Tent Security for wondering child | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Tent Security for wondering child

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Jrodrigues1278

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So this may seem like an odd question, but it is a reality for me. My son (7 now) is autistic and fearless. He is also very smart and can problem solve his way out of things. I am concerned that his fearlessness will lead to him unzipping a tent and wondering off. Has this happened to anyone with their child? To add to my concern, he is nonverbal. He can not just call out for me.

Any suggestions to keep him securely in a tent overnight?
 

MMc

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Well that's not good. Can you lock the 2 zippers form the outside? it's a bit scary to thing about doing it. what about a one of the GPS dog finders like a watch might help. I am glad I am not in your shoes.
 
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Jrodrigues1278

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I am looking at tents and that’s the thought occurred. When we go to sleep, what’s stopping him from getting up in the middle of the night and walking out. That’s my concern.

As for the tracker, he has one that he wears that is 4G.
 

MMc

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I can't fathom where you are. I have many tents and most tents have 2 zippers and a small pad lock might work. There are some dog units that work off GPS data nor phone tech.
 
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ThundahBeagle

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I second the idea of a small padlock for the tent double sipper door flap, especially if you are inside the same tent and have the key.

Another thought - and not so easy - get him a dog. If you are able to invest in, or qualify for any special entitlement to it, getting your son a specially trained dog will do wonders. Sure it could be expensive and yes, time consuming. But your son may bond with the dog in a special way since he is non verbal.

The dog would be trained to look after the boy, and alert you to any behaviors you require.

If your son gets up and begins to wander off alone, the dog would bark, wake you up, and follow after the boy while checking back with you. Put a GPS collar on the dog as well.
 

Jrodrigues1278

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I can't fathom where you are. I have many tents and most tents have 2 zippers and a small pad lock might work. There are some dog units that work off GPS data nor phone tech.
That has been the only solution I could think of, like a small luggage lock. I was wondering if anyone else had some ideas.

Appreciate the input.
 

MidOH

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Sleep in his tent. Wife will enjoy having her tent to herself.

Line up your bag with the exit door.

Locking someone in a flammable tent in a flood zone, does not sound like a hot idea.

As a family, we had to make peace with the fact that none of this was really safe. We can't avoid water, and nearly all lakes and streams are thick green 0 vis water. If the kids dont pop right back up on their own after they jump in, theres nothing we can do.

One niece always has her little backpacking backpack. Mountain hardware IIRC, she wont go anywhere back country without it. A simple GPS pog made it easy to track her. Dog has another.
 

ThundahBeagle

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Sleep in his tent. Wife will enjoy having her tent to herself.

Line up your bag with the exit door.

Locking someone in a flammable tent in a flood zone, does not sound like a hot idea.

As a family, we had to make peace with the fact that none of this was really safe. We can't avoid water, and nearly all lakes and streams are thick green 0 vis water. If the kids dont pop right back up on their own after they jump in, theres nothing we can do.

One niece always has her little backpacking backpack. Mountain hardware IIRC, she wont go anywhere back country without it. A simple GPS pog made it easy to track her. Dog has another.
Sure, sleeping across the doorway is a good idea. Putting your bag in the doorway, I like that too. But no, wife will not likely enjoy a tent to herself. If they have a child together that suffers this condition, she likely wants to be right there with him and wont want to trust anyone else to be completely in charge.

If you dont bring flame into your tent and you put out your fire properly before turning in, it is highly unlikely it will catch fire unless there is some other local issue at hand. And if there is some sort of local issue at hand that could cause your tent to catch fire - like ash or fire falling from the sky - consider the idea you shouldnt camp there

Also, dont tent camp in a dry river bed.

You are right, none of this is safe, but risks can be mitigated.

Murky green river water...should you be in it? If you decide to let your kids in, hoping they pop back up os not a strategy. There is something you can do - you go and be not far down river from them, so you have a chance to stop them being carried downstream, they bump into your legs and you pull them up. Or string a rope across the river.

Yes it's dangerous, but I disagree with your cavalier attitude that nothing can be done. Maybe not after the fact, but taking precautions ahead of time...a stitch in time saves nine
 

MidOH

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So buddy system the wife to the kid then.

All my campgrounds are in flood zones.

All of my campgrounds have fire and ash floating in the sky. Nobody goes to bed at the same time. Often enough the fire goes all night.

All of the water in the midwest is zero vis.

There are no lifeguards here.
 

Jrodrigues1278

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I second the idea of a small padlock for the tent double sipper door flap, especially if you are inside the same tent and have the key.

