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Dressing for Downhill Skiing

How to Dress Appropriately for Downhill Skiing

Dressing properly for a day out skiing in the winter can make the event enjoyable.   When you are downhill skiing, you spend a lot of the day on the chair lift, and therefore, stationary.  You may not work up as much as a sweat as you do in other outside winter activities.

You should have a minimum of three layers on: inner, middle and outer.

Your inner layer should be a wicking thermal layer-think long johns.  You should have an upper body and lower body set of underwear for this layer.

The middle layer should be your thermal layer…think fleece, long sleeved pullover etc.  This layer would be suffice if you are out on a warm winter day.

Your outer layer should be a warm jacket that is water and wind resistant.  You will want to invest in a pair of snow pants with the same qualities.   You want this layer to keep you warm throughout the day.

Don’t forget to treat your feet with the same due care that you did the rest of your body.  You want to wear one pair of wicking thin socks and a thicker pair to keep your toes warm and comfortable. Long, knee high ski socks are also helpful for winter skiing.   They help to protect your body from the hard ski boot that you wear.

You might like to wear a toque on your head, the knitted variety is fine.  This will help keep the warmth in your body, and keep your ears warm!

For your hands, choose a pair of gloves that are thin enough to allow you full control of your poles, but warm enough to keep your hands at a comfortable temperature.  I find that if I am wearing mittens, my hands get too hot but if I am wearing gloves, they are too cool.

Also helpful for downhill skiing is a neck warmer, or balaclava.  It can get quite cold on the mountain, and these articles can help your face to stay covered and protected when you get flying down those runs.

Safety- remember to wear a helmet and goggles!

Traction for Winter Hiking

Winter HikingHere are a couple of products that may help you explore the outdoors in the winter time.

Yaktracks – This option is basically a popular selling foot cleat.  They will stretch to fit easily over almost any type of shoe.  Yaktrack has a special “SkidLock” coil of metal that will dig into ice and hard packed snow.   They are fairly bendable and small for easy carrying and storage.   They are available in a variety of colours.

Polar Cleats- This option offers you a high quality, Canadian made recycled product.  Polar Cleats (patent pending) slip-on, studded snow cleats.  They can be fitted on almost any size boot and/or shoe for winter walking.  They are lightweight and affordable.

Trex Traction Devices- This brand is used more for workers who find themselves outside on a regular basis.  But since there are a variety of options and types that Trex offers, I thought I would include this in the option list.  They are quite a bit more expensive than the other options, perhaps as they are professional grade.  Trex markets their traction devices, “one-piece traction device for shoes or boots delivers tenacious grip and stability.”

You might also consider:

Ski poles- You may think that I misplaced this in the traction section, but if you are out hiking or walking in the winter weather, remember to bring your poles along with you!  They are excellent at helping you keep your balance if you happen to slip and stumble.   Remember to change your baskets to the larger webbed ones for the winter time as this will help as you place them in the snow along the route.  If you only have small baskets, consider getting larger ones to prevent the poles from dropping too far into the snow along your path.