It’s REALLY cold outside…how do I keep my kids warm?

Living in Alaska we are used to cold weather.  However it sometimes gets REALLY cold outside, and a lot of people ask how they can keep their kids warm in these types of sub-zero temperatures.

This latest cold snap has lasted a week, with temperatures in Anchorage dipping down to 18 below 0 at night, and some days warming up to 5 below 0.  Most Anchorage schools send children outside until the temperatures go more than 10 below (or 20 below for some schools).  This means that parents need to be able to dress their children for some fairly extreme temperatures.

At my son’s kindergarten, they go outside every day for at least 30 minute unless the windchill is less than minus 20.  Here’s how I dress him to keep him warm on these sub-zero days:

First, I put on 2 layers of merino wool long johns, tops and bottoms.  Natural fibers are best.  Most synthetics just don’t work as well as wool, which stays warm even if it gets wet.  He also gets 2 pairs of wool socks (we love Smart Wool socks).  I put on his wool mittens and wool cowl, then his snow pants and a fleece liner jacket.  Over this I add some fleece lined water-proof mittens (which are a great layer to keep water and wind off his hands…I ordered them from, and his thick warm coat.  He also gets another wool hat, and then his Bogs boots.  You can see the different layers in the photos I’ve posted.  The teacher tells me that even though my son isn’t as active as some of the other children, he tends to stay nice and warm.


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