Your Safety Guide to Roofnesting with Kids

When it comes to planning a family camp trip, there’s nothing like skipping the slog of gathering all your camping gear before hitting the open road. A rooftop tent gives your family the freedom to throw your hiking boots and s’mores gear in the back of the car and take off, assured that your weekend won’t be ruined because someone forgot the tent poles again.

One of the main benefits of your Roofnest is the ability to camp anywhere your car can take you, and to have your tent set up in seconds. And with almost all our models you can store your bedding right in your Roofnest, so you don’t even have to worry about designating one unlucky kid to set up the sleeping bags.

At the core of every Roofnest design is comfort, durability, and safety. A hard-shell rooftop tent protects you and your family from the elements like rainstorms, wind, and hail. It also protects you from discomforts like sleeping on particularly cold or bumpy ground.

And don’t forget the incredible panoramic views your Rooftop provides.

But sleeping off the ground comes does come with a few extra safety considerations, especially when camping with kiddos.

Just like learning to ride a bike or chopping veggies with a sharp knife, our kids need our guidance to safely try new things. The same goes for using a Roofnest ladder to climb in and out of the tent, and staying safe and secure once inside.

From securing and using your tent’s ladder to using safe lighting and trash storage strategies, here’s your safety guide to Roofnesting with your kids.

Secure the Ladder

First things first: Whether you’re climbing up a ladder to grab the Christmas decorations out of the attic or to get into your Roofnest, always make sure your ladder is secured before you or your kids step on it.

All Roofnests are shipped with a sturdy and lightweight telescoping ladder for easy access into your tent from any angle. The ladder fits securely into the brackets below the doorways on all Roofnest tents.

Unsecure – this is the ladder before it has been attached to the hooks beneath the door of the tent.

Make sure the ladder hooks are secured on the brackets beneath the door of your tent. You’ll know the ladder is safely fastened when you hear a click, and the ladder doesn’t move from the brackets.

Secure – the ladder is securely fastened into the brackets beneath the door of the tent.

Even if the ladder is safely locked into your tent, it’s important to try and park on flat land so the base of the ladder is on flat, even ground. In case of rain, snow, or mud, make sure the rungs of the ladder are dry before your kids use it so their hands or feet don’t slip.

No matter what age, it’s wise to supervise your children when they go up and down the ladder. Teach your child to always maintain a 3-point contact on the ladder when climbing (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) and to always face the ladder while climbing.

If your child is younger than 9 or 10 years old, it’s smart to stand behind them as they use the ladder and support them with your hands in case they slip.

Secure All Doors and Windows

Whether your kids are hanging out and playing cards during the day or snuggling up to go to sleep at night, make sure they stay safe once they’re inside the Roofnest by fully zipping all the mesh windows closed. This is especially important with young children or infants, since the tent is elevated several feet off the ground.

If it’s warm out, you and your children can still enjoy a fresh breeze through the mesh windows when they’re zipped up and the doors are closed.


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The nest gets a visitor #roofnest

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Light the Way

Accidents are a lot more likely to occur when you can’t see what’s in front of you. Before you set out on your camp trip, be sure to always have a light source handy to help you and your kids safely move around in the dark.

This is especially important when you or your kids need to go up and down the ladder at night. We include a rechargeable LED light with your tent, which can be used as a night light for entering or exiting your Roofnest.

You’ll also want another flashlight to light the way for your children if they need to use the ladder to get in or out of the tent at night. Light the way for them so they don’t take their hands off the ladder to use the flashlight themselves while climbing up or down.

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Store Your Trash Away

No matter what type of camping you’re doing, you never want to store your food or trash inside your tent at night. This goes for your Roofnest, too.

Anything with a strong smell may draw the attention of bears or other animals. Aside from food or garbage, bears and other animals can also be attracted by things like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, insect repellant, perfumes, deodorant, and other hygienic products.

When you’re tent camping on the ground at a site without trash services, it can be a smart strategy to store your trash and food in your locked car and park it far away from your tent. But in a Roofnest, the last thing you want on a family camp trip is for animals to come rooting around your car looking for treats.

Don’t leave any of these temptations in your tent, car, or around your campsite. Developed campgrounds are likely to provide clearly-marked garbage bins with staff who empty the bins regularly.

