Cold weather should not be a problem
In the UK we do like to moan about the weather. However, generally we have it easy: summer doesn’t get too hot, and winter doesn’t get too cold.
I know when I’ve had Canadian friends over, they laugh at the little snow fall we have, even though everything stops. But you don’t need to go to Canada. Just pop over to Sweden for example, and you’ll see lots of kids happily going to school in much colder weather than over here.
“But they’re used to it” you might be thinking. True, they are used to it. They are used to being prepared. And they know what to do.
Unfortunately in the UK, at the end of the summer school holidays, we are bombarded in the high street with ‘Back to school’ coats. This is in September when it is still warm. “Ah, that’s a nice thick coat. That’ll keep Johnny warm this winter term.”. Unfortunately that’s not always going to be the case.
There’s a right way to dress for colder weather, and it’s very simple.
Start with Base Layers
Think of the base layers as the foundation, just like the foundation of a house.
This is the thermal layer that really helps keep your child warm. And just like the foundations of a house, you build upon the base layers. You adjust the layers of clothes on top so that they are appropriate for the weather conditions.
With a good set of base layers, you may find your child needs fewer clothes, and so they are a good investment. However, choose wisely as you don’t want them to over heat.
Click here to read more about choosing Base Layers
Your child may be going to school, or your child may be walking through the sudden snowfall to visit their grandma to make sure they are alright and help clear their path….. So put normal clothes over the base layers.
If it is wet or there’s snow, avoid heavy cotton like jeans.
When jeans get wet they are very slow to dry out. Wet clothes can cool the body down. Wet jeans can and has often caused hypothermia in the unprepared.
Mid layers are anything between the base layers and the outer layers. Normal clothes can be considered part of the mid-layers, but generally we’re talking about things such as a fleece, which provide an additional layer of insulation.
Micro-fleeces are a very good mid-layer. They are a lot less bulky than a fleece jacket, can look like a normal pullover, but have very good insulation properties.
Click here for a good example of a kid’s micro-fleece.
Since micro-fleeces aren’t very thick, they are good to wear under other layers, or even combine with other mid-layer clothes, such as a gilet.
Another mid-layer are Soft-Shell jackets. These can be used as jackets on their own or as a warm mid-layer when the temperature drops.
When it’s milder and dry, these mid-layers are perfectly good outer layers – ideal for Autumn and Spring.
This is where your coat comes in. Choose one appropriate.
If it’s just wet but not too cold, a thinner rain coat would be more comfortable to wear than a thick winter coat.
Don’t forget about the trousers, especially for kids. Get some waterproof trousers for when it is wet or there’s snow (kids always get covered in snow!) so that the layers below stay dry.
Outer trousers also keep the cold wind at bay, and if they’re lined, provide an additional layer of insulation.
Continue reading: getoutwiththekids.co.uk/family-hiking/keep-kids-warm