My first grader and his classmates wanted to know if the Jews had/needed an Eruv in the desert.
A local Eruv expert suggested to me and his teacher that perhaps the ananei hakavod were considered walls for this purpose, making it that they could carry anywhere inside the camp. However, we have not found any source for this suggestion.
Does anyone know of any sources that discuss this?
UPDATE: Based on the comments, I want to remind everyone that the original question is posted at a first-grade level and intended to be a response to 6-7-year-olds. Therefore, it is much more open-ended than an adult would ask, because the kids don't know all of the background information. Specifically responding to a few comments:
Why didn't the mon fall on Shabbos? I thought it was because they couldn't collect it because of carrying.
I've heard that explanation before, but there's another explanation that it's simply a reminder that Shabbos is different and special. The Torah does not say explicitly that it is due to carrying, and there also could have been other things they wanted to carry.
Eruv was only instituted 480 years after the Exodus
While they would not have had exactly the same concept as we do, the question can still be interpreted as "did they have a mechanism that would allow them to carry between tents on Shabbat?", even if that was different that what we know as an Eruv today.
Rashi's understanding of Shabbat 6b indicates the desert was considered a public domain back then, but others interpret the gemara as saying that it wasn't then and is now...
This is a complex debate (and includes discussion about defining the term "public domain" as "containing the number of people (600,000) that were in the desert" (see Maggid Mishneh), but it doesn't remove the original question, only change it a little: If you hold that it was a public domain, was there some means of carrying, or if you hold that is was not, does that mean they could carry between each other's tents without any additional restrictions?
Why/ how would the ananei ha-kavod count as walls?
I asked the same questions. "How" is that one of the functions of the clouds was to keep away people/animals/things that did not belong (as mentioned here). "Why" is because they could function the same as the walls of Yerushalayim, as noted in Eruvin 22a.