SKI ACCESSORIES - A GUIDE TO THE BASICS
This is an overview of the accessories you'll want to have for your day of skiing and riding. Of course, you'll need the most important equipment - your skis (alpine or cross-country) or snowboard and boots - but this guide helps you get prepared with the other items you'll want to have to make your experience the best it can be. For a low-down on what to wear, see our What to Wear: Layering 101 page, written by our partner The North Face.
Let’s go head to toe, starting with your head. You have a perfectly shaped head - keep it that way and don a well fitted helmet. Besides protecting your head, helmets also keep your noggin warmer than a hat! Check out this video on the perfect helmet fit by our partner Bern:
Next, wear a neck gaiter for the colder days; they are an updated scarf, essentially a tube of fabric, typically fleece. It will keep the breeze and snow off your face and neck that your jacket doesn’t quite cover. Assuming you want to see and not have tears streaming out of your eyes while you’re cruising the trails, be sure to grab a pair of goggles. These keep the wind and snow out, and are warmer than sunglasses.
Socks need their own section because they’re so important. First and foremost: NO COTTON! You should have tall socks that are not too thick, and well-fitting wool or synthetic should be your choice. A good sock should wick away the sweat, and keep you dry and warm. If your toes are toasty, it will make a big difference in your overall experience throughout the day.
Last but certainly not least for being prepared and comfy are your hands and fingers. Keem ‘em covered - your hands want to be dry, warm, and dexterous. If you’re snowboarding you still have to get your bindings on and off, without having to take your gloves or mitts on and off, so find a pair that are warm and waterproof and also allow you to do things like fasten bindings or use zippers. In general, you want gloves or mittens that are insulated on the inside and waterproof (windproof is a plus) on the outside to make sure your hands stay dry.
A couple more things worth bringing along. Chapstick can be your best friend if your lips are chapped from cold, dry mountain air (or if you forgot to hydrate sufficiently - keep a water bottle in your bag in the lodge!). Sunscreen is also important, particularly on sunny or slightly overcast days. Ever seen someone with a google tan? Yeah, it’s kind of goofy looking. Protect any exposed skin with regular applications of sunscreen.
Of course, a smile is the best accessory - be sure to bring a great attitude and HAVE FUN!