Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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If the idea of going out in the rain with young ones gives you cold feet, it’s normal. We’re essentially happy inside where it’s dry and warm. However, it pays to face the weather and enjoy a rainy day with outdoor activities. With the right prep, a walk or a nature stroll in the rain is the closest you’ll ever get to a VIP outdoors experience: no crowds, vibrant greens, shiny leaves, slimy creatures and any parking spot you want. Let me share some pro tips on how to dress your kids for a rainy day outdoors activity and how to keep them warm and dry–the secret of happiness.
Last week when we were in Redwood National Park to re-enact the Endor scenes of The Return of the Jedi, we took a hike with the girls in the rain. On the Northern California coast, forests are lush and primal, remnants of the last glacial age almost untouched by the human hand. Knowing about the rain forecast, we expected to be the only visitors in the company coastal redwoods, newts and a misty river. To make the best of wet weather, so we came prepared and that really made all the difference as we spent an entire half-day out with our two daughters. It rained but it was all right. There’s a reason these forests are so green!
|Kids can have fun with their boots too. Photo credit: Western Chief|
For the hike (or any outdoor activity on a rainy day), here was my survival plan:
In hindsight, the only item I should have thought about was the blister bandage kit or thick tights to avoid the blister problem.
Snacks were eaten, water was drunk (though not a lot, you don’t get that thirsty when it’s cold and wet outside) and a good time was had by all. My girls got to enjoy the redwoods through their pink umbrella.
Were we really the only visitors? Not quite.
Another family arrived with their kids just as we were leaving. When we reached the trailhead, they were wrapping their feet in plastic bags before slipping them into running shoes. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable and sweaty their hike must have been, but I can’t say plastic bags are strangers to outdoor rainy days. I’ve regularly seen people wrapping their tennis shoes in plastic or trash bags to hit the trails. More times than not, these plastic bags don’t cut it when their feet sink in puddles or muddy spots. Plastic bags start getting loose, they tear up on roots, water gets in and they just don’t do a very good job of keeping feet and clothing dry.
I say: be ready and you’ll be happy.
Now you can look forward to an outdoor rainy day out with the kids. Never mind the weather forecast!