, the tipi and stove can handle it no problem. Yes, stoke every hour or so with the biggest diameter/length wood possible if you want to stay warm. Tipi can average 50*+ in those conditions.

I will steal the suggestions above. My issue will be my wife wanting a nest - she wont go for an open bivy like how I do it.
 

Lando

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Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Arizona
I’ve camped with my kids down into the teens many times and they’ve been warm with a good insulated pad and kids size 15 degree sleeping bags that Sportsman’s Warehouse used to sell (store brand). Kids move around a lot in their sleep so I try to keep them between adults so they stay on their pad and to cinch the bag tight over their shoulders so they stay in the bag. I’d also make sure they don’t sleep near the stove in a hot tent so they don’t roll into it.
 

zacattack

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Aug 23, 2018
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1,001
Location
Michigan
I have a 1.5 year old I’ve been trying to convince my wife to let me take camping. She’s convinced he’s going to freeze to death if it’s below 60. Y’all have given me hope it’s not a lost cause.
 

Bearwhisky

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Dec 7, 2019
Messages
201
I have a Kifaru slick bag 0* in long, regular width. Im a bid dude, and could probably squeeze my 2 year old inside with me. If you got the wide option, I’m certain there would be plenty of room for you all. The bag is incredibly warm as well.


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rideold

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Aug 17, 2021
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36
Location
Front Range of Colorado
Send them to bed with a nalgene full of really hot water slipped into a sock! We camped with our kids from the time they were little. I think my daughter's first trip was when she wasn't even walking. We used to bring a queen sized down comforter and throw that over the top of everyone inside their bags. It's amazing how warm it is with 4 people generating heat and then another layer over the top of everyone.
 

snowcamoman

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Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
931
I put down a really good, insulated double woobie base and then some foam. On top of that, goes a big Thermarest. The kids sleep in their fleece and always wear a warm hat. I also found that if they take a fleece type blanket they'll pull it up around their shoulders and it helps lock the heat into the sleeping bag like a big draft collar.

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cod007

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Feb 1, 2017
Messages
89
Send them to bed with a nalgene full of really hot water slipped into a sock! We camped with our kids from the time they were little. I think my daughter's first trip was when she wasn't even walking. We used to bring a queen sized down comforter and throw that over the top of everyone inside their bags. It's amazing how warm it is with 4 people generating heat and then another layer over the top of everyone.
THIS!
A hot water container in the bottom of a sleeping bag is heaven. I’ve often used half gallon juice jugs too. They hold heat all night in the bottom of my bag. Fabulous!
 

tdot

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Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,781
Location
BC
I've set our kids up to have the same sort of setup that I do and simply vary the layers depending on temps. They have their own sleep systems so that no one is waking each other up unnecessaryiky. We've been in well below freezing temps in regular tents with no issues.

They wear wool long johns (only in the coldest temps), fleece top/bottom (thickness depends on temps), wool socks and a toque, they then each have a down sleep sack, 20 degree rating (Morrison Outdoors? I think is the brand). They each have a 1" thick rectangular medium density foam pad that I've cut for them. We cover this with a heavy fleece rectangular sleeping bag for adults. They can slip inside that fleece bag if necessary. We also keep extra fleece blankets as just in case. This gives them a ton of flexibility, keeps them warm at night and when they get up in the AM (the base layers basically are never removed unless they get wet). This system could easily be modified, we just had most of this equipment already around.

Keep them well fed with a dinner with complex carbs and high in healthy fats, this will help them produce heat all night long. Make sure they go to bed warm. If they go to bed cold, they'll likely stay cold.
 
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