Skiing the snow-covered slopes of a mountain in winter is great fun, but you need to make sure you’re prepared. It will always be an exciting and memorable day out on the slopes, but skiing is something you need to be prepared for. Venturing out onto the side of a mountain without proper preparation or foresight can easily be a recipe for problems. Prevent mishaps of all shapes and sizes by using this quick guide and you’ll be prepared for a wonderful day out on the mountain. These 5 essential pieces of gear ensure everything will much more likely go smoothly.
Let’s start at the bottom. It’s a mistake to think that just throwing a big puffy jacket on will keep you warm. For the cold temperatures you’ll encounter on the snowy, breezy slopes of a ski mountain, you’ll need to start with a thermal base layer. These layers don’t need to be thick, just warm. A fleece or wool base layer paired with a thin, insulating jacket is a great way to stay warm all day. You can then layer a waterproof outer layer on top. This approach of using 2-3 thinner layers instead of just one improves flexibility and allows you to move better than you would under a big, thick jacket. And if conditions change, you can mix and match your layers to find what works the best.
Here’s a pro tip - don’t wear gloves. Mittens are much warmer because they trap heat and insulate from the cold more effectively. Taking a page from base layering, you can even put on a pair of thin wool gloves underneath your mittens. This allows you to take your mitten off if you need some extra dexterity, while your hand still has protection from the cold.
Scarves might look amazing, but they can easily start unraveling, flapping in the wind, and perhaps even catch on a tree branch. But you still need something to keep out the cold, whistling wind that seems to find its way through gaps you didn’t even know existed. The solution is a neck gaiter. They’re soft, fitted, and durable. They keep out the cold, seal up cracks around the top of your jacket, and keep you warm even if they’re damp from snow or perspiration.
Good socks are a must when you’re on a skiing adventure. They might not be the first thing on your mind when you hit the slopes, but they’re something you’ll be thankful for later. Make sure the socks are of good quality. Properly made socks are warm as well as moister wicking. Materials such as wool and natural fibers are always good options. And be sure to bring extra pairs, especially if you’re on a ski trip and you’ll be spending several days on the mountain. An extra pair of clean, dry socks will turn into a luxury pretty quickly.
Lastly, goggles and or ski sunglasses are an absolute must. Good-fitting goggles that protect against sun and snow are essential for a great day out on the slopes. Investing in good-quality goggles that block out UV rays and feature anti-fog systems are the best. Being able to see clearly and painlessly doesn’t only make skiing a lot more fun, it’s also a lot safer.
These are some essential pieces of equipment that any skier should have with them when they hit the slopes. They might not seem like essentials when you’re preparing to head out from the comfort of your home or lodge but be warned that experienced skiers swear by them for good reason. Be sure to buy or rent these items when heading out into the mountains for the day, and you’ll be much better prepared to enjoy your skiing.