Forest School: Supply List

Depending on the season, participants, including students, teachers, and accompanying volunteers, will need rain-suits, boots, extra warm clothing, waterproof/warm snowsuits, extra hats and mitts, hiking shoes, sneakers, wool socks, thermal underwear, etc. For cold weather please consider the following factors when dressing for Forest School:

1) Insulation: Natural fabrics such as wool or silk work well as an inner layer, as does fleece. Polyester pyjamas are another good option. The key for this layer is to wick moisture away from the skin and insulate it with a breathable layer.

2) Middle Layer: This is another insulation layer that creates ‘dead-air space’ between skin and the elements. This airspace helps in keeping warm. Wool sweaters (Merino wool is exceptionally warm and soft on sensitive skin) and fleece tend to work well.

3) Outer Shell: This layer should be waterproof and windproof, as well as breathable.

Winter:

● Two winter hats [must cover ears and stay on the head]
● Balaclava or neck warmer [no scarves please due to risk of strangulation]
● Two pairs of warm, waterproof mitts
● One warm, waterproof snowsuit
● One set of warm, waterproof boots
● Wool socks
● Three base layers: thermal shirt and pants, middle layer, wool/fleece sweater (cotton is not recommended for cold weather conditions)

Spring:

● Rain gear [waterproof boots, pants, jacket], with extra insulation on colder days
● Wool socks on colder days [they insulate even when wet]
● Sneakers for running shoes [please no open toe shoes even in summer]
● Sun Hat [for warmer months]
● Warmer sweater or jacket for colder days
● Bug Jacket (optional)

Summer:

● Rain gear [waterproof boots, pants, jacket]
● Sneakers for running [please no open toe shoes even in summer]
● Sun Hat
● Lightweight clothing [silk/cotton ideal, synthetic fibres do not breathe well]
● Bug Jacket (optional)

Fall:

● Rain gear [waterproof boots, pants, jacket]
● Sneakers for running [please no open toe shoes even in summer]
● Sun Hat [for warmer months]
● Warm Jacket [fleece or other breathable fabric ideal]
● Bug Jacket (optional)

All Seasons:

● Small backpack
● Lunch and snacks
● Water bottle
● Two extra changes of clothes (including underwear and socks)

A note to parents/caregivers:
It’s not necessary to invest in expensive brand names to keep your child warm. Thrift stores are great places to look for children’s wool clothing at cheaper prices. If you are looking for a regular store to purchase outdoor clothing, Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) has excellent children’s outdoor wear for all seasons.

In terms of boots, we recommend purchasing boots that are one size larger than your child’s foot.

Again, this creates dead-air space to assist in insulation. Socks help to wick moisture away from the skin, (please note: cotton tends to sweat and doesn’t do a great job at wicking moisture). The best foot insulator would be two pairs of wool socks with waterproof boots that have wiggle room.
For warmer weather we ask that your child has a light cotton/silk/hemp long sleeve shirt on for the day. Children are encouraged to wear a hat at all times. Our programs are altered slightly by following the position of the sun. It is amazing how cool it is when towering trees shade the walking paths.

Children will be encouraged to stay hydrated for both cold and warm weather as this will assist in regulating body temperatures. Please see us for further recommendations on staying comfortable throughout all weather conditions.