Skiing is a sport that can provide endless thrills and an opportunity to relax at the same time. But if you’re not prepared for the slopes, your skiing experience can end up being miserable. By knowing what to wear and what not to wear, you’ll be able to not only survive the cold weather but tear up the snow while you’re at it.
What Not to Wear – Perhaps the most important part of dressing for your ski trip is knowing what not to wear. The most important thing to avoid is any cotton products. Wearing jeans, sweatshirts or sweatpants may keep you warm for a short time, but once you hit the slopes, the fabric will absorb the snow as well as your sweat and keep you cold. This is especially important for beginners who may end up taking a tumble or two. While layering up is generally a good idea while skiing, think the opposite when it comes to your socks. Multiple pairs or even one pair of thick socks will end up blistering your feet, so it’s best to stick to one thin, non-cotton pair of socks and let your boots keep you warm.
The Essentials – It’s important to layer up everywhere but your feet. Start with a good synthetic pair of thermal underwear to make sure your skin will stay warm and dry when you’re in the cold. Your second layer should consist of a sweatshirt or a vest to add extra warmth (fleece or wool is a good idea). The top layer of your clothing should include a jacket (often called a “shell”) and a pair of pants designed for the slopes. A good combination will allow you to “breathe”—let perspiration escape while repelling water and snow at the same time. You’ll also need some equipment to keep your head and face safe from the elements. A knit hat would be suitable for a more experienced skier, but beginners may want to wear a helmet as well for protection from both the weather and the ground. Eyewear is equally essential when covering your face. If the weather is mild (sunny, no snow falling) you may be able to get away with a pair of sturdy sunglasses, but a pair of goggles is best when the weather is biting and snow is falling. Keep your hands and feet covered. Any good pair of gloves or mittens will do, but pick up a pair of boots designed specifically for skiing and/or snowboarding. Mobility is crucial when you’re skiing, so keeping your hands and feet warm is important.