I was distracted from building projects by preparing for our spring trip to the Grand Canyon with the family. We have a small RV that fits us and the grandkids just fine but the rest of the family did not have a good tent to stay warm overnight. So I put together a winter tent system and I’m pleased to report that it worked fine.
I set up the tent at home just before we left without staking it completely and we had to disassemble it in a big windstorm that gusted up to 20 mph. The blocky style definitely doesn’t do well in high winds but nothing broke which was good. I packed the large tent in the RV closet and we had to store coats and clothes in the shower.
The Grand Canyon was a perfect meet up place for spring break. It was magnificent and amazing to share with our kids and grandkids. One son lives in the Phoenix area so he was able to drive up in a few hours, another lives in California but visited his in-laws in Irvine first so their drive was about 8 hours and we took three days to arrive with the older grandkids. Their parents came a day later and only stopped for one night. We all arrived happy and safely.
The Grand Canyon was beautiful and awesome as always. The weather during the day was perfect. Clear and in the high 40’s and 50’s. But the nights were cold. The first night was coldest at only 22 degrees.
We stopped to show off the Watchtower to the grandkids and then went to the campsite. I started unpacking the tent and could not find the inner tent pieces in the RV closet. I thought I had forgotten the major part of the tent but started putting together the outer walls and roof of the canopy. Luckily I had that and the groundcloth laid before it started to snow! It was beautiful and it didn’t stick, but it was chilly.
While I was working on the outer tent, I remembered that the main duffle was in the loft bed area. It was too big for the closet! So I was glad that I had the whole tent after all. I hung the tent inside the canopy walls and put up the nylon ceiling. Then I moved in the double cot and the roll up metal table to hold the Mr. Buddy propane heater and I warmed up the tent for the family. I brought a CO2 monitor just to be safe.
The grandkids and their parents filled the winterized tent. But we didn’t fill the RV the first night and the guys who took the other family tent were freezing in their summer tent! So the next couple of nights we slept another person in the RV but still didn’t fit a couple of the guys. They put up a smaller tent and used two sleeping bags together and wore long underwear to bed. But the nights were still pretty cold for them.
The heated tent was quite comfortable though and most of the family was warm and cozy. Unfortunately despite these luxuries, I had a bad cold and was not able to sit around the campfire making s’mores or do much hiking. But I could babysit my youngest grandson in the RV which was wonderful!
The return trip was great too. The parents left a day early and took much of the winter tent back in their car and we stopped with the grandkids at Four Corners National Monument which is a cool geographical location with lots of lovely Native American art for sale.
We were home in time for the Easter Dinner that the parents cooked for us. Yum.