Absurdly Large, But Family Friendly

Ignore the background (this room is about to be demolished)! We just purchased an absurdly large tent from Sierra Trading Post.  Our four-person Sierra Designs tent was getting a bit tight on space and a bit less water-proof than it had been when we purchased it 8 years ago. . . The additional size of a family tent seemed like a necessary compromise when considering the mental state inspired by sharing a confined space with little children for any length of time.  After checking out a number of tents, and finding a few Kelty’s that were large enough (and inexpensive enough) to suit our needs, we selected one and waited for it to arrive.

Drumroll please. . . .

We picked the Kelty Grand Mesa Tent – 6 Person, 3 Season.  It’s absurdly large.  Embarrassing.  Ludicrous.  Ridiculous, in fact.  My 6 foot 4 inch tall husband can stand in the middle of the tent.  We pitched it in our family room as a test run and realized that it was truly too large for any indoor use.  The dimensions are also a bit embarrassing – 99 square feet, 70 inches in height (in the middle).  Are camp sites large enough to pitch this behemoth?  I’m pretty sure that being forced to pitch this tent in public may cause mental anguish to my husband and his “pack light, pack right” mantra.

And yet. . .
I love it!  I can’t wait to take the two munchkins out in it. I might not even mind a rainy day at the crag quite so much as in the past.  We’ll be able to cuddle in with toys and books, hanging out in a comfortable space that allows the kids to move around.

Now if only my husband can recover from the embarrassment.

Chime in with your tent stories!

New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our ClimbingWeather.com app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.