In Search of Santa, Part Two: Dressed for the Arctic.

Everyone we’ve spoken to about our trip to Santa’s homeland has asked us if we were freezing in the North Pole. The lowest temperature we experienced was a cool -19, but I can honestly say we were never uncomfortably cold.

If anything, the Little Trekkers were too warm on occasions and had to shed a layer or two. I thought I’d share what we wore, in case anyone else out there fancies a wee trip north to see the Big Man themselves.

Both Little Trekkers wore their much-loved Icebreaker base layer top and bottoms. (For 3 days in a row and they still didn’t smell!) The company lent us all “thermal suits” in which all the children looked super cute and all the adults resembled abominable snowmen. Especially the small, wide ones like me! In between, they wore two more layers of cosy fleece clothing.

I really think that the key to their comfort though, was getting the extremities well covered.

We’d been advised to wear at least 2 pairs of socks and that proved to be brilliant advice. We borrowed snow boots a size bigger than we needed and so there was plenty of room for the Little Trekkers to wear their Smartwool and Spotty Otter socks at the same time. One less “discussion” to endure amidst the morning routine! This did the trick as they never once complained of cold feet. (Except when Harry “fell” into a snowdrift outside the cabin just after we arrived and as his snow boots weren’t on properly, he got a big pile of snow down his boot and apparently that was WAAAAYYY too cold). Handy then, that both brands of sock dried after a quick blast in the drying cupboard and were ready to go again in minutes.

As you can see, they wore their Trapper hats. It was great to be able to velcro them up when we were whizzing around on snow mobiles and huskie sledges, and then let a bit of air in when they were starting to cook. Their Buffs were great too. Chloe loved her fleece polar buff (girl after my own heart) but Harry preferred just his standard buff (like father, like son). Each to their own, but either way, it was reassuring for me to know there were no nasty drafts getting down their chests, especially as the cold tends to set off Harry’s asthma and Chloe had spent the first night up and down with a sore ear (no such thing as a stress-free trip in the Teague household, but thankfully, they both soldiered on brilliantly). Did I mention how much I love Calpol?

To keep their pinkies toastie, Chloe wore her Spotty Otter Patrol Mitts and Harry wore his Patrol Gloves. Each wore a pair of glove liners underneath for added warmth. We must have taken them on and off about a hundred times a day, so the zips on the Patrol Gloves and Mitts were massively appreciated. Harry could manage his entirely independently, with the help of his teeth. I’m pretty sure 5 year old Chloe could have too, if I could be bothered making her, but I’m still struggling with the concept that she’s no longer my baby, so I was quite happy to indulge her. I’m sure that will come back to bite me at some stage. I loved that the length of the gloves kept them well up under their snow suits. I didn’t realise this was a feature until I noticed so many other children with their wrists exposed. Yet another plus for Spotty Otter!

I’m gutted I can’t squeeze my head into a Spotty Otter hat, so I had to make do with an alternative brand, but as you can see, it’s as close to a SO Trapper Hat as I could find!

I love it when outdoor kit gets a really good test and passes with flying colours. What’s your favourite feature of your kids’ outdoor gear?

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About the Author

Kerry Teague

Kerry Teague

About Me & Mine

Ashley (Dad/ 3rd child/ chief photographer). Me - Kerry (Mum/ the sensible one... sometimes). Harry (8) can't sit still and Chloe (nearly 6, thinks she can do everything Harry can and makes pretty good attempts too). We spend as much time as possible having "adventures" (which consist of anything which takes place outside and is accompanied by official “adventure sweeties”).

Favourite place in the world:

Ashley and me - The Ards Peninsula, Strangford Lough, The Mourne Mountains . Harry – Alan’s farm, anywhere with mud, sand, bugs or tractors or that requires a paddle or harness to get to. Chloe - Anywhere as long as it's outside and preferably with somewhere to toast marshmallows and drink “North Pole” hot chocolate

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Biking, climbing, canoeing, digging holes on the beach, making dens (or anything out of sticks), looking for squirrels, butterflies, crabs and Gruffalos. Chloe loves to collect stones, but we try to discourage that as we invariably end up carrying the most precious ones home. She managed to stash about 20 in her bag on a recent weekend away in Ballycastle and cunningly talked Uncle Pancake into carrying her bag to the car so we wouldn’t find out until it was too late. She currently has a fairly large cairn in her bedroom! Harry has a model dairy farm complete with stone walls built from beach pebbles in his bedroom. Neither has much room left for sleeping.

Comments (1)

  • Helen and Ian

    Helen and Ian

    26 January 2016 at 23:19 | #

    Great post, Kerry! Can't wait to hear more! And I know what you mean about the Spotty Otter Patrol Hats - they're great. Thankfully, I can squeeeeeze my head into the larger size - when I can get my hands on one, that is!

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