Family Living in a Tent

Camping by Johnny Maroun

Tent Living as a Family

Due to recent chatter:
This will most likely be my only post about children living in tents, as opposed to long-term camping, so if it bothers you or if you are looking for more specific information about what is discussed below it probably won’t be on the rest of my site.
Back to the content:

Family Living

If you are living in a tent with your family, and you have a little bit of funds – or just a great opportunity to acquire one – getting a bigger tent will save you money in the long run. It will be less likely to tear, will have more space for any belongings you have, and will make it easier as your children grow. The quality of the tent is also very important.

You may have noticed that more secure-looking tents I reference in this post are by Eureka! and there’s a reason. While they are more expensive than the standard-style tents, they also provide more fly coverage and better zippers. They are also less expensive than a lot of the ‘long-term tents’ you can find. A Eureka! tent will last, even with consistent and persistent use, for years while being a nice middle-ground on price.

Supply Tents

If you are able to get another standard-style tent for supplies, that’s great! A supply tent can make more room in a smaller living tent, and can sometimes make storing perishables easier since you don’t have to worry about building up heat like in your living tent. Don’t disregard the simpler styles just to get the best you can immediately afford. I will talk more about supply tents in a later post.

Help! I have no money, but I need/want/crave a tent to live in!

Well, there are problems with easily acquiring a tent:

  1. They aren’t something people just get rid of when they’re still in good condition. A tent in bad condition can be worse than living in a smaller tent, on a friend’s couch, or in your car.
  2. Trying to explain to a support or charitable group why you are looking for a tent might bring trouble if you have kids.
  3. If you’re on your own, people may not believe that’s what you’re collecting money for.

If you are active in any organizations, you may be able to start by introducing the generic idea that you are in the market to buy a tent. If they don’t know about your financial situation they may be fully willing to match you up with their buddy who hasn’t used his in years, but would like to get that extra space back in the garage. If they are aware of the troubles you are going through they may be sympathetic, and help you set up a quick collection to get you on your way.

If there are good community-outreach programs in your area, you may be able to volunteer and earn rewards – or simply end up in a position where they want to offload old equipment and you’re right there.

Some cities have trips where they take the locals out camping. This might be a place for you to volunteer and get involved. The more involved you are, the more you get to know everyone, the more opportunities to move yourself closer to your goal.

Something else some locations have are tent cities. These are areas where a group of homeless have worked together to create their own subculture. If you have money, don’t go pandering for support or ideas. If you want to help them out, work with your local organizations. If you are currently homeless, or expect to soon be, then feel free to go and get to know them. Some may not talk to you, and many may start off suspicious. Make it clear you aren’t a cop, you are having difficulties, and are looking to see about living there. Ask questions, be nice.

******* I cannot stress this enough if you do visit: don’t be mean, condescending, an over-concerned SJW, or a terrible human being in any way. I am not discussing tent cities as a tourist destination, or a place where there’s no hope or help. Don’t be a ****.                                     *******

Also, I do not condone or denigrate having children living in a tent. If you read my About Me, I had periods of my childhood where tents were involved. I can understand the worry over health and safety, but in some environments and compared to some situations whether or not the kids are in a tent would not be the prevalent concern – wouldn’t even hit the top 50. The mandatory reporting and/or general legality of children in tents depends on where you live. Please do your research before yelling at me or trying out the lifestyle yourself.

If you have any questions, comments or stories, please leave a comment below!  😉

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Again, just to remind you, the links may be affiliate programs; but you don’t pay extra for it!


I'm (now) an Affiliate, who blogs about the materials, gear and supplies needed for living in a tent and long term camping: http://longtermcamping.siterubix.com I also enjoy reading and sci-fi in all its many forms.


  1. Hi there, Mar!

    I wanted to comment on your About Me page but this will have to do. I was wondering what YMMV stands for?

    But more importantly, I think your site is great and is a valuable resource both for those who are or will be camping long term and also for those who might tend to judge that lifestyle because they don’t know about it. I’d really love to hear more personal stories about your experiences! Thanks for the wonderful site 🙂

    • Hello Jenny!

      Thanks for your interest! I didn’t realize an About Me page could have comments, but I made it so it’s available now.

      YMMV is an old trope for Your Mileage May Vary (basically, your involvement/opinion depends on your interests and personal preferences). Also, I agree with you about the perception of camp living. I’ve never understood why it’s always been seen differently or easy to do year-round, but there we are.

      In terms of personal stories, I’ve tried to think of enough to do “story day” every week or so, except a lot of it would just devolve into the same 5 issues I have to help neighboring campers deal with almost everywhere I go, and that’s very repetitive. A lot of the background aspects of camp living are the same as house or apartment living – just going day to day and doing what needs done, so it’s things like wind funnels and heavy storms, hearing something being hunted in the night and knowing your personal grip strength for hand-held defense, and rowdy neighbors and surviving their generators blowing directly into your tent that stick out the most.

      Maybe it’s because it’s a regular thing for me, but most of that paragraph just sounded like complaints, not interesting topics.

      However, since you seem interested, I will try to integrate more stories into my posts, but I apologize ahead of time if they’re boring.

      Thanks for stopping in!

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