Chasing Davies: Prepping for Winter... Now.

August 21, 2020

Prepping for Winter... Now.

This is not something I'd normally do so soon... but then again, this is not a normal year.  

After spending so much time outside this summer, and how all the outdoor things (like pools, outdoor furniture, bikes, bike helmets, etc) sold out or were very hard to find (especially at decent/regular price), I decided we needed a game plan for this coming winter and to start prepping sooner.

This quarantine life isn't going away anytime soon, and I'm flat out scared for winter (I already struggle with seasonal affective disorder and my kids get so antsy when cooped up for too long). Our only saving grace these past 6 months of quarantine have been getting outside - for play, for walks, for socially distant meet ups, picnics, and family adventures. 

Therefore, I had 3 goals for starting my winter shopping early (...while it is still summer):

 First, prolong comfort outside as long as possible as temps drop.  

Second, encourage the kids to get outside to play and have fun (safely). 

Third, ensure we have our basic seasonal needs covered before there is an issue finding them.

So here is what I did:

The first thing I did was clean out our coat closet. I used this time to organize and have the kids try on all the things to see what new items we needed.

I then checked all our medicines, humidifiers, filters, replacement parts, etc.

I made a list of the things we needed.

I did some research on winter toys for the great outdoors that would encourage them to play outside.

I then also read many reviews on outdoor heaters.

Here are the items we ordered in prep:

Outdoor Heaters
(this is an item I predict will sell out or prices will go up as people try to keep what little socializing abilities we have left.  We ended up getting not one, but three different ones for different reasons.)

An infrared heater to hang from the ceiling of our screened in porch.

Outdoor, portable, lamp heater for our deck area (this one can be broken down to store later or transport).

A solo stove for some real fire, but with less smoke (a la the s'mores one).

Winter Clothing/Accessories
(like long underwear/base layers, gloves, snow pants, etc.)

We landed on balaclavas (larger and smaller size) for the kids to keep them super warm and built in face covering! Our last year hats and scarves still work!

Gloves for all - after cleaning out the closet, I found some many single gloves (they're like socks, always losing just one). These kids' snow gloves were recommended in my research, as were these adult warm ones with all over touchscreen.  I also love these ones for every day wearing for both adults & kids.

Thankfully we all had winter coats that still fit and worked. I tend to stock up on next years coats at the end of winter, and I did this year before the pandemic.  I love J.Crew coats for my whole family and there are a ton of coats on sale here.

Snow pants and suits are a must have to keep kids outside playing in the (hopeful) snow to come!  Nora inherits Liam's outgrown ones, and this year we got Liam a new pair. I don't think you need to pay a lot for these unless you are going to be in Antarctica, so we get ours from Target.

The whole family got new base layers - and landed on these highly-rated, but affordable priced ones in both adult and kids (girls and boys).

Winter, Outside Toys
(Anything to keep the kids outside longer having fun, expending energy!)

Sleds and Snow Tubes - we have sleds (like this one which is rated well), but got some new (super affordable) animal snow tubes for sledding or pulling each other around in the yard. 🤞for snow.

Other random snow toys - I found these snow markers (perhaps winter's version of chalk?) and molds to make little penguins of snow.

We also have kid-size snow shovels as the kids like to pave the way, so I consider this a super efficient/helpful toy!

Seasonal Must-Haves
(like cold/flu meds, humidifiers, extra filters, etc.)

Time to stock up on those cold & flu meds, vitamins, health aides now!  Not that it will prevent COVID, but all those other winter sicknesses and colds that pop up or help you feel better no matter what you have.

Come winter we'll be spending more time inside, so got a HEPA air purifier for our main rooms.

Winter = dry air (and previously mentioned colds/flue), so humidifiers get used a ton. I got a new humidifier for my room that is well rated + checked the kids elephant humidifiers to make sure it was in good working condition.  Just make sure you get any needed filters, too, to get you through winter - and this extends the life of your filter!

Kleenex, boogie wipes and Vaseline/Aquaphor are also good to have on hand for runny and chapped noses!

Indoor Toys & Cozy Items
(toys and projects for inside + cozy items to stay warm and comfy)

Inevitably, there will be lots of time inside. Every winter I stock up on art supplies, projects and Lego kits to keep those little hands and minds busy.

And if we're going to be stuck inside, better be super warm and cozy! Everyone swears by Barefoot Dreams brand blankets (this one is on sale!), and they have the softest cozy wears, too, but definitely comes at a price (check eBay for possible deals).

Still on my list to get - a cozy, warm robe (this one looks wonderful)!

I always get some new pairs of jammies for the kids.

UPDATE: A friend of mine had a great suggestion to get a generator - especially for those that live around lots of trees!  She has this one (that takes propane or gasoline)

champion generator ready to go

...and here are a few others rated well:


The list could go on and on, and I'm trying to get things I only really need/will need. And pandemic or not, I'd need to update items for growing kids and replenishing needs anyway!

What's on your winter prep list?

If helpful, I put together a quick check list as you start thinking about prepping early for the season!

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