Northeast outdoor kids

2 Outerwear Kits Needed

Kit #1: The first kit of outerwear is for the more temperate shoulder seasons of spring and fall. During this time of year, your child will rely on lighter waterproof outer garments such as rain and shell coats and rain and shell pants or one-piece waterproof suits.

Kit #2: As the weather becomes chillier and snow moves in, layers and insulated outer items such as snow coats and pants or full one-piece insulated snowsuits become necessary. During winter, your child will depend on the 1-2-3 layering principle to stay happy, warm, and dry while learning and playing outdoors. Read more here.

Checklist:

  • Rain pants/bib (consider Shell pants as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain Jacket (consider a Shell jacket as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain mittens (or shell mittens)
  • Rain Hat (optional if jacket has a hood, but visibility is better w/ a hat vs. a hood for children)
  • Insulated waterproof snow jacket
  • Insulated waterproof snow pant
  • Prefer a one-piece option? Select an insulated waterproof snowsuit
  • Insulated waterproof snow mittens or gloves
  • Wool socks and/or tights
  • Appropriate hat – one for fall/spring and warmer one for winter
  • Base layers – wool or high-tech poly or function fleece – never cotton
  • Rain boots
  • Insulated waterproof snow boots

Southern + South Central outdoor kids

1 Outerwear Kit Needed

This kit will consist of either waterproof separates (rain or shell jacket and rain or shell pants) or a waterproof one-piece suit in either rain or shell material. The decision of whether to choose separates or a one-piece option will depend on your child and the recommendations/requirements of the school. Weather get chilly sometimes, but no snow? Rely on smart base layers and mid layers too (if your child runs cold). Read more about layering techniques here.

Checklist:

  • Rain pants/bib (consider Shell pants as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain Jacket (consider a Shell jacket as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain mittens (or shell mittens)
  • Rain Hat (optional if jacket has a hood, but visibility is better w/ a hat vs. a hood for children)
  • Outer jacket for cooler days in fleece or lightweight insulation
  • Thin ply wool socks
  • Thin gloves or mittens
  • Rain boots

Pacific Northwest outdoor kids

1 Outerwear Kit Needed

Weather in the Pacific Northwest should allow children to rely on one kit of outerwear for outdoor school, but you may find that you will need two pairs of rain pants or two full complete kits of rain gear if your gear is not drying out over night before returning to school. Options: the primary set of rain gear could be a higher quality (and price point) and the secondary set a more affordable option perhaps with not the same level of functionality but serviceable as a backup. Get a feel for how things are going at school before you invest in the second set; you may or may not need it! Don't forget waterproof accessories such as waterproof rain mittens and hats. Also, the weather in the PNW will get chilly and feels more so due to the dampness, so you will need to rely on smart base layers and mid layers. Mid layer jackets can function as your child's outer jacket on non-rainy days. Read more about layering techniques here.

Checklist:

  • Rain pants/bib (consider Shell pants as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain Jacket (consider a Shell jacket as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain mittens (or shell mittens)
  • Rain Hat (optional if jacket has a hood, but visibility is better w/ a hat vs. a hood for children)
  • Outer jacket for cooler days in fleece or lightweight insulation
  • Insulated waterproof snow/winter jacket
  • Base layers – wool or high-tech poly or function fleece – never cotton
  • Wool socks and/or tights
  • Appropriate hat – one for fall/spring and warmer one for winter
  • Thin gloves or mittens
  • Rain boots
  • Boot liner

Midwest outdoor kids

2 Outerwear Kits Needed

Kit #1: The first kit of outerwear is for the more temperate shoulder seasons of spring and fall. During this time of year, your child will rely on lighter waterproof outer garments such as rain and shell coats and rain and shell pants or one-piece waterproof suits.

Kit #2: As the weather becomes chillier and snow moves in, layers and insulated outer items such as snow coats and pants or full one-piece insulated snowsuits become necessary. During winter, your child will depend on the 1-2-3 layering principle to stay happy, warm, and dry while learning and playing outdoors. Read more here.

Tip: Not all insulated winter gear is created equal! Stretch the functionality of your winter gear by wearing waterproof layers over it in extreme weather conditions. Example: Rain pants can waterproof snow pants which may just be water resistant. For this reason, the rain gear sold here at Outdoor School Shop is very generously sized (across all the brands we carry) so it can be worn over insulated gear and last for several seasons.

Checklist:

  • Rain pants/bib (consider Shell pants as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain Jacket (consider a Shell jacket as an alternative – more durable and breathable)
  • Rain mittens (or shell mittens)
  • Rain Hat (optional if jacket has a hood, but visibility is better w/ a hat vs. a hood for children)
  • Insulated waterproof snow jacket
  • Insulated waterproof snow pant
  • Prefer a one piece option? Select an insulated waterproof snowsuit
  • Insulated waterproof snow mittens or gloves
  • Wool socks and/or tights
  • Appropriate hat – one for fall/spring and warmer one for winter
  • Base layers – wool or high-tech poly or function fleece – never cotton
  • Rain boots
  • Insulated waterproof snow boots

California outdoor kids

1+ Outerwear Kits Needed

All children in California will require a kit of waterproof gear, separates or a suit. We do recommend the versatility of separates (rain pants or rain bib and jacket) for Southern California where children may overheat in a one-piece suit option. Live in the northern part of the state? Don't forget layers! Your child will rely on smart base layers and mid layers when weather gets chillier. Mid layer jackets can function as your child's outer jacket on non-rainy days. Read more about layering techniques here. Remember – all CA kids will need wool socks!

Tip: Not all insulated winter gear is created equal! Stretch the functionality of your winter gear by wearing waterproof layers over it in extreme weather conditions. Example: Rain pants can waterproof snow pants which may just be water resistant. For this reason, the rain gear sold here at Outdoor School Shop is very generously sized (across all the brands we carry) so it can be worn over insulated gear and last for several seasons.

Checklist:

  • Rain pants/bib (consider Shell pants as an alternative – waterproof, durable, and breathable)
  • Rain Jacket (consider a Shell jacket as an alternative – waterproof, durable, and breathable)
  • Rain mittens (or shell mittens)
  • Rain Hat (optional if jacket has a hood, but visibility is better w/ a hat vs. a hood for children)
  • Outer jacket for cooler days in fleece or lightweight insulation
  • Insulated waterproof snow/winter jacket. (Northern CA)
  • Base layers – wool or high-tech poly or function fleece – never cotton
  • Wool socks and/or tights
  • Appropriate hat – one for fall/spring and warmer one for winter (Northern CA)
  • Thin gloves or mittens
  • Insulated Gloves or Mittens (Northern CA)
  • Rain boots
  • Boot liner

Region not listed?

If you do not see your state listed, do not worry! Look for the characteristics of the states that are listed and determine which of those states have the same weather and climate profile as yours. Go with the recommendations for that state but do not be afraid to edit or add to what we have prepared. Every outdoor school will have its unique requirements and these needs can be tailored to your own individual checklist. ODSS just wants to provide you a good starting place! If you live in a “hybrid state”, one where it snows once a year but not much accumulation, high humidity and heat during the summer, usually above freezing or just at freezing temperatures in the winter, you will want to consider a gear list that has items from both the South Central checklist and the Northeast checklist. Pick and choose to meet the needs of your program! These gear checklists are living documents that can be adapted to your requirements!