Base layers make adventures last It isn’t about the expensive overcoat. It certainly isn’t about the matching hat and gloves. Each autumn British stores are filled with kids’ winter clothing which just doesn’t do the job. The goal surely is to stay outdoors for the length of time which suits the parents. Secondly to minimise kids’ complaints. These two tie in! So start with the feet. Happy kids operate at an altogether lower level than us boring adults so consider their play mode when you dress them. Puddles are made to jump over – possibly in. And bums sit on the ground, on logs, on rocks – not on boring old benches. Two years ago a Christmas tree sales man in Perthshire told me that Goretex boots beat leather boots any time. A man who spends 8 hours a day in December standing still outdoors knows what he’s talking about. Wellie boots aren’t even a serious option. Decent Goretex boots provide support and insulation, and you might want to look out for the ones with the higher ankle support. Good brands like Ecco are lightweight even if the boots look bulky. And there’s only one thing to wear inside and that’s high wool content socks, which trump the high street “thermal socks” any time. I'm a big advocate of long johns and luckily my two sons love their man-leggings too. Luckily the sort of Underarmour/Icebreaker brands which address the base layers are gaining in profile. I normally shop complete sets of high wool content underwear – long-sleeved – when I’m back in Scandinavia.

I can’t emphasise enough that this isn’t overkill in the milder British climate – quite the opposite. With thin, warm layers underneath your children will have much better mobility than with some old-fashioned chunky overcoat. Hats and gloves? Well, you can buy them, but all self-respecting kids go to great lengths to lose them, so don’t blow the budget on the accessories.