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Why is the correct outdoor clothing so important?

Outdoor Hub

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
Alfred Wainwright
The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.
Margaret McMillan

Appropriate and effective outdoor clothing is crucial to support rich and satisfying outdoor play and learning.

The only thing as important is the attitudes of the adult supervisors and the setting.

Even with the smallest outdoor space, with the support of enthusiastic and supportive adults, and effective clothing, children can access the outdoors for sustained periods, become involved in fascinating play and have the opportunity to connect to nature.

Maintaining a comfortable temperature is key to spending sustained periods of time outdoors. If children and adults are physically comfortable outdoors they can start to explore, play and learn. Over time they will become much more emotionally comfortable and confident being outside and will benefit from the positive health and wellbeing opportunities of being outdoors.

Clothing is as important for adults as it is for children

Adults need to be comfortable in order to facilitate good quality outdoor play and learning. They need to be able to move easily and to regulate their temperature to remain comfortable. If this is not the case and a leader becomes cold, they can become less interactive, less alert and often cut the outdoor play short even though the children are happy and contented playing out.

A range of layered clothing can be used to regulate temperature, see our layering section for more information.

A waterproof outer layer prevents water from making the thermal layers damp and ineffective. There is a lot of confusion about how waterproof clothing is. Our waterproof ratings section explains it in simple terms.

Layers explained

It is not always obvious what outdoor clothing is needed to best support effective outdoor play and learning. In this guide we look at the various elements of clothing required, with a focus on layering.

Read More about Layers explained

Waterproof ratings guide

We believe outdoor clothing is the most important piece of kit you can have to enable sustained play and learning outdoors. Through your feedback, over the last decade, we have developed a range of waterproof clothing meeting the diverse needs of many different types of settings.

Read More about Waterproof ratings guide
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