travel and outdoor wardrobe for giirls


Gearing up for adventures: the right clothes matter!

This week I’ve been going through the kids’ clothes.  We’re gearing up for the Easter holidays.  I’m anticipating very variable weather as we are heading up far north and have planned lots of outdoor activity.  Clothes need to be upto scratch to extend our time outside, whatever the weather.

Thankfully the kids are in school uniform during the week.  Then on the weekends we are mostly in our outdoor gear.

Personally, I love wearing functional clothing- clothes that keep me dry and warm, wick away sweat and help me enjoy the activities we are doing for longer, shoes that protect my feet, keep them warm and dry- from rain and sweat.  We attempt to do the same for the kids.

Spring is always the time I stock up on gear: I buy the thermals in the winter sales (,I’ve have spent way too much at Decathlon and Mountain warehouse this week). I  get new items they need for spring and summer, as the kids are like snowdrops: spurting up at the first whiff of spring.

The Easter bunny in our house is a very outdoorsy rabbit, always bringing fabulous new gear. Angelina also has her birthday in April, so she get lots more new gear and Hugo inherits a batch that can be passed down. With the costs of good quality outdoor gear, I find buying unisex designs a high priority… I’ve got away with it so far.  Though may be not for long as Angelina insists more and more on more girlie clothes.

The principles I apply to buying our leisure clothes:

  1. Layering
    I’m a huge believer in layering.  With a good layering system, in the UK, we can get away with not buying very thick winter clothes.
    For all except the height of summer, we will combine a base layer (varying the warmth and length of this) and trousers on the bottom, adding a thin waterproof layer as needed. On the top: a base- variable warmth, but always a wicking fabric-, a  mid- warm- layer and top- wind and waterproof- layer.
  2. Fast drying
    Choosing fast drying clothing means I can get away with taking less clothes with us camping or travelling.  Most items will dry very quickly after a quick rinse, when we end up in muddy puddles, jumping waves in April or just being messy eaters.
  3. If it’s waterproof, it has to be breathable!
    Two years ago I bought myself a great looking jacket. The fit was great too.  It was my favourite till last Easter when I decided it would be the jacket coming with us to Northumberland. During our trip we hiked a lot, I was often carrying Max in the baby carrier on my back (as The Madventurer was stuck back at basecamp working). Even with good base- and mid layers, the jacket, which is not breathable in the real sense of the word, became a sweatsuit, trapping all the sweat and making me cold well before anyone else. Not a mistake I will repeat.
  4. Cotton has no place in our wardrobe under 25C
    Cotton is fabulous in a hot, dry climate!  It soaks up sweat and helps evaporate it slowly and keeps the body cooler for longer.  This on a colder, damper day, on the other hand, means staying damp and cold from sweat longer and can even lead to hypothermia.
    By avoiding cotton in our leisure wardrobe we do push the price of our clothes up and compromise on being fashionable.  No £1 Primark t-shirts for hiking to that waterfall or cycling along the river for us.  Any cotton tshirt ot denim trousers are for popping on at the end of the day to go out for a nice meal.
  5. All the above applies to shoes
    I try to steer away from wellies, as they aren’t breathable. Our feet sweat in them and however great thermal socks we have on, our feet will be cold the moment we stop to look at a sight or for a quick bite.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that you HAVE TO to keep to these prinicples for having a good time outdoors. No, not at all! You can go out and have a brilliant walk in denims, wellies, a cotton jumper and a coat.  You’re layers will likely be bulkier for the same comfort level and you will not be able to regulate the temperature as well. You might feel chilly sooner.

I’m advocating that, if you can afford it and find some nice pieces of clothing that you do like, build up a comfortable, functional leisure wardrobe.


Angelina has most definitely grown out of  a fair few of her clothes.  I’ve been browsing and shopping online to replace some.

I thought it would be fun to create a Lookbook for Gearing up for adventure for a soon to be 8 year old.   It was even more fun as we sat down together to browse.   We’ve created two adventure wardrobes –

The first with a real girlie twist

The second a really bright and colourful collection with more items Angelina can pass onto her brothers.

Angelina’s favourite colours are: orange, blue and purple.

What do you think?  Which collection do you prefer?

Are there any items you particularly like?

Categories: Adventure, Top tips

19 thoughts on “Gearing up for adventures: the right clothes matter!

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