What to Wear: At Heartwood we firmly believe that there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. We love the rain and the puddles and mud it creates, and when children are dressed correctly they are free to enjoy it fully. Non-cotton inner layers and waterproof outer layers are key to keeping safe, warm and dry in our wet Pacific Northwest. The following are some guidelines to what we’ve found works best.
Boots: comfortable rainboots/all weather boots, such as
, with warm (preferably non-cotton), long socks underneath. Shorter, thinner socks tend to fall down and get jumbled underfoot. Snow boots are warm, but are often not waterproof above the ankle, so they can become wet and uncomfortable in the rain or after puddle-jumping.
Layers: Find non-cotton layers to wear underneath rain gear. Cotton (esp. jeans) easily soaks up water and does not dry, leaving kids cold and uncomfortable. Wool, silk or synthetic long underwear, leggings, long-sleeve shirts and fleece pants and jacket will keep your child warm and dry.
Jacket: a good, waterproof rain jacket is essential. Many winter jackets or snow coats are not waterproof, so they become heavy and uncomfortable in the rain. This is one item that you may wish to purchase new, as waterproofing can wear off over time.
Rain pants: waterproof pants are very important, as we spend much of our time sitting on wet ground or walking (jumping) through puddles! They should have elastic or velcro around the ankle so they can fit snugly around rain boots. Snow pants are warm, but are often not waterproof and tend to soak up water, so they become heavy and uncomfortable in the rain.
Mittens or gloves: when the weather gets colder, a pair of waterproof mittens or gloves will be important. Look for styles that zip over the wrist.
Hat: In colder weather, children should wear a non-cotton hat that goes over the ears. On sunny days, a wide-brim hat is great for keeping the sun off the face and neck.
Other recommendations: For younger children or those that tend to fall or try to “swim” in puddles, zip-up rain suits such as the Tuffo Muddy Buddy (
) are great and will keep them dry. These are easy to pull on over their entire outfit. In dry/warm weather, tennis shoes or closed-toed sandals (such as Keens, e.g.
) will do fine. No flip flops, please!
Where to find them: thrift/secondhand stores are great for finding inner layers, such as fleece jackets and pants, long-sleeve shirts and leggings. Boots can also be found secondhand, but look out for tears or small cracks in kids’ rain boots. Waterproof outer layers can lose their effectiveness over time, so if you buy these secondhand you may want to consider applying a water repellent. Some other good places to find outdoor gear: Vancouver, WA based Oakiwear (
); REI (
); Tuffo (
); Bogs (
); Sierra Trading Post (
What to Bring:
All Snack and lunch items should be in a backpack (One your kid can carry on his/her own) and labeled with your child’s name. We encourage our students to independently manage their lunches and other possessions (opening and closing containers, disposing of trash, closing and putting away lunch bags, etc.), so please keep ease of use in mind when planning and packing lunches. Pack all extra clothing/gear in a separate tote bag or backpack so that the campers will have what they need for clothing without the weight being on their backs.
Reusable water bottle
: Make sure your child can open and close it on their own!
Healthy lunch and snack
: please try to limit the amount of plastic packaging in your child’s lunch, as bits of plastic are easily lost in the wind and become litter.
One complete change of clothes:
in a ziploc bag
What to Leave at Home:
Toys and electronics
: these take up valuable backpack space, cause jealousy and arguments between children, and distract from our immersive nature experience. Please leave them at home or in the car!
Precious or valuable items/trinkets
: kids love to take these sorts of things out to show their friends, and they very easily get lost in the dirt or grass.
: We try to set an example of healthy eating, and candy wrappers are easily lost in the wind and become litter.
Anything that cannot get dirty
: Everything at Heartwood will get dirty!
: these will not work for hiking/climbing/running
: As hand sanitizer should only be used under adult supervision, we ask that parents do not send their children with a personal hand sanitizer - teachers will have some on hand.
: We do not currently allow pocket knives at Heartwood.
Thank you for being part of our Heartwood community! Let us know if you have any questions before classes begin. We look forward to seeing you all soon!
Your Heartwood Teachers