FAQ

Outdoor School Gear Related Questions

The right, hardwearing, warm, and waterproof gear ensures your child will be comfortable and engaged at outdoor school. Inferior gear can compromise the success of your child's outdoor school experience; instead of blaming the gear for any discomfort, your child may instead blame the program for her/his discomfort.

Your program should provide you a "gear checklist" prior to school start. If your school does not provide such checklists, you can use what ODSS has made available. We have prepared gear checklists according to regions of the U.S. so you can be sure you are buying the right items specific to your climate. Find ODSS checklists here. If your budget is tight, ask the teacher to specify what are "must-haves". Also, your teacher may be able to recommend which items can be purchased according to a "good, better, best" paradigm. Likely not all the required gear your child needs will have to be bought from the "best" category.

There are a variety of ways to go about getting the gear your child needs for outdoor school. Some schools will provide the gear as a service to families, often building the cost into the tuition or perhaps using grant money that the school may have received. Other schools may have "lending libraries" for gear and still other schools may sponsor gear swaps for families where used items can be traded or bought at greatly reduced cost. Also, keep in mind that not all your gear purchases need to be from the most expensive gear available. Some items can be of a lesser quality, knowing you can compensate with other higher quality items you have purchased. Example: snow pants – maybe you opt for a lower price point item here that may not be fully waterproof, knowing you can layer your 100% waterproof rain pants over them on extreme weather day – this is a strategy that is common in Scandinavia, so we know it works! Ask your teacher to advise which items are ok to economize on. We here at ODSS are also happy to provide advice.

Careful care of your child's gear will ensure maximum use of the items purchased. We here at ODSS cannot emphasize enough that over-washing is one of the most harmful actions you can take with your child's outerwear. Remember that in many cases, outerwear can be spot cleaned with a sponge cloth or even hosed down with your child in it! Over-washing will cause the inherent waterproofness of the garment to break down more quickly overtime. Similarly, when you do need to machine wash, be sure to hang-dry your outerwear, including base layers. Overuse of the dryer will significantly reduce the longevity of outerwear. Most outerwear washed when your child returns from school, will be dry by morning if hung dry overnight. Finally, always be mindful of the instructions on the garment's care label. However, do keep in mind while an outerwear items might be ok to machine wash and tumble dry according to the care label– it is better not to!

There are a few variables that go into answering this question! Most depends on the intensity of your child's outdoor program and your child's activity level at school. A full immersion forest school program will certainly put your child's gear to the test; even the most durable, high quality gear has a hard time withstanding constant abrasion on rough surfaces outside and contact with branches and brambles. If your child tends to really push the limits of exploration - picture her crawling on her belly on the forest floor – then her gear is bound to take a beating. Hopefully, if repairs need to be made to your child's gear, they will be easy fixes that a good patch kit can take care of. In terms of rain pants, don't forget that good old fashioned electrical tape works great to cover rips or tears and provides a waterproof seal. Shell and other rip stop-like fabrics can be patched – traditional rain pants or jackets cannot as the act of sewing or ironing a patch will cause further damage. Please note, bootstraps on your child's rain & shell pants or suits will wear thru eventually and need to be replaced. They are intended to be worn under the sole of the boot or shoe and your child will tread on them every day. Replacements are sold at ODSS and are not expensive.

ODSS is happy to support schools and outdoor programs with bulk outerwear purchasing options. The choice within the bulk purchase program is limited to certain brands, styles, and colors. We are happy to work with you one-on-one to determine the best gear for your program and budget. If you do not know where to start with the buying process and just need guidance – reach out! We can assist with grant writing too and may be able to help you even find grant opportunities. The ideal time to make your order for your school is between January and February for the following school year. This timing ensures we can secure the items you need but we will do our best to work around any timing! Bulk discounts are determined based on the volume you purchase. Alyssa or Abigail on our team will be able to help! Just email us at theteam@outdoorschoolshop.com.

Shopping & Navigating the Website

When you create a Customer Account at ODSS you'll be able to save and share the items you add in our Wishlist accounts, perfect for sending to grandparents! Also save items in your cart for up to 30 days, and automatically be enrolled in our online loyalty program where you accrue Outdoor Bucks points towards rewards with every purchase.

If you forgot your password, just click the "Forgot Password" link and we will send you an automated email with information on how to reset your password. A forgotten username can be retrieved directly via email. If you are not receiving the automated email, try checking your Spam folders. If you have ever opted out of our email marketing campaigns in the past, please call customer service to assist you in retrieving your username and password information.

ODSS does not currently offer price adjustments. Be sure to sign up for our emails so you can be made aware when we have special promotions and sales going on.

Gift Wrap will be available shortly for items sold in our Book Nook Category. All other items are not eligible for gift wrap at this time.

