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What to Bring to Your Heartwood Program

At Heartwood we firmly believe that there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. We love the unique learning experiences brought on by all types of weather and all temperatures, and when participants are dressed correctly they are free to enjoy it fully. Wool, silk or synthetic inner layers, waterproof outer layers and good rain boots are key to keeping safe, warm and dry in our wet Pacific Northwest. It may take some trial and error to find the right combination of layers for each child – it helps to have options and plenty of extras, especially in the beginning and during transitional times between seasons.

What to Bring 

  • Backpack:Please make sure backpacks are large enough to comfortably hold all of the supplies listed below and make sure participants are able to easily pack and unpack all items independently. A completely stuffed backpack that barely fits all items makes it difficult to find and repack items. 

  • Reusable water bottle: Ones that have a narrower opening and are easy are open are especially useful for younger participants.

  • Healthy lunch and snack: Class participants very active at Heartwood all day, so make sure to pack enough food to keep their energy up. Please also try to limit the amount of plastic packaging going into lunches, as bits of plastic are easily lost in the wind and become litter. Warm food in a thermos is highly recommended in the winter. 

  • One complete change of clothes: In a Ziploc or other watertight bag, labeled with participant's name. 

  • Extra Layers: An extra fleece top and bottom layer, as well as extra mittens and hat in colder months. 

  • Masks: Wear one at drop off, and have an extra one packed in bag. 

  • Gallon size ziplock bag: This will be given to your child on their first day to store your child’s journal, nametag and pencils/crayons. 

Other Tips:

  • Label all items with participant's name. We see many duplicates of clothing, water bottles, jackets, and mittens, and it is very easy to get items mixed up between participants.

  • Keep ease of use in mind when planning and packing lunches and backpacks.

  • Make sure that all extra gear and lunchboxes can easily be unpacked and packed into your child's backpack. Avoid tiny backpacks that easily get overstuffed and are especially difficult for our younger participants to manage.

What to Leave at Home 

  • Toys and electronics: these take up valuable backpack space, cause jealousy and arguments, and distract from our immersive nature experience.  

  • Precious or valuable items/trinkets: these items very easily get dirty or lost. 

  • High value/expensive gear that needs to stay in very good condition: there will be wear and tear on anything participants wear, use or otherwise bring to the park.

  • Candy: We encourage healthy and energizing snacks rather than sugary treats, and candy wrappers are easily lost in the wind and become litter. 

  • Anything that cannot get dirty: Everything at Heartwood will get dirty! 

  • Flip-flops: These do not work for hiking/climbing/running. 

  • Pocket knives: We do not allow personal pocket knives at Heartwood. We have a class set of knives, which if used, will be under close teacher supervision and after teachers are confident that they will be used safely. 

How to Dress for Success Clothing Guide

Cool Weather Clothing Guide png1.png
Cool Weather Clothing Guide png.png

Where to Find Gear

  • Thrift/secondhand stores are great for finding inner layers, such as fleece jackets and pants, long-sleeve shirts, and leggings. Boots can also be found secondhand, but look out for tears or small cracks in kids’ rain boots. Waterproof outer layers can lose their effectiveness over time, so if you buy these secondhand you may need to apply a water repellent. 

  • Dependable outdoor gear brands:

  • Rain Gear:

  • Oakiwear* or Tuffo for (on the Oakiwear website, use coupon code “oakischool” to receive 10% off)

  • Mittens

  • Gordini, Abeko or Head

  • All clothing and gear:

  • REI, Columbia or Sierra Trading Post

  • If you’re running into challenges finding or affording the necessary gear for class time, please contact the Program Director.