Winter has been bitter this year and if you’re in any part of the Northern United States, winter can be dreadfully cold. For me, snowflakes and fresh fallen powdery snow can make winter magical. A soft and light dusting that glimmers across the canopy of the forrest can be breathtakingly beautiful. Yet it isn’t the snow that keeps us inside rather it is the frigid cold that comes with it.
If you are following Charlotte Mason Methods (like us) then you (like us) may be trying to figure out how to get outside in nature, for 4-6 hours per day in the freezing cold. Now this may seem daunting to spend that much time outside in the coldest parts of winter, at least that’s how I feel. However, I want my children to experience the beauty of nature walks and outside play in the winter, so this year I am trying to embrace the cold.
No Such Thing As Bad Weather…
There is a popular quote by Alfred Wainwright, that is often referenced among outdoor nature enthusiasts and Charlotte Mason homeschoolers alike. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Ok Alfred, I suppose you’re right. Which means I can’t use the “It is too cold” excuse. Now I have begun my search for proper winter apparel to last us several hours outside.
Nearly five years ago this Christmas my husband and I were gifted two Columbia Omni-heat coats. These coats are pretty amazing, they use thermal reflective technology in the inside of their coats. Which means that it is lined with these tiny silver dots that reflect your own body heat back to you and seals your own heat in. I honestly have not been cold during the winter since then.
This will be my first attempt to stay out with my children for extended hours though. Which means I want to be well prepared, so I want to add in Omni-heat boots and gloves. I am also searching for my children. This is what I have found so far for women. I am considering a new coat since mine is black and it is hunting season. The coat below is strawberry red, so I should stand out. I love the “touch” gloves because again these use the Omni-heat technology and they are so flexible. I don’t care for bulky padded gloves that leave no ease to grasp anything.
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- http://Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite III Jacket, Red Camellia, Small
- Columbia Omni-Heat Touch Glove Liner, Black, Medium
- Columbia Women’s Minx Mid Ii Omni-heat Snow Boot, Black, Charcoal, 8 B US
- Columbia Adult Trail Summit Headwear, Black, One Size
- Columbia Adult Thermarator Headring, Red Camellia, Small/Medium
For my oldest I am looking for something similar to mine, which also includes the reflective thermal technology by Columbia Omni-heat. I also want to find the best quality for the least amount of cost, so this is what I am considering for her. (Click titles to view)
My youngest is 3.5 years old, tiny but fierce. I am concerned about him keeping warm the most. If you’re concerned about your littlest children keeping warm during winter outside play then you may be interested in these options too.
(Click titles to view)
- Columbia Baby Buga Snow Set, Super Blue Print/Valencia, 6-12 Months
- Columbia Boys Alpine Action ii Jacket, Collegiate Navy/Blue Heron, 3 Tall
- Columbia Little Boys’ Double Flake Set, Peninsula, Collegiate Navy, 2T
- Columbia Sportswear Heather Canyon Winter Boot (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid),Mud/Clear Blue,9 M US Toddler
- Columbia Toddler Boys Chippewa Mitten, Super Blue, Collegiate Navy, One Size
- Columbia Baby Boys’ Tiny Bear Hat, Boulder/Coal, One Size
Thermals and Hand-warmers
Now if you’re anything like me you can’t see yourself spending that much money on all that winter apparel. When I was a child, we often doubled our layers and added “long Johns” underneath. I would wear soft flexible mittens and my mom would send me out with heated rice bags. In later years, for the sake of convenience, we would use hot hands disposable hot packs. Below are some lower cost options that fit this description.
- Modal Cotton Thermal Long Underwear Set Breathing Base Layer Long John Pajama for Boy Girl Toddler (2~3 Year, Navy)
- Snozu Girl\’s 2-Pack Thermal Warm Underwear Top and Pant Set, Light Grey/Fuchsia, Size 5/6′
- Rocky Womens Thermal 2 Pc Long John Underwear Set Top and Bottom Smooth Knit (Medium, Black)
- HotHands Hand Warmers, 10 count (5 pack with 2 warmers per pack)
- HotHands Toe Warmers (40 Pair)
Tips For Winter Nature Walks…
If you’re planning for a nature walk remember to bring a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or tea, and on some occasions, hot soup. For outside time in your own backyard, my husband suggested a fire pit, with supervision of course. I thought it was a nice idea, we could even roast some marshmallows. Break up your time outside, a little here and little there really adds up. In past experiences I had avoided going outside in the winter because of how long it takes to get everyone’s clothes on. Help yourself by staying organized, keep it all ready and paired together near the door that you go in and out the most.
Still the total bill for all those winter gear items seemed a bit much for me. I started to think about how I could cut the price down. I am considering buying what I can on EBay. I found a pair of Columbia Omniheat boots for my oldest, for only $14. There is several Columbia Omniheat winter coats for women with a starting bid of 99 cents and a few pair of Omniheat boots auctioning between 99 cents-$3. I’ve done the auction thing before, wait until the last minute and get yourself a deal. If they don’t have a size or color that I want or it is sold to the highest bidder that isn’t me, then I can still get it on Amazon.
(Follow the link below to check it out)
I hope you found the information here helpful, do you have any ideas on how to make time more outside comfortable during the winter?