We carry a wide variety of different vendors at ODSS. Please refer to the specific size chart for each vendor which we have made available on the product detail page for the respective vendor. Do note that in general traditional rain gear does tend to run on the generous side. There is usually no need to size up. The generous sizing is intentional to allow multiple seasons of use and smart layering techniques underneath the rain gear.

ODSS ships to the United States and Canada currently. We also ship to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. For these addresses, be sure to use USA as the country code. Should you wish to ship your purchase outside of North America, please consider using a freight forwarder. ODSS may move to shipping internationally based on demand. Let us know if you would like to see us institute this service!

7-12 days transit. $30 flat rate fee shipping. Expedited shipping, gift wrap, and reduced threshold or free shipping promotions are not available to the Canadian market currently. ODSS does not pre-pay fees associated with customs duties or border taxes for Canada bound shipments. The customer is responsible for these and any other associated fees and is advised to check current rates before placing any orders. Any returns will be at the customer's expense. Please email us at customer service should you need any assistance placing your order to Canada.

We accept:

  • Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express
  • Apple Pay
  • Paypal

When making a purchase with an international account, Debit Cards cannot be accepted through our systems. Please only use a Credit Card and make sure your Billing Address and Name are the same as what is on record with your Credit Card provider.

Orders are subject to verification and acceptance before shipping. Credit cards will be charged when the items are shipped.

We use a third-party application for such inquiries. When a color and size is sold out in the item you are interested in, you can elect to enter your email address to be notified when the item is re-stocked. Please note not all items will be re-stocked. You are always welcome to contact us at customer service and we can provide specific information.

We work quickly to ensure you receive your order promptly. Our systems are fully automated, which means that after you place your order it is sent to our warehouse to be packed and shipped. Although this is great news when you are eager to get your order dispatched quickly, it unfortunately means that if you want to make any changes or cancel your order, such requests must be made within hours of placing your order. We will do our best to accommodate such requests but due to the automation of our system cannot guarantee we will be able to.

35 Days

ODSS provides a full refund to original form of payment within 34 days of order placement. Order placement is the date indicated on the order confirmation email. We offer 35 days and not the more standard 30 as we want to ensure you have ample time to process and send your return. Your return must be received by our warehouse within that 35-day period.

36-60 Days

If you make a return for a qualified item during this period, ODSS will be happy to provide a customer credit. We will be unable to accept any returns for items more than 61 days from the date of order placement.

Condition of Returns

Items you would like to return must be unworn and unwashed with tags in place. If footwear is purchased, be sure to try on items on a clean indoor surface so that the sole remains clean. We will be unable to refund goods which do not meet these criteria. Should your return not meet these criteria, we will be happy to return the items, but the customer will be responsible for return shipping charges at cost.

Upon receipt of your order, take time to inspect the items you received. ODSS will replace any item that has a legitimate quality defect. Notices of such defects must be made to ODSS within 14 days of order receipt as based on the tracking confirmation. ODSS is not responsible for items that get damaged when washed or dried. To avoid damage to your child's outerwear, take time to carefully read washing instructions on the garment label. ODSS always advises parents to choose hang drying whenever possible to increase the longevity of your child's gear. Also, avoid clothes soap with optic brighteners. Wool should be washed on the delicates' setting and hung dry.

What if my item gets damaged?

Children can be quite rough on their outerwear, and this makes sense! It means that they are having fun and enjoying the great outdoors and making the most of their outdoor school experience! The muddier and dirtier their gear when they come home – the better! Just keep in mind that gear put to the test like this will from time-to-time show signs of wear and tear due to heavy use no matter how high quality these items are. This is to be expected! Wear and tear could manifest as a puncture to a rain pant or rain mitten or a tear to a shell jacket or snowsuit. The good news is that ODSS stocks all the little gear maintenance items to ensure that you get as much longevity as possible out of the items you have invested in for your child's outdoor school experience. Browse our Little Necessities category to find all the tricks of the trade to keep your child's gear functioning into the next season and ready to pass on to the next eager wearer! Sometimes a gear fix is as simple as using electrical tape to create a waterproof seal to a tear to a rain pant!

Items you would like to return must be unworn and unwashed with tags in place. If footwear is purchased, be sure to try on items on a clean indoor surface so that the sole remains clean. We will be unable to refund goods which do not meet these criteria. Should your return not meet these criteria, we will be happy to return the items but the customer will be responsible for return shipping charges at cost.

Upon receipt of your order, take time to inspect the items you received. ODSS will replace any item that has a legitimate quality defect. Notices of such defects must be made to ODSS within 14 days of order receipt as based on the tracking confirmation. ODSS is not responsible for items that get damaged when washed or dried. To avoid damage to your child's outerwear, take time to carefully read washing instructions on the garment label. ODSS always advises parents to choose hang drying whenever possible to increase the longevity of your child's gear. Also, avoid clothes soap with optic brighteners. Wool should be washed on the delicates' setting and hung dry.