Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Survival Guide

Snowboarding / ski gear essentials for warmth & X-tra fun!

Winter poses new challenges for X-training, especially when you add the elements of snow and ice.  Now you can sit home and wish for warmer weather but you'll be missing out on some of the best workout fun of the season.  I'm of Anglo-Saxon and Iroquois decent so my earliest childhood memories are of sledding in below zero night!  We have a LOT more technology to help keep us warm than when I was a kid.  Still the cold rush of wind on your face as you fly down the hill on a sled or skis is so worth the trip out!  I haven't lost my childish enjoyment of such thrills so I still go sledding but have added snowshoeing and skiing to my list of winter delights.  Here's how to have an awesome time on the slopes while being comfy cozy!

Smartwool Turtleneck under Moonstone's Goose Down
Base Layering for Warmth

One of the best things you can wear on the slopes is a good goose down jacket but keep in mind what you wear underneath is just as important.

Smartwool's  Women's NTS Midweight Baselayer Turtleneck shown here in Heather is made from the finest Merino wool in the world.  Seriously, it does not itch!  Better still is the natural wicking wool provides to keep you both warm AND dry.  Couple this gorgeous turtleneck with a pair of their wool Latte Stripeuccino Socks in Ash Heather and your feet will thank you too!  Cold Weather Tip:  Apply a generous amount of Pro-Tech-Skin by SNO-SEAL to hands AND feet before hitting the slopes.  Your extremities will feel warmer and be better protected from exposure to the weather.  Can be used on lips too.  It REALLY works!

Top off your baselayer with another winner, namely a super light goose down jacket.  Moonstone's Lucid Down is a super light, (weighs only 10 oz), 800+ fill goose down jacket that allows you freedom of movement.  Dual zippered pockets and elastic wrists to keep the cold out.  Inner pockets are deep enough to store a water bottle and the cut of this women's jacket is non-bulky so you won't look like the Michelin Man.  Breathable yet warm, you won't sweat the details in this one.  Far and away it's my "go-to" ski jacket!

Head Gear

Something we often forget to protect in cold weather is our lungs.  Breathing in sub zero air can damage the sensitive linings and bronchioles leaving you more prone to respiratory infections.  There's no need for that with the proper head and face covering.  This Gore Tex  Windstopper Balaclava covers your head and upper neck area.  Nicely vented for the nose and mouth area so no worries about excessive moisture building up.  Top this with a warm ski cap such as the 100% Merino Wool Nordic style pictured above from Turtlefur.  It has a soft, no-itch lining band so it is extremely comfortable even without a Balaclava.  Of course if you are skiing or snowboarding a pair of goggles, (Scott Motives) and a good helmet such as the one I'm wearing from Protec is essential.
Limited Edition Polar Bottle

Keep Hydrated

It is so easy to forget you still need water when playing out in the cold.  Staying hydrated is very important so be sure to take along a bottle that can put up with freezing temps such as this thermal Polar Bottle.  Even it it freezes up on you, take it back to your vehicle and it will thaw enough for you to drink on the way home.  One of the best ways to get fatigued and have sore muscles at the end of the day is to not get enough water when you're on the slopes.  Oh and don't forget your hands!  Scott's Snowboarding Gloves pictured here allow full dexterity and grip for bindings and latches but for more warmth choose mittens over gloves.  Your hands will retain heat much better with all of your fingers together!
My FAVE Sled Dogs Mini Skis!

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