I love to hit the slopes every winter. There’s nothing like breathing in the crisp, frosty air in the morning, while feeling the rush of gliding down a blanket of white powder. Skiing is what makes me look forward to winter and enjoy it. Here in Canada, winters are long and often cold, so one must embrace it if they want to survive here. Skiing can be exciting, yet risky and uncomfortable if you don’t bring the right stuff.
No matter if you’re hitting the slopes for the first time or a veteran, here’s five things you’ll want to bring with you.
1. Thermals – No matter if it’s a frigid or mild winter day, you’ll want to have thermal underwear and a shirt. You’re likely going to ski at least three hours at a time, so your body will start to feel the cold after this time. These garments can be found at Wal Mart or any ski shop and are worth the investment! I always stock up on these every time I head out to the slopes, and so should you.
2. Ski Goggles – While skiing, you need to keep your eyes focused on what’s in front of you and be able to see any potential hazards (ice, branches, the occasional cell phone dropped from a chairlift). Goggles make sure you’re vision isn’t impaired. This is crucial if you happen to ski during a snowfall. The snow can cause you to squint and possibly take a nasty spill. It also keeps the glare of the sun out of your eyes on a clear day. I often see skiers use sunglasses, but they don’t always cut it. You need something that fits tightly around your eyes and offers adequate protection from the winter sun. Goggles are especially handy if you plan to go night-skiing. Salomon offers good goggles.
3. Helmet – Just as you would wear a helmet for cycling/rollerblading, you should invest in a good ski helmet. Sometimes, we slip and fall no matter our ski level. The snow is harder than you think, and a helmet can save you from serious head injuries.
4. Ski Mask – A must if you’re skiing in sub-zero temperatures. During these times, it is crucial that every part of your face be covered. I have two and always pack them no matter what kind of day it is. Temperatures can drop hour to hour, so bring one along just in case. Sure, you’ll look like a bank robber, but it’s worth it.
5. Slippers – This is good when you want to take a break in the chalet. While skiing, your feet are suffocating from the crushing pressure of ski boots. So in between, you should give your tootsies a break and walk around the chalet in slippers. I think women might benefit from this the most.
One more thing. Almost every time I’m in a ski chalet, I see people having a glass of wine or beer at lunch. It is very important that you are 100% mentally aware while skiing, because you never know when you’ll have to make a sudden maneuver .Even one drink can impair your ability and cause a major wipe-out. So if you want a brewski or a little wine, save it until you’re done skiing for the day.
So have fun out there and enjoy the winter, even you absolutely hate it!