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How to Dress to Stay Comfortable in Any Weather

My Ultimate Gear List for Outdoor Moms

(Written by an Alaskan)

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

German Proverb

It’s winter. The weather can be extreme and having the right gear makes all the difference when it comes to enjoying your time outside. No one likes to be cold!

I moved to Alaska 11 years ago, and learned a whole lot my first year on this topic. The Alaskan lifestyle is centered on being outdoors all year round. So my new friends were fantastic teachers!

I compiled a list of the outerwear and accessories that I own and love. This is not the only way to dress for weather, but this is what works for me. I honestly do stay comfortable, warm and dry.

Keep in mind that I acquired all this gear over many years. There’s no way I could afford it all at once! Most of these items were gifted to me, or I purchased with gift cards, or I found on a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group. I highly recommend going that route whenever possible! There are some great deals. Here are my favorites.

Patagonia Buy/Sell/Trade

Patagonia B/S/T

The great thing about investing in quality outerwear is that it lasts. I have had the same snow pants, rain boots and hiking shoes for 10 years now. Patagonia also offers free repairs on all their products.

When considering my guide below, remember there are factors like wind and humidity that can make the air feel warmer or colder. You will also need to dress warmer if you’ll be standing still vs. if you’ll be active. The good thing about layering is that you can overdress a bit and drop layers if needed!

Tips and Notes

  1. I would recommend being bold with your color choices! I bought almost all black, and it makes it harder to find what I need in a pile of gear. Lesson learned.
  2. Shop around! Prices are always changing and unlike shopping for other items, Amazon does not always have the best price. Shopping in the off season is always a good idea.
  3. I mention a headband only because I typically have my hair in a mom-bun. A hat is actually better for warmth.

Note that a handful of these links go to Amazon. I am part of their affiliate program and earn a small commission if you make a purchase. See my disclosure page for more info.

Rainy and Cool (32-45 degrees F)

  1. Rain Shell- Patagonia Women’s Torrentshell Jacket
  2. Down Jacket- The North Face Women’s Thermoball Full Zip Jacket
  3. Rain Pants- North Face Women’s Venture 2 Half Zip Pants
  4. Rain Boots- Bogs Classic Women’s Snow Boot
  5. Hikers- Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boot
  6. Hat- SmartWool Women’s Textured Lid
  7. Gloves- Cabela’s Women’s Gloves with GoreTex and Thinsulate

Wear rain boots if you’ll mainly be standing around. Wear hikers if you’ll be… hiking. Or walking, riding a bike, etc.

Rainy and Mild (45-65 degrees F)

  1. Rain Shell- Patagonia Women’s Torrentshell Jacket
  2. Fleece Jacket- North Face Women’s Crescent Full Zip
  3. Rain Pants- North Face Women’s Venture 2 Half Zip Pants
  4. Rain Boots- Bogs Classic Women’s Snow Boot
  5. Hikers- Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boot
  6. Headband- Original Turtle Fur Fleece ‘Turtle Band’ Headband

Dry and Mild (45-60 degrees F)

  1. Fleece Jacket- North Face Women’s Crescent Full Zip
  2. Hikers- Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boot
  3. Headband- Original Turtle Fur Fleece ‘Turtle Band’ Headband

Dry and Cool (32-45 degrees F)

  1. Rain Shell- Patagonia Women’s Torrentshell Jacket
  2. Down Jacket- The North Face Women’s Thermoball Full Zip Jacket
  3. Wool Base Layer- Smartwool Women’s Mid 250 Bottoms
  4. Hikers- Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boot
  5. Gloves- Cabela’s Women’s Gloves with GoreTex and Thinsulate
  6. Headband- Original Turtle Fur Fleece ‘Turtle Band’ Headband

Cold (10-32 degrees F)

  1. Rain Shell- Patagonia Women’s Torrentshell Jacket
  2. Down Jacket- The North Face Women’s Thermoball Full Zip Jacket
  3. Fleece Jacket- North Face Women’s Crescent Full Zip
  4. Snow Pants- LL Bean Waterproof Snow Pants
  5. Studded Hikers- Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 Spikes GTX Boots
  6. Gloves- Cabela’s Women’s Gloves with GoreTex and Thinsulate
  7. Hat- SmartWool Women’s Textured Lid

I know it seems silly to put on 3 jackets. But it makes things really easy to make adjustments if you get overheated. I personally need the extra warmth when I first get outside. If you go this route, make sure your rain shell is large enough to layer underneath.

Very Cold (Below 10 degrees F)

  1. Down Parka- North Face Women’s Arctic Parka
  2. Snow Pants- LL Bean Waterproof Snow Pants
  3. Winter Boots- Baffin Ice Field Boots
  4. Gloves- Cabela’s Women’s Gloves with GoreTex and Thinsulate
  5. Hat- SmartWool Women’s Textured Lid
  6. Gaiter- Turtle Fur Fleece Neck Warmer

That’s it! I hope you aren’t too overwhelmed and that some of this will help you. What would you consider your most essential piece of gear?

👧 Toddler mom. 🌈 Reggio and Waldorf Inspired Childcare🌲 Forest School 🏔 Dillingham, Alaska

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