Autumn has definitely approached us. It's colourful outside, with trees turning into their autumnal hues. The apples are ripe, and our storage is packed with apple sauce, cordial, and syrup. The autumn storms arrive one after the other. With autumn also comes cooler and wetter weather. Before you know it, it's winter and snowy!
It's lovely to be outside exploring nature throughout the seasons but to enjoy it, you also have to be comfortable. Living in Sweden, spending time on the west coast and just below the arctic circle, we have become experts in staying comfortable in harsh weather! Here are my best tips to keep your children nice and warm during the cooler seasons.
1. Stay dry. The ground and surroundings are often moist or wet, even if it's not raining. When moisture creeps in, it will eventually make you cold, and it's challenging to gain heat again. Keep your children warm in a waterproof outer layer. During autumn, it's usually enough with a thinner breathable shell layer. Ensure they are waterproofed with a biodegradable fluorocarbon-free water and dirt-repellent finish. It's also crucial with sealed seams, making the clothes waterproof. Lastly, make sure they are made from sustainable materials. I love Reima and Patagonia for their high-quality, sustainable, durable shell clothing. Try to avoid rain clothing made out of galon as these are not made environmentally friendly. Additionally, they don't breathe, keeping the inside and your child moist. Polarn & Pyret recently stopped producing their much beloved galon rain clothing due to unsustainable production.
Think the same way about shoes and boots. Search for water-repellant and breathable shoes rather than wellies made from plastic or rubber. But if it's raining cats and dogs and the ground is full of puddles, wellies might be the only choice! Again, I find that Finnish Reima has got it spot on and delivers excellent shoes for any weather.
2. Layer up. It's much easier to stay warm when it's possible to move around and play freely. So instead of using thick clothes that restrict movement, choose a few thinner layers. This way, it's easier to adapt to the temperatures and put on or remove layers when needed. It's also much easier to move than wearing big, bulky pieces. During autumn, my boys are dressed in cotton leggings and a t-shirt, a cotton sweatshirt, a recycled fleece jacket (always from Houdini), and shell clothing from Patagonia and Reima shoes this season.
3. Use natural materials. As you can see above, I find that the cotton closest to the body works well. Our leggings and t-shirts are made with fine organic cotton and feel soft against the child's sensitive skin. When temperatures creep lower and below sub-zero, I replace the cotton with pure merino wool. Natural materials keep the body nice and dry, and the layer with wool adds extra warmth. Cotton is much easier to wash than wool and more suitable for daily use unless it's cold outside.
Good luck, and stay warm this autumn!