These are our 4 children. This picture was taken on the shore of Lake Erie in Ohio. It is April, so it was still very cold. We camp with the kids March through November. Typically, we do not use the furnace in the camper so we don’t burn too much propane or battery. To make this work, we are using cold weather sleeping gear. We also start them early. The older boy went camping at 3 weeks old, down to Bristol, TN (can’t miss racing!). For the weekend shown in this picture, I was mixing work with pleasure. I am a Physical Therapist by trade, and was covering a building three hours from home. Rather than either me come up alone and miss the weekend completely, I brought the family and camped at a local state park. The company was happy, as the state park was cheaper than the hotel, and I was happy because I got to bring the family. Just one more way to bring camping into the family. We have not been back to this beach “in season” yet, but that is just one more trip to anticipate for us. The kids don’t mind the different weather, as long as they have the appropriate clothing.
We operate under the principle that kids need to have the same gear that adults have. They are all wearing REI long underwear and boots. The younger two are wearing Carhart coveralls and winter jackets (indestructible things), and the older two are wearing jeans. The oldest, Elisa, is wearing a windstopper fleece, also from REI. I run into too many people who had bad experiences because of improper outfitting and clothing, and strongly encourage parents to properly outfit children in warm, high quality clothing. It pays off in the long run, both in smiles and in being able to pass it down.