1000 Hours Outside: Our Top 4 Gear Recommendations!
Statistics show that the average American child spends approximately 1200 hours a year in front of screens. Crazy, right? Since moving to Alaska, our family has been trying to embrace an outdoor lifestyle. I first heard about the 1000 Hours Outside challenge late in 2019. I love a good challenge and thought this would help our family get outdoors more! I’m proud to say that 2021 is our second year successfully completing 1000 Hours Outside!
Each year has had its own struggles. The first year, we reached 1000 hours by mid-September. This year we didn’t reach our goal until a few days into December. One thing that I’ve learned from living in Alaska and participating in 1000 Hours Outside is that you must have good gear for any weather. I often turn to Jan & Jul to outfit my children, no matter the season! Here are our top 4 essential clothing items – one for each season – that we have reached for again and again!
Winter – Waterproof Mittens
Alaska is wet and cold in the Winter! Without proper gear, a nice outdoor expedition can easily become miserable. My kids love water play, whether it’s a frozen creek, chilly ocean water, ice fishing, or even a water table in negative temperatures. Jan & Jul’s Waterproof Mittens are an absolute essential! They have allowed my children to enjoy all these winter activities while keeping their hands warm and dry.
Spring – Knit Shoes
Spring in Alaska may seem super cold to some. But when we’ve spent the last few months exploring outside in negative temperatures, anything above freezing feels outright balmy! As soon as my children see the (very sad and brown) grass again, they want to be running around in shorts. For us, the Jan & Jul Knit Shoes are a favorite for this time of year. The flexible soles facilitate easy running, jumping and climbing. And as the weather gets even warmer, these knit sneakers work great as water shoes!
Summer – Sun Hats
The summer sun in Alaska can be very intense. We may not reach extremely high temperatures compared to the lower 48 states, but when you’re under the sun you feel like you’re boiling. I've even gotten sunburns during nighttime hikes! The fact that Jan & Jul sun hats provide 50+ UPF sun protection has me sold! We wear these all the time, from everyday walks to camping trips! The Gro-With-Me design allows you to get more wear out of each hat and they even have adult sizes for twinning.
Fall – Rain Suits
My mom friends and I joke that rain suits are the unofficial uniform of Alaskan kids. They’re a must have, but not all rain suits are created equal. Jan & Jul Rain Suits are lined with a waterproof membrane yet have a breathability rating of 3000g/m2/24h! In addition, the elasticized wrists, ankles, and adjustable waist toggle allow the perfect fit for my children as they grow. Since the snow can start as early as September in Alaska, the Cozy-Dry Play Suits have been perfect for cold, wet weather!
Now that January 2022 is drawing near, many families are setting New Years Resolutions to spend more time together or get outdoors more often. Whether you’re participating in the 1000 Hours Outside challenge or not, remember the saying: there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!
– Christy, Alaskan homeschooling mom of 2