Monday, September 17, 2012

Repost by Popular Demand

Prepping for the Winter Ahead Part I - Repost

Anxious about taking your new little one out in the cold this year, or is this your family's first winter in Alaska? Dressing your little one for success in the outdoors is important. Fortunately there are some amazing resources available here in Anchorage. Local author of Babes in the Woods, Jen Aist will be teaching her annual Babes in the Snow class at Providence Hospital  soon. Scholarships are available. Register at The Childrens Hospital or call 212-8474. Her book can also be found at any of the local bookstores.

Basically you want to think about dressing your baby as you would for the current weather conditions. Keep in mind that your child is not exercising while being worn or pushed in a stroller, so they may need even more clothing than you. If you are wearing your child in a carrier such as an ERGO or a Beco carrier, you will transfer body heat back and forth to one another, however this does not occur in most frame packs and strollers. ****Be very aware that the feet of worn children get cold very fast as they don't have complete circulation going while dangling. Be sure to make sure they are well covered and that you give them breaks by getting them out of the carrier to stretch and regain full blood flow.****

Base layers are key. You want your child's core to maintain it's normal temperature. Moisture wicking base layers such as wool and polypro are important as they keep your child dry, even if they sweat or have snow get in between their layers. Cotton as the outdoor experts say, kills. You don't want moisture to get trapped and freeze on their skin. Your outer layers will be typical fleece, buntings or snowsuits. Hats, wool socks (or other wicking material) & mittens are also important to always have with you, just in case. I often put my adult size socks on my child's feet over his base layer so that when he is in a carrier his skin is not exposed when his pants inevitably ride up. Wool socks make great mitts too.

While most of the gear you need can be purchased at REI, many parents in the group have found items for cheaper at the local consignment shops, craigslist, ebay, and the REI outlet online. Why pay full price if you don't need to.

I also always have extra gear on hand. If you have any questions or would like  try or see some of the gear in person feel free to email me and I can make sure to bring it to the next Trek.

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