Make Your Own Waterproof Waders

It snowed and iced a lot here in Texas last week. We were not prepared clothing-wise. Austin doesn’t get real snow, mostly ice when it does get cold enough, and our family does not participate in any winter sports. Because kids’ feet grow so fast and it also doesn’t rain that much here, we also don’t have rainboots.

We are also minimalists. Our son has a capsule wardrobe of blues and grays (the colors match his eyes <3). He has a light and a heavy jacket, a light and heavy hat, two pairs of hand coverings: mittens and gloves, slippers and one pair of outside shoes. When one set of hand coverings is wet, we switch out so they can dry and they’re always ready for the next outside episode. Since shoes take forever to dry, even in a dryer which we weren’t allowed to use due to the energy shortage (many were without electricity for days), we needed to have a way for our son to play outside without his feet staying wet and cold. When the snow came we had to get creative.

My original idea was to cut the top portion of our garbage bags off and rubber band them at the thigh as leggings over my son’s socks and pants. That would give him more coverage. I can recycle the top of the garbage bags at a store plastic bag/film drop-off station and we can reuse the garbage bags themselves in our small kitchen garbage can.

This is our small kitchen garbage can that I dump each night into a 30 gallon bag I leave open in the outside 24-gallon trash cart. I twist the bag close each night and then the night before collection, I tie the big bag closed so it doesn’t get all over the ground, truck or workers.

My husband beat me to the bag options by grabbing compost bags. Our compost bags are BPI certified compostable but apparently are pretty sturdy. We used the same two bags all week and my son went out at least three times each day. There were no holes! We used rubber bands from produce to hold them up above his knees. His thighs got a little damp but we just rotated pants to dry out between outside episodes. Because the compost bags worked so well, I didn’t bother trying out the garbage bag option. If the snow was higher I probably would have tried the higher garbage bag leggings but compost level for a toddler worked with our level of snow.

This idea reused items and allows items to be reused. We’re pretty proud of this idea and how well it worked out. I hope it inspires you to get creative when you face unusually challenges.

Do you have any fun winter hacks? The variety of items I saw being used to sled on was quite fascinating!

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