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What to Bring to Your Heartwood Program

At Heartwood we firmly believe that there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. 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.

In the Fall, Winter and Spring: 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.

In the Summer: Light-colored clothing made of cotton or another breathable material is key, along with the shade protection of a wide-brimmed hat.

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

  • Healthy lunch and snack: Make sure to pack enough food to keep energy up. 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 for cold days. Please leave the candy at home.

  • 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. 


Other Tips:

  • Label all items with the 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.

  • Check the lost and found table at check-out each day!

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

What to Leave at Home 

  • Toys and electronics: these take up valuable backpack space, cause jealousy and arguments, and distract from the experience of being at Heartwood

  • 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.

  • 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 used under close teacher supervision after teachers are confident that they can be used safely. We do not use knives in summer camp.

How to Dress for Success in Fall, Winter, & Spring

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

Tips On Gear and Where To Find It

  • 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. 

  • Rain Gear: Make sure it is Waterproof. Water Resistant is not rain proof.

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

  • MittensGordini, Abeko, 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

  • If you find gear that works well for the outdoors, let us know and we will post here!

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