While the official start to spring is just two days away and the eaves are dripping... I don't really feel like it is here until most of the snow is gone and the ground is soggy, saturated and muddy with the run off from the melting accumulation of winter's precipitation. Two pieces of gear that make spring much more fun and enjoyable in Alaska are breakup boots (known Outside as rain boots or Wellies) and a full body rain suit. Now is a good time to start looking for them in your local kid consignment shops, craigslist or ebay, if you're like me and don't want to pay full price.
There are two favorite rain suits around here. Both are once piece suits, we like this because there's no place water can get in. They are great for layering, and if you get them a little bigger then you can fit a fleece bunting and long underwear underneath on those chilly rainy days. Rain suits meet the needs of both the crawling baby and the curious active preschooler. Wool, poly pro or any other moisture wicking, quick drying base layer should be worn against the skin to prevent hypothermia and general discomfort. Cotton is a No No!
The first is the Tuffo Muddy Buddy Suit (click on the link for the manufactures specs). They can be found locally at Junior Towne. They do run large so that kiddos have a full range of motion.
The second is the Oaki rain and boating suit (click on the link for the manufactures specs). They are not found locally but are very reasonably priced (on sale right now). You can also use the discount code "wadingaround" for an additional 10% off!
There are many different generic and name brands for rain boots. This is one item you are likely to find at a consignment shop, though finding smaller sized boots for the new walker is tricky. I happened to stumble upon a pair of real Wellies, made in England, for $1.50 at a consignment shop. Regular retail stores around do not seem to carry anything smaller then a size appropriate for at least a 2 or 3 year old. Xtra Tuff makes kid boots so your child can sport the "Alaskan sneaker." The key to finding a good break up boot is finding a light one. Many we've come across are heavy and clunky. You also want to check to make sure there are either very few seems or reinforce ones. Wool socks should always be worn with this type of footwear. They dry quickly and wick the moisture away from the feet. Again cotton is not appropriate.
Staying dry, warm and comfortable extends your time outside and keeps the morale up for outdoor adventures weather you're on a family backpacking trip, splashing in backyard puddles, Skedaddling or trekking with the Taiga Trekkers.