In short - I'm looking for tips on hammocking with kids. See below for questions that you can answer all or part of. Any/all tips are welcome!
Background: I've been camping and backpacking for a number of years and have a solid outdoor foundation. I'm a Scoutmaster for a boy scout troop and generally know how to support youth as they go camping. I have four kids (3 girls and a boy) ages 4-10. They all have at least several years of short backpacking and car camping experience. I started hammocking this year and have a good start with it. I feel comfortable keeping myself warm and happy.
We live in Denver, CO where the 3-season lows in the mountains tend to hover between 25 and 40 in the times of the year I'd take the kids camping.
Request: Starting next season, I'd like to start taking the kids (maybe one or two at a time initially) on some short hammock trips. I feel generally comfortable that I can be successful as I do so but thought I'd reach out to such a knowledgeable community for tips on things that might make the trips safer and more enjoyable (the small things always make a big difference).
Some of the questions are:
- Fear factor. How have others addressed making sure kids don't get scared in a new environment like this? Try and hang right next to them under one tarp? Battery-operated LED light strand as night lights? Something else? As mentioned, my kids are solid campers, but it's always been in a tent laying right next to mom and dad.
- Any concerns with buying a full length hammock setup? I'd like something that they can grow into over the years (we're an outdoor family), so I'm good purchasing now and using for many years.
- Insulation - go with underquilts or are pads generally better for kids as they have less fiddle factor and kids aren't as picky about the comfort?
- Squirming? Anyone have trouble with kids squirming out of underquilts, pads, etc. and not know what to do?
- Anything else I missed that's worth pointing out?