Skiing is a winter sport and while braving the elements is part of the fun, you and your family will have a better ski day if everyone can stay warm. Here are six tips for keeping the entire family, from youngest to oldest, happy and snug on the coldest winter days.
Dress properly. A friend in the ski industry recently told me, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” What’s bad gear? Anything that isn’t made for skiing or winter sports. Buy your kids ski clothes of the same quality that you buy yourself. If a coat and snow pants aren’t made for skiing, they’re probably not going to be warm enough. Wind and water-resistance are a must.
Layers. Base-layers should be wool or polypro, never cotton. If you’re tempted to let your kids ski in their cotton pajamas or socks, don’t go there. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet. Wool and other wicking fabrics take moisture away from the body. As for socks, one thin wool or polypro sock is all that is needed. Feet need a little room to move, so if the boots fit correctly, one pair of proper ski socks will keep toes warm.
Mittens. For kids, I think mittens are the only choice. They are easier to put on little hands and if the little hands do get cold, mittens allow kids to ball up their fingers to conserve warmth. When just mittens aren’t enough, we use thin polypro glove liners, as well as disposable hand warmers.
Don’t let the cold set in. If you’re walking from the condo to the lift or from your car to the lodge, make sure you and your kids are covered up. Helmets and mittens on, coat zipped up