There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. 
― Linda Akeson McGurk, There's not such things as bad weather

Often when children (and adults) are not enjoying the outdoors it's because we're not adequately prepared.

 

Charleston has harsh climates and terrain. Whether you're strolling the farmers market or attending Puddle Jumpers class you'll be well served to be prepared with the right gear for the weather. 

Below is our guide to essential gear for having fun in the Lowcountry no matter the weather!

 

Winter

Gear Guide

What we're preparing for:

  • Moderate to Cold Temperatures

  • Frequent Rain

GALOSHES

Our go-to footwear from late October to March. Great for rainy days, of course, but the ability for kids to slip them on and off makes them an everyday favorite.

We've found that with daily use the rubber lasts one to two years before cracking, so don't worry about buying a size the kids can grow into. 

Oakiwear

Our Favorites:

RAIN CLOTHES ONESIES

For the more adventurous kids the full body onesie is a must. The full seal of the suit really helps when your kid is splashing, sitting, rolling, or basically swimming in the puddle. 

Oakiwear

Our Favorites:

INSULATED WATERPROOF BOOTS

For the month or so every year when the weather dips, insulated rain boots serves the kids well. They're thick enough to keep the cold out, but not so much that they couldn't be your only set of boots.

Oakiwear

Target

Our Favorites:

WINTER COAT

You could probably get away with not having a winter coat in Charleston. But if you're committed to getting outside no matter the weather, a warm coat helps get the littles outside when the weather dips below 50 degrees.

We like a well made down puffy jacket. They're water resistant, pack easily, and lightweight. A high quality coat can be expensive as far as kids clothes go, so buy large and let them grow into it.

Patagonia

Our Favorites:

RAIN CLOTHES SEPARATES

During the wet season we keep the rain clothes in a bag in the trunk of the car. Handy for puddle jumping or the afternoon rain shower that shows up just as you're getting out of the car.

We always recommend rain pants in addition to the rain coat. They're perfect for keeping legs dry when the ground is wet but it's not raining.

Oakiwear

Our Favorites:

Summer

Gear Guide

What we're preparing for:

  • High Heat

  • High Humidity

  • Sun Exposure

  • Bugs

SUN HATS

Blocking the sun from your kids face is imperative. The face is a difficult area to apply sunscreen on kids, and there are many easy to forget about altogher. Such as tops of ears.

We recommend a wide brim ventilated hat that will shade the face and neck (like a Tilley hat). You can find kids versions from Patagonia, REI, and locally at Half-Moon

Our Favorites:

Patagonia

SUNSCREEN

Always remember to cover any exposed areas, this includes tops and backs of ears, the face, tops of hands, tops of feet, and tops of knees.

We love the mineral based sunscreens, and have found success with using the sunscreen sticks for applying to faces. They go on thick and you can easily tell where you have and haven't applied. We also use a TON of sunscreen, so the less chemical exposure the better.

The traditional sunscreens apply much easier, but beware of some applicators such as spray-on. It's not always easy to tell how well you've covered the skin.

Our Favorites:

Badger

SPF SHIRTS

Yes it's summer, and yes we're recommending long sleeve shirts. Our favorite brand of sunscreen recommends reapplying every 40 min.

A breathable SPF rated shirt is a more reliable form of protection for your kids exposed forearms. We've found success with swimming shirts for play days and for a more stylish option we like ventilated button down fishing shirts.

Our Favorites:

TBD

WATERBOTTLES

Operation re-hydration, everybody take a sip! Here's our two-cents on water bottles.

 

We love Camelback water bottles because they're virtually leak proof due to the iconic Camelback mouth piece. Their strength is also their weakness though. The mouth piece wears out and must be replaced regularly. They're also made of plastic which means they're not well insulated.

Our choice for insulation is Hydroflask.  They're made of steel and have proven able to stand up to the summer heat and durable enough for toddlers. Their weakness is that they can leak if tipped over.

We use both brands regularly and interchange daily based on the kids mood.

Our Favorites:

Camelback

Hydroflask

CLOSED TOE SANDALS

A day out on the trail requires the stability and security of sneakers with the breathe-ability and water friendly qualities of flip flops.

Enter the closed toe sandal. Our kids love the comfort and patterns of Keen (we sport the bug pattern aka our "buggy shoes"). Other brands, such as Chaco, however have the advantage of using netting to fill in the space around the straps to prevent rocks and debris from entering the shoe.

Our Favorites:

Keen

Chaco

INSECT REPELLENT

Does it work? Um, I think so. We always use it though because we'll do everything we can to avoid the mosquito and no-see-um bites.

In the south DEET rules supreme. We personally prefer natural repellents though. Not that we necessarily have an opinion of the risk or safety of DEET (per Google, it's safe). We just use a TON of bug repellent. The less chemical exposure the better - in general. 

Our Favorites:

No Natz

Mission-Essentials

 

Little Adventurers

Gear Guide

What we're preparing for:

  • Hiking & Outdoor Adventures with Kids

 

KID CARRIERS

The kids carrier is a daily use and is definitely worth the purchase.

We purchased the soft carrier first and use it considerably more often than the framed one. This is primarily because the soft carrier is easier to pack and use on a daily basis

 

The framed carrier is more purpose built, but is definitely worth the purchase if you plan on doing longer hikes with heavier children.

Deuter (framed)

Chimparoo (cloth)

Our Favorites:

ADVENTURE TOYS

Outdoor time for kids is exploration, discovery, and learning time. We encourage adults to bring along the play gear that's going to facilitate the fun for kids. Go at their pace, let them play along the way.

Nets

Binoculars

Buckets

Shovels

Cups

Kitchen utensils

Magnifying glass

Our Favorites:

KIDS BACKPACKS

You know they have to bring their ... favorite toy, the rock they saw on the way to the car, and a pair of pants from last season that don't fit anymore and aren't right for the weather but caught their eye this morning and they have to have them so maybe if you let them carry the pants around today you can maybe possibly avoid the inevitable meltdown associated with them not being able to wear the freakin' pants!

 

Our answer to all this is, "carry it yourself." Plus your toddler looks adorable trotting around in a little backpack. 

North Face

Our Favorites:

INSULATED COOLER

Essential to a successful day out is plenty of fuel for the kids. A medium to large capacity insulated cooler allows you to pack up in the morning and keep your fruits, veggies, and other perishable items fresh all day.

KAVU

Our Favorites:

OFF ROAD STROLLER

Gear wagon, grocery cart, and even a kid carrier! We like the ever popular B.O.B. brand, but there are other great alternatives. Look for a stroller that has air filled tires and shock absorbers for dealing with the Lowcountry's rooted trails and cobblestone paths. Also pay attention to weight, compact-ability, and accessories like cup holders and car seat attachments.

B.O.B.

Our Favorites:

 
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