Exploring the outdoors can be a wonderful way to experience family bonding, especially when you wear the right gear.
My husband and I have always had a love for the outdoors. But it was mostly a seasonal love. Meaning, if the weather was cold or wet we were hanging out inside. As fate would have it, we now have a toddler that loves playing outside, rain or shine.
This has led us to make a habit of exploring the outdoors on a regular basis, regardless of the weather. In 2016 we went hiking in the sunshine, snow, rain and wind. And all of these hikes were enjoyable because we were wearing the right gear.
We never realized how much difference a little preparation and having the right gear can make! So right now we want to share what to wear on your family hiking trip. Don’t let the weather keep you cooped up indoors.
Cold Weather Gear
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My husband and I tend to run cold. That is partly why we used to stay indoors when it was cold outside. We were told that having the right layers underneath your clothes can make a big difference. And people were right! We recently bought some wool under layers from Ice Breaker and love them. I have an undershirt, pair of leggings and wool socks. The nice thing about wool is that it absorbs moisture and does not cause a cold sweat like I have experienced with cotton.
Depending on how cold it is outside you may want to throw on a pair of gloves and a hat.
Because we wanted to be able to hike no matter the weather we invested in two types of jackets. A quality down feather jacket and a quality rain jacket. Both made by Mountain Hardwear. The two together, along with our wool under layers make for a nice and toasty combination. Isn’t it funny that both my husband and I grew up in rainy Oregon and yet neither one of us had ever owned a quality rain jacket.
We also invested in quality rain pants. This was such a great choice! Walking around in wet pants can be miserable and cold. They also help to add another layer of warmth on windy days.
For the Little Ones
Kiddos don’t seem to mind the cold and may not always tell you if they are warm enough so I tend to bundle the munchkin up pretty good. If the weather is really cold I like to put tights on under my daughters pants. We then use a jacket and a rain suit similar to this one. Honestly, this suit is one of the best purchases we have made as far as the munchkin goes.
Good Walking Shoes
Comfortable footwear can make or break a hiking experience in my opinion. Some of our favorite shoes have been from Columbia, Merrell and Danner Vibram boots. Since we live in an area that gets a lot of rain we wanted to make sure we had quality waterproof shoes. For Genevieve we found these boots. They have worked out great in both the rain and the snow.
Warm Weather Gear
Hiking during the warmer months is pretty simple. Just like in cold weather, you still want to have your water, snacks and good hiking shoes. It is also a good idea to bring sunscreen and possibly bug repellent depending on your location. Trade in the winter hat for a sun hat and make sure everyone has their sun glasses. I prefer to wear light weight clothing that wicks away moisture.
These clothing items help our hiking trips and outdoor adventures to be more enjoyable, regardless of the weather.
Quality gear can get expensive. It is always a good idea to shop around. Some great options for finding gear at a lower price are Backcountry.com, Sunnysports.com, Amazon.com, Offerup, Facebook selling groups, consignment sales, outlet stores and even garage sales.
Don’t miss the rest of the How to Enjoy the Outdoors as a family series.
Does your family enjoy exploring the outdoors together? What clothing items do you find make the experience more enjoyable? Be sure to check out what to bring on your hiking adventure.
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