An article by Katy, Blaze Trails London
Don’t let rain stop play! Here’s how to plan a wet-weather walk and get out in that most British of weathers.
🌧 Shift your mindset – Rain is just water, your skin dries and even if you get soaked to the knickers it'll give you something to laugh about. As long as you keep your baby warm and dry, you’ll be fine. Remember, rain is often warmer than plain cold weather!
🌧 Keep it short and sweet! Even 15 minutes around your neighbourhood or local park will feel invigorating. Your local well-trodden routes will look and feel different in the rain.
🌧 Choose routes that feel doable and safe – either somewhere you’ve been before, or somewhere recommended by someone you trust.
🌧 Grab a friend! A walking buddy is always great on a rainy day - you're both more likely to get out of the house. And you get to share in the sense of achievement.
What to wear and take with you:
🌧 Waterproof yourself:
☔ Waterproof jacket over warm layers
☔ Wellies, boots or trainers with good grip, tied securely - the floor might be slippery & balance can be off if baby-carrying on slopes.
☔ Waterproof trousers - not essential (esp. not for quick wanders) but you’ll feel pretty indestructible with them. Great if hiking with a baby backpack with its own waterproof cover.
🌧 Waterproof your baby:
☔ Make sure baby is layered up & extremities are covered. If baby-carrying layers are better than a big snowsuit as you can add/remove as needed to regulate their temperature & ensure a proper carrier fit.
☔ Keep baby dry obviously, but young babies may not need their own waterproofs if they’re staying sheltered in a carrier/pushchair – avoids overheating in non-breathable waterproofs.
☔ If baby-wearing use a baby-carrier waterproof cover, wrap them in your waterproof coat if big enough (or if your partner is larger then borrow theirs!), or wrap a smaller waterproof jacket around their carrier so the hood can be brought up over their head, and tie/tuck the jacket arms in so it stays on snuggly.
☔ If using a pushchair, grab its rain cover - although for quick drizzly walks just the hood pulled over & foot cosy on should be fine. Leave pushchair in the hall to dry out - won't hurt it!
🌧 What else:
☔ Pack a spare carrier bag to sit, feed or change your baby.
☔ If your bag isn’t waterproof line it with a plastic bag to ensure its contents stay dry.
☔ Nappy changes in the rain are easier than you think! Find a sheltered tree or position your umbrella on the floor over baby, lay them on a plastic bag or your waterproof, and voila – they’ll think it’s the most interesting change they’ve had!
☔ For more adventurous/longer stomps you might need: a first aid kit, foil insulating blanket, extra food & drink, a map/compass (orientation can be harder in poor weather). If you're not using waterproof trousers then take spare trousers/socks to change into. Tell someone where you’re going.
Most of all, just have a go. Once you let go of the initial ‘what am I doing?!’ feeling, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful and calming being out in the rain is. Slow down, appreciate your senses.
And when you get in, shake yourself off and get the kettle on. Enjoy that cuppa from your cosy indoors knowing you just did something really good for yourself!
Katy is Founder of Blaze Trails - the UK's parent and baby hiking network. When not leaping up hills with a baby on her front and a toddler at her side, she's growing the Blaze Trails national community of parent and baby walking groups - run by parents, for parents. Blaze Trails empowers parents to get outdoors with their babies by connecting them to local walking buddies, offering down-to-earth tips on getting out the front door, and inspiring them to begin their own family walking journeys.