Clothing and Gear

“There is no bad weather, only bad clothing”

Our recommended clothing is extremely important for keeping your child warm and safe, so that they can enjoy outdoor play no matter the weather. Please drop your child off for the day dressed for the weather conditions at the time - not the predicted forecast which may not unfold until later in the day or even at all. As a guide it is always better to bring too many clothes than not enough.

Cotton Is Rotten - We ask that you do not have your child wear cotton during the wet and colder months of school. Cotton is an organic fabric that collects and holds on to moisture. Technical or wool fabrics, on the other hand, are key to staying warm and dry.


How to dress for play:

  • Outerwear: This is what will protect from rain and wind in all weather conditions

  • Mid-Layer: This is another insulation layer that creates ‘dead-air space’ between your child’s skin and the elements. This airspace helps in keeping your child warm.

  • Base Layer: This layer is next to your child’s skin, it must be soft, breathable, and not trap moisture.


Upper body:

Outerwear: Waterproof shell jacket with hood with large bill that keeps rain off of your child’s face. The jacket needs to be seam taped or sealed to be 100% waterproof.

Mid-layer: Light coat, fleece or warm vest, this layer will need to fit under the waterproof jacket.

Base Layer: Loose fitting non-cotton long underwear top.

Even on fair weather days the forest can still be wet from rain and children should come with all layers to play and keep dry.

Lower body:

Outerwear: Waterproof rain pants that are seam taped or sealed.

Mid-Layer: Non cotton pants or fleece pants depending on temperature.

Base layer: Loose fitting non-cotton long underwear leggings.

On most days a thin base layer is enough to keep them warm and dry while we explore.

Please send your child to school in rain pants, even if it is not raining at drop off they will still encounter plenty of water in the forest.

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Hands and Feet:

Footwear: Waterproof insulated rain boots.

Socks: Wool or synthetic tall warm socks.

Mittens: HEAD mittens with zippers or mittens with a waterproof outer shell.

Boots: Bogs/Muck boots are insulated with neoprene (wetsuit material). During the winter months one can never have too many pairs of extra socks and mittens!

Socks: These are key to having an enjoyable day outside, no one likes cold feet. Wool or synthetic is key since they can insulate even when wet.

Hands: warm, waterproof mittens that are easy to take on and off - side or top zip or velcro. (We recommend keeping an extra pair of mittens or gloves in your child’s belongings at all times during the winter). Mittens are far easier to get on and off.

With gloves, children get frustrated quickly and will opt to have nothing instead of trying to get them on.  We have found that knit, Dollar store mittens are more popular than trying to get gloves on.

Backpack and Extras:

Backpack: A child size pack that works for your student everyday in all weather.

Head wear: Warm non-cotton hat or neck gator/buff to keep head and ears warm.

Water bottle: Having a reusable bottle is a must, your student will bring it out into the forest.

Change of clothes: Having that extra change of warm dry clothes is required.

You’ll need to bring a backpack everyday, this is where you will keep their change of clothes, water bottle and snack.

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We ask that all clothing and gear be labeled so it can make it home with you at the end of the day.

Helpful Links

Buying all this gear can seem like a big task, there are plenty of companies to pick from and a range of prices too. Borrowing hand me downs from others is always a great option as well. REI Outlet is a great way to get gear on clearance and REI Garage Sales are a perfect way to buy lightly used gear for a fraction of the price.

If you have any questions about the clothing/gear for school please just ask and we are more than happy to help answer any questions you still have.