Guest Post from Damien Tougas http://www.adventureinprogress.com
Outfitting your children for outdoor adventure can be a challenge:
- Kids are constantly growing, therefore making any sort of clothing investment fleeting… you have to make the same purchase almost every year. Parents can’t afford to do this, and often look for the cheapest they can find. Companies recognize this and try to keep costs down. The end result is that you may end up with sub-standard gear, which brings me to my next point…
- Children’s clothes are not very performace oriented. They are designed for playing around the backyard close to home, not spending a long day (or multiple days) in the backcountry. This is perfectly fine for those of you that don’t stray far from your back yard. For others who actually depend on that clothing to keep them warm, dry, and safe miles away from home, this is a problem.
Being parents who love the outdoors and want to enjoy it with our kids, but also limited by our finances, we have sought to find creative ways to solve these problems. One of the solutions that we have discovered has been working quite well: We have started to purchase adult gear for our young children!
Here are some tips:
- For girls, look at XS womens clothing. This has worked surprisingly well for almost everything except pants, shirts, and jackets, where height plays the biggest role in the sizing of the gear. Other stuff like hats, socks, gaiters, backpacks, etc. seems to be a pretty good bet.
- For boys, looks at XS womens gear too (look for gender-neutral colors), or the smallest unisex size you can find. The smallest size mens gear can often be too large, but test it out, you never know what you will find.
- Of course, look for sales. Usually sales have either the biggest, or smallest sizes available because there are less people that fall into either of those two categories. This is an ideal situation for seeking out great deals for quality gear for your kids.
- Don’t worry too much about spending a little more for good quality adult gear if it fits your kids. Think long term. Quality adult gear will be more durable than almost any children’s gear and it will last them longer because they won’t outgrow it in a year.
- If you have several kids try to plan your purchases so that you can hand the gear down to the younger kids as the older ones grow up. This might seem obvious at first, but you might not always think of it when it comes to selecting colors or styles. If you have both boys and girls, picking more gender-neutral colors and styles will give you more mileage than if you buy girly-stuff for the girls and macho-stuff for the boys. Of course there still should be room for the girl/boy preferences, but when to comes to basic stuff like mitts or backpacks, it probably won’t matter as much.
Of course you won’t be able to buy all of your clothes this way, but for some things it may work very well. Yry it out and see what works for you, you might be surprised!
For more articles, stories, tips and encouragement on having outdoor adventure with your family please visit ADVENTUREinPROGRESS! Get your family outdoors, be safe, and have fun!