It’s always a spectacle to the rest of the country when the Southeast gets some winter precipitation, but last week was about the most ridiculous I’d seen in a long time. Our forecasts started calling for the white stuff around lunchtime, with expected accumulations of 3-4 inches in our area. At noon the sun was shining and not a cloud was in the sky…then the weather app on my phone shifted to snow at 4:00…then 5:00. Finally around 6 a fine mist started swirling around outside. I’m not sure you could even call it snow, as it was more like a dry sleet. Temps were in the teens, so it was cold enough to stick (although the ground couldn’t have been THAT cold considering that it had been 60 the day before…).
We woke up the next morning to a VERY thin blanket of about one inch of snow…but that was of course plenty to shut down the whole town. In our defense it’s not all our fault – our DOT’s don’t have the equipment to get the roads plowed/salted/etc in a timely manner. But I won’t lie, a lot of it is that Southerners just freak out any time there’s the threat of winter weather. Half of them buy up all the bread and milk from all of the grocery stores and lock themselves inside until it’s “safe” to come out. The other half assume that because they have 4WD, they have the skills required to navigate across ice at top speeds (our roads always end up as more ice than snow.) I like to think our family falls into the small percentage of normal people in the middle of the spectrum – ie, life goes on, but let’s make smart decisions.
But of course the ONLY smart decision for us the next morning was to get into our snow gear and head outside as soon as possible! As soon as the sun hits, the melting begins, so we need to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment we can out of the fluffy white novelty! C was out of control with enthusiasm from the minute he woke up – “There’s snow EVERYWHERE!” (You know you’re kid’s from the south when he says that and can still see tufts of grass peeking through the white…)
Our morning was filled with fun – C’s grandma and I pulled him all over the neighborhood on his sled, using every hill we could find as an opportunity to slide. We identified all sorts of animal tracks, and wrote our names in the snow with sticks. The snow was too dry for snowmen or a snowball fight, but it made for wonderful powdery snow angels. We even made friends with one of the neighbor’s grandkids who was up for a visit. When he had to go back inside after about 30 minutes because his clothes were sopping wet, I was very thankful that we’ve got such nice snow gear for C. C was out for for the entire morning, and was warm, snuggly, and dry when we came inside for lunch!
His gear was provided to us courtesy of Ducksday, and I reviewed our experience with the items as rain gear a couple of months ago. But now that we’ve tested them out in the snow, I feel like it’s necessary to sing their praises once again!
3 in 1 Jacket – I can honestly say that C has never been cold in this jacket – and although we rarely have snow, we still encounter our fair share of sub-freezing temps. This jacket has been a staple for us this winter, rain or shine. The inner fleece (removable) provides a fabulous insulating layer, while the outer shell shields against wind, rain, and snow. The hood is sized generously so that a warm hat can still be worn underneath – but it’s also detachable for a low-bulk option on a cold, dry day. Other bells and whistles include reflective safety tape, elastic cinches at the bottom of the jacket, zip vents under the arms, and a velcro flap covering the zipper as added insurance no water gets through.
Snow Pants – These pants have certainly proved impressive in the rain, and now I can give them a two-thumbs up for snow as well! In fact, this winter we’ve thrown them on anytime the air is cold and the ground is wet! Zippers and velcro at the ankles mean they fit great over boots, and the rise at the waist is high, which ensures extra protection during snow angels and other rolling-around-in-the-snow-shenanigans! The fit is slim, but still leaves plenty of room for insulating layers underneath (but size up if your kiddo is in between sizes.)
Mittens – These are just the icing on the cake! Extra long with a velcro adjustment at the wrist and toggle at the cuff, these water and windproof mittens are designed to keep snow out and your kiddo’s little hands nice and toasty warm, even on the coldest of days. As far as mittens and 3 year olds go, they are easy to get on and off, and the textured palm provides surprising dexterity for a mitten.
I know some parents might think investing in expensive snow gear isn’t very practical down here in the South, but the great thing about Ducksday is how versatile all of their products are. The removable fleece in the jacket means the outer shell is just as practical for summer rains as it is winter weather, and the pants are perfect for any kind of cold, wet weather – not just snow! And here’s the really fun part – Ducksday has offered to hook one reader up with their very own 3 in 1 jacket for their kiddo (colors and sizes subject to availability.) All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below about your favorite go-to snow activities (and the gear that makes them possible!) via the Rafflecopter widget (multiple entries possible for Cragmama and Ducksday fans on facebook!) Contest will run through February 11 at midnight EST. Best of luck everyone!