As much as I don’t want to admit it, winter is on the way, and with it comes the need to dig out all the winter essentials – everything from warm coats and hats to waterproof boots and thicker duvets. With 4 children to cater for now, I like to be prepared – so here is my list of tour top 10 winter essentials.
1. Decent coats. They need to be waterproof (none of this shower resistant lark) as well as warm and cosy. We all have the 3 in 1 jackets from Regatta – they have a proper waterproof outer for all the rain with a thick fleecy inner liner for warmth. The fleece layer can also be worn on its own if there is no rain, and I know we will still all be cosy and protected from the wind.
2. Winter boots. We live in rural Devon, so most places we walk are wet and muddy at the best of times – even more so in winter. We all have a set of wellies as well as hardwearing walking boots, with a big thick sole for grip, ankle support for walking on rough ground and a good waterproof outer to keep our feet dry.
3. Hats, scarves and gloves. If you are going to use hats and gloves, I think it is worth investing in the thermal kind, as everything else seems to leave me with cold fingers. We really like the Heat Holders range – they also do a great line in thermal socks.
4. Off road pushchair. With a baby in tow, sometimes winter walks can be tough. We do sometimes use a sling, but if the weather is bad I much prefer to take a pushchair. For us, this is the iCandy Peach All Terrain – it has big, sturdy puncture proof tyres that handle any surface, an adjustable handlebar so both Kevin and I can push it comfortably and a deep carrycot for Eliza to sleep soundly in. Oh, and a good raincover – another winter essential!
5. Electric blanket. Moving indoors, I don’t think there is anything better after a cold winters day than snuggling up in a pre warmed bed. Definitely invest in one this winter.
6. Hot chocolate. Again, after a cold and wet day out we all love nothing more than sitting down to watch a film with big, steaming mugs of hot chocolate topped with a generous handful of marshmallows. Proper, cosy family time.
7. Sledge. Something you should buy NOW – trust me! If we do get snow, there is nothing worse than being the only kid on the street without a sledge (although if it does happen, we found that empty dog food bags make a great alternative!) When the snow starts falling, sledges sell like hot cakes, and no one can get their hands on one – stock up on a couple now – you will be dubbed the best parent ever!
8. Anti-freeze and de-icer for the car. When the temperature drops, you don’t want to be unable to get to work because you didn’t prepare! We always have a stock of anti-freeze and de-icer in the garage, along with one of those windscreen scrapers, so we can hop in the car and go when we need to.
9. Mobile phone. I know most of us have one of these, but consider buying one for elderly parents or your teenagers, so they can always contact you in an emergency. If the weather gets bad, it is so easy for slips and falls to happen and you would want them to be able to get hold of you.
10. Camera. Ok, this always seems like a summer essential, but I think it’s definitely a winter one too. Some of my favourite photos are of the children playing in the snow, ice skating at Christmas and the icicles on the window panes. Don’t make the mistake of packing your camera away for the winter and miss out on those awesome shots.
What would you say your winter essentials are?