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Old 09-29-2016, 02:34 PM   #1
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Hopefully I don't end up in the "Things you see in an RV Park" thread

As you may have seen in another thread, I am taking my daughter's soccer team camping. We are going camping for the weekend of October 21st but the rest of the girls are just coming up for Saturday night. Another couple is staying with us to help manage the mayhem and there are at least 10 kids coming so we can't fit everyone in the camper. The plan is to have the girls all sleep in tents. My concern is depending on the wacky New England weather it could get really cold overnight. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I could easily pipe my furnace out to a couple of tents and more importantly would it be 100% safe to do that? My camper is a 2015 Sabre QBOK.

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Old 09-29-2016, 02:49 PM   #2
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Just use a small electric heater in the tent.

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Old 09-29-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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I'll let the others comment upon it being safe or not. Maybe you could bring a table top electric heater that can be used outdoor (not sure about in the tent) that they can hang around if they get too cold.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:59 PM   #4
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I've tent camped in October in New England and my advice is extra warm PJ's and lets of blankets... it's probably the safest and easiest way to keep warm...

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Old 09-29-2016, 04:47 PM   #5
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More than one person under the same blankets helps a lot, no joke.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:21 PM   #6
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Use isolation mats in the tents. They will stop the transfer of body to the ground. Line the tent bottoms, a few blankets down and a few blankets to cover up with will get the kids warm and toasty.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:36 PM   #7
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I wouldn't put heat into a tent with someone who isn't a regular camper just from a safety perspective. Especially someone else's kids.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:50 PM   #8
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Coming from a Scout Leader and Camp Quartermaster.

Lay a tarp on the ground under the tent, plastic sheet as well. This will provide a moisture barrier and thermal break between the ground and inside the tent. we have used this winter camping in Snow.

Make sure everyone has clean clothes, changed just for sleeping. Sleeping bags for everyone and extra blankets underneath the bags if you don't have a pad. Air mattress is a no no. The air will make them colder. You can use Yoga mats or sleeping pads inside as a thermal break as well. This should work for everyone.

Do not add heat as others have mentioned, this would make it more dangerous.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:05 AM   #9
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I have had good luck sleeping on top of electric blankets. They do a pretty good job of keeping you warm when tent camping on cold nights.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:58 AM   #10
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Done quite a bit of tent camping with Boy Scouts...

Anticipate that at least some of these kids will never have been camping before. Thus they will arrive completely unprepared and likely with entirely wrong gear.

Your job is to head off that disaster so their first camping experience is not so bad that it becomes their last camping experience. Start the preparing now and communicate with the parents/kids of what/why/etc.

They will need good sleeping bags truly rated below possible low temperature. Mummy bags are better as they have less volume to keep warm. They can also be closed up around head and shoulders to keep from "Breathing" and losing heat out the top. Sleeping bag liners can be good to gain a few degrees help here.

Others have mentioned ground tarps and insulating pads under sleeping bags and tents. The sleeping bag insulation gets compressed under the body so it does not work so well there thus making the pad even more important. What has not been mentioned is using Reflectix foil faced bubble wrap as a sleeping pad. There are three ways we lose heat and the foil really does reflect the radiated heat. Every try a "space blanket"? You can feel the effect. Plus the added air space of the bubble wrap provides a barrier for conductive heat loss.

It has been mentioned about buddy system... but this is really no joke and multiple bodies inside a tent will keep it warmer than a single body. Fill up every tent with no solos. Fewer big tents are likely better than more little tents.

Sleep wear should be a base layer rather than PJs. Just like going out in the snow. Sleep wear should also include a beanie as the body loses a majority of its heat through the head. Can also add an insulation layer over the base layer.

Moisture and cotton are the enemies. Cotton, especially when wet, serves as a very good heat sink. Forbid it in favor of wool and synthetic fibers. Note that our bodies radiate a lot of moisture so, contrary to what you may think, ventilation in the tent is required. Have you ever gotten wet inside a rain jacket? Same deal here in that sealing up a tent just accumulates radiated moisture and reflects it back. Also kids can be very active, maybe more so with boys, and will generate heat/sweat that clothing must handle. This is why the earlier recommendation of fresh clothes for sleeping: to make sure the clothing is dry when they go to bed.

Since I mentioned it, you may consider space blankets. My experience is these will keep you warmer outdoors. But they will also do a great job of collecting water: sealed barrier, radiated moisture, cold surface == condensed water. I was quite warm for half the night and semi-miserable for the other half the night when my sleeping bag and toes got wet.

The body needs fuel to keep its heat pump running over night. Use this as an excuse to sugar them up before bed. This will make you quite popular as well

I would generally avoid heaters and such in the tents. Too many ways for that to go horribly wrong with fabrics that can melt/burn and not much free space. What you *may* be able to do is put a *sealed* hot water bottle inside the sleeping bag for a bit of a boost. This will help comfort for a while and help going to sleep.


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