Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow Day: Nordic Skiing Adventure

Alpine Skiing with my Sled Dogs "mini skis".
Winter 2014 This winter we are getting hammered with a truckload of snow in the Northeast! So it only goes to reason that when someone gives you lemons, make lemonade. Making the best of being snowbound and under a state of emergency means being a bit inventive. Thankfully, I am able to go right out my back door to snowshoe and do some cross country skiing right on my own land. I try to mix it up with various snow activities because each works different muscles. The ORIGINAL Nordic Track!

Getting Dressed
Cross country or Cross Country or Nordic Skiing requires sustained action over a long period of time which can work up a sweat so I lightly layer with:

My fave Wool Ski Beanie - ExOfficio
Smartwool NTS Lightweight Merino Wool Baselayer T & Ski Socks

Danskin Ice Skating Tights
Goose Down Ski Jacket (Moonstone)
GoreTex Paclite Snowboarding Pants

Wooly & Warm
Wool is really the way to go next to skin for winter outdoor activities. Layering with wool at the base traps warm air while allowing moisture to wick away from the skin. I use my synthetic ice skating tights because they are super thin and comfy under my hard shell GoreTex snowboarding pants.

Hot Food & Drink
Yes, you can take it with you and keep it hot too! Some hot soup, stew or cocoa can go a long way to helping warm you up from the inside. When we ski the backcountry, I take my sled which makes for a perfect seat for putting on footwear and storing backpacks. We often leave it within sight or at the trail head while we transverse an open field. When we return, our hot soup is waiting!

Stanley 20oz Thermal Food Jar and Spork from CampSaver.com

Navigating Ungroomed Trails
What I like about Nordic Skiing is that you don't necessarily have to run on groomed trails.You can traverse fresh powder if it's not too deep but even so, it's much more of a workout. This is also why I like using my Sled Dogs Snow Skates which are in effect mini skis. The skis are attached to the boot itself and are short enough to navigate uneven terrain. Just be sure to wax your skis and use the appropriate ski poles with hand loops for your height.

Sled Dogs, Smith Ski Poles and Scott Snowboarding Gloves on my sled.
After Skiing
You are burning a lot of calories out there (between 400-800/hr) so when you get back, it's time to refuel.
I like NeoCell's Chocolate Collagen Whey shake mix for a quick boost of protein. This muscle recovery formula gives you a whopping 30 grams of whey protein plus additional nutrients and antioxidants for muscles and joints. Even though skiing is considered low impact, you'll want to reward your ligaments after working them this hard.

Gear Care
After use, I always try to brush off any excess snow from my skis, boots and snowshoes. I put them on a towel in the same room as the fireplace and let them dry completely. I also have a Dry Guy Boot and Glove dryer which allows the quick drying of hats, gloves and boots. I also use Sno-Seal on my leather boots to keep moisture out.

The Joys of Cross Country Skiing
What I really like about cross country skiing as opposed to Alpine or downhill is that you can go at a slower pace. This allows you to notice things in nature while still getting a great workout. Take today for example. I saw a flock of low flying geese in v-formation heading north. The snow was also falling from the tree limbs which sparkles like crazy in the sunlight! What gym can give you a panoramic view like that? With more snow on the way, rather than get grumpy, why not embrace it with some calorie burning cross training activities like Nordic skiing?
Lole Women's Jenny Ski Jacket & Hat.  Smith Ski Poles

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