This is the second story in our Camping Workshop we hosted in October.
You can find out about the other Camping Workshop stories by clicking on these links:
Build A Camp Stove
Build A Campfire
Our guest speakers Gary Eblen, and Meridith McBride, did a great job conveying to the kids and parents how much fun camping can be.
When building tents, Gary discussed two kinds. One was a pre-made hiking tent, that is easy to transport in your hiking and camping gear. The other tent was homemade from a simple sheet of plastic. If you don’t have a premade tent, you can still camp in a homemade one! Who knew?
When packing your backpack, you need to keep it light weight, but still have the right essentials to protect you in the elements and meet your needs. Gary unpacked his hiking backpack for the kids to investigate what he had inside. Some of the items in it were a tent, a sleeping bag, a pad, a hat, gloves, a tarp, a jacket, and it would also contain some survival gear such as a first aid kit, small tools, matches, food, and water. We hope to have Gary back again in the near future to do more hands on learning with backpacks, safety, and survival.
Gary shared some stories about sleeping in his homemade tents over the years, and says that they work great.
First, he had the kids help him spread out his sheet of plastic.
Then he had the kids stretch some cord between two trees.
He tied the cord around the trees. He called the knot he made around the tree a taught line hitch.
Then he had the kids place the plastic over the cord.
Next, he had the kids find six acorns. He placed an acorn under the fold of plastic near the cord and tied more cord around it. He called the knot he made around the plastic and the acorn a half hitch knot. He repeated this at the other end of the plastic sheet too.
Next, he placed four tent stakes in the ground, and repeated the acorn and knot tie to hold the four corners of the plastic sheet.
All the kids took turns crawling through the tent.
And some climbed into the sleeping bag.
Next, he had the kids help him build a three person backpakers tent.
First, he laid out a tarp on the ground to protect the base of the tent.
Next, he laid out a tent on top of the tarp.
He attatched the tent poles into each corner of the tent.
Then raised the center of the tent and attatched the clips to the poles.
This tent went up in less than five minutes. A very quick and easy tent for kids to set up and be ready to use instantly.
Gary really encouraged families to try this at home in their own backyard. He shared stories about sleeping in the backyard, and enjoying some quality family time and nature, including observing the stars in the sky.
Learning how to set up a quick and easy shelter is a valuable life skill to have. Besides needing a tent when you are out camping, there may be other times you need to know how to build a shelter, such as after a natural disaster.
Thank you Gary and Meridith for these great hands on lessons in camping and life skills during our Camping Workshop.