If you’re camping in an undeveloped campground or in the backcountry, you can hang up your garbage in a tree that’s far away from your tent, keeping it out of a bear’s reach. But because bears are excellent climbers, a “bear hang” for your trash needs to fit a few criteria to be effective.
Your trash should be hung between two trees and at least ten feet off the ground. It should also be four feet from the trunk of any tree, and a minimum of 100 feet from your tent.

We Bring the Outdoors Closer to Every Family

From instant setup to extra comfort and durability, Roofnests are designed to help your family get outdoors quickly and easily. With just a little guidance and a few safety tips from you, your kiddo will be a Roofnest pro in no time.

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And in the blink of an eye, those children will be teens setting out on camp trips of their own. They’ll have you to thank for their love of the great outdoors, and for their smart and safe camping practices.

But once they have their own car, they may be asking to borrow the Roofnest. We’ll leave that challenge up to you to navigate.

Discover the camp trip destination every family needs to try once: Telluride, Colorado»

July Live Outside & Play

Summer is officially here and we couldn’t be more excited! We’re continuing to follow our friends Ben and Roxy (plus Henry the dog) from L.O.A.P. on their cross-country adventures celebrating #VanLife. This month they’ll be caravanning across Colorado (our Roofnest home state)! If you’re in the area this month, be sure to try and join them at a meet-up.

LOAP July Calendar

6th – Copper Mountain Music Festival in Summit County, CO

12th-14th – Colorado Van Life Gathering in Basalt, CO

18th – S2S Event in Boulder, CO

26-28th – Group Camp Out in the Flat Top Mountains

Copper Mountain Music Festival

Join Ben and Roxy in celebrating 4th of July weekend at Copper Mountain Music Festival! On the 6th and 7th, they’ll be featuring free live shows from Guster and Rayland Baxter. Stop by for some delicious Colorado brews and to celebrate the red, white, and blue with some fellow Flock members!

Colorado Van Life Gathering

Next, Ben and Roxy will be attending the fourth annual Van Life gathering in Basalt, CO showcasing their Van and Roofnest Eagle. This year there will be a two day campout at the Dallenbach Ranch. There will be tons of vans and RVs, yoga flows, environmental workshops, and live music. Tickets are $65 and cover your entire weekend, with a portion of the ticket being donated to the Trust for Public Land. This event is family and pet friendly, so pack up and head out!

July National Park Highlight: Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park, MI

Hey there, Flock! We’re back again this month with another National Park Highlight Blog. We’re excited to introduce you to this month’s destination: Isle Royale National Park. If you’re unfamiliar, Isle Royale is located in Michigan, within Lake Superior. This park offers a surplus of peace and solitude for outdoorsmen and women of all type. There is endless opportunity for backpacking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping. 

Lake Superior

Park Activities

Camping at Isle Royale is a one-of-a-kind experience. With 36 different campgrounds to choose from, you’re able to camp with Lake Superior access or on the Isle on an inland campground. The inland campground is only accessible by non-motorized boat. When camping in the park, it’s important to take into consideration how isolated it can be. Weather conditions can always take a turn, so be sure to pack an emergency kits and gear you may need, depending on the season. Campfires are not permitted at most campsites, providing an even more off the grid experience for experienced campers. One thing to note: camping gets very popular in the warmer months, so make sure to head to their site to confirm a reservation before your trip.

Gray Wolf in Isle Royale


Gray Wolves have inhabited the Isle since the late 1940’s. With the population fluctuating from around fifty in the 80’s to just two in 2018, your likelihood of encountering a wolf is very low. For this reason, no pets are allowed on the Isle and remember to practice safe camping practices. These wolves are unique apex predators who contribute to controlling the Moose population throughout the park. If you happen to see one, enjoy it! It’s a rare and beautiful experience. Moose have been on the Isle since the early 1900’s and their population in the area has varied from around 500 to 2,400 since 1980. 

So there you have it, Flock! If you get the chance to experience Isle Royale’s unique Lake Superior views, Wildlife, and hiking and camping opportunities. Be sure to pack your Roofnest down blanket for a light sleeping cover to keep you comfortable and protected on your adventures. Happy camping!