Another thought - and not so easy - get him a dog. If you are able to invest in, or qualify for any special entitlement to it, getting your son a specially trained dog will do wonders. Sure it could be expensive and yes, time consuming. But your son may bond with the dog in a special way since he is non verbal.

The dog would be trained to look after the boy, and alert you to any behaviors you require.

If your son gets up and begins to wander off alone, the dog would bark, wake you up, and follow after the boy while checking back with you. Put a GPS collar on the dog as well.
We are in the process of getting him a service dog. Which will be helpful as you suggested. Between his tracker he wears daily and one on the dog, the will be a great combination I think.
 

Jrodrigues1278

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Sleep in his tent. Wife will enjoy having her tent to herself.

Line up your bag with the exit door.

Locking someone in a flammable tent in a flood zone, does not sound like a hot idea.

As a family, we had to make peace with the fact that none of this was really safe. We can't avoid water, and nearly all lakes and streams are thick green 0 vis water. If the kids dont pop right back up on their own after they jump in, theres nothing we can do.

One niece always has her little backpacking backpack. Mountain hardware IIRC, she wont go anywhere back country without it. A simple GPS pog made it easy to track her. Dog has another.
Unfortunately my wife passed away earlier this year from stage 4 cancer. She fought a long battle for 6 years and the last 18 months or so were the worse. It is why I have not been around her much.

So my plan and only option, is me and him and occasionally my 12 year old daughter in 1 tent.
 
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Unfortunately my wife passed away earlier this year from stage 4 cancer. She fought a long battle for 6 years and the last 18 months or so were the worse. It is why I have not been around her much.

So my plan and only option, is me and him and occasionally my 12 year old daughter in 1 tent.
Maybe look to see if your area has a Scout pack that is on the spectrum. If not please reach out to a few Cubmasters or Scoutmasters for help.
You may find that other Dads and moms are in the same boat and you all could camp at a larger spot so everyone has space but can help if needed.

THANK YOU for starting this thread. And take care
 

ThundahBeagle

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Unfortunately my wife passed away earlier this year from stage 4 cancer. She fought a long battle for 6 years and the last 18 months or so were the worse. It is why I have not been around her much.

So my plan and only option, is me and him and occasionally my 12 year old daughter in 1 tent.

Jesus H.

May angels and ministers of grace defend you.

I hope getting ou ut in nature helps settle you all.
 

Jrodrigues1278

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Maybe look to see if your area has a Scout pack that is on the spectrum. If not please reach out to a few Cubmasters or Scoutmasters for help.
You may find that other Dads and moms are in the same boat and you all could camp at a larger spot so everyone has space but can help if needed.

THANK YOU for starting this thread. And take care
I didn’t think of this. This is a great idea! Thanks
 
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Jrodrigues1278

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Anyone with a Gazelle tent? Wondering if it has the double zippers.

A rooftop would probably be more secure, but getting a dog up there would be a pain in ass.

Thinking a gazelle with the screened in extra room would be ideal and I could put it up quickly with my son in the truck next to me.
 
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Jrodrigues1278

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Anyone with a Gazelle tent? Wondering if it has the double zippers.
Gazelle uses double zippers for the screen as well as the outer fabric. You could ziptie or use a suitcase lock.
Thank you! I think this might just be the solution I need.

Now to figure out how to let him roam around camp and have some independence while keeping him from running off vs having him attached to me.
 
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Pretzel

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Thank you! I think this might just be the solution I need.

Now to figure out how to let him roam around camp and have some independence while keeping him from running off vs having him attached to me.
Gazelle tents have 2 entries, the main and one in the back corner. I do not think the main door has double zippers, it has zippers on the inside and out, but I think it unzips going up and zips going down. I would echo my apprehension to "lock" the exits, but I don't have a constructive alternative for you besides sleeping across the doorway yourself (already mentioned above).

You've been through a hell of a lot, it's heartwarming to hear your plans for enjoying this activity with your family.
Best regards!
 

bryceCtravels

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Anyone with a Gazelle tent? Wondering if it has the double zippers.

A rooftop would probably be more secure, but getting a dog up there would be a pain in ass.

Thinking a gazelle with the screened in extra room would be ideal and I could put it up quickly with my son in the truck next to me.
I would argue against a rooftop tent. Height is just another thing that could injure a child or a dog. I've been trying to train my dog to sleep in my rooftop tent but I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable enough. And their nails could go right through any fabric or canvas.
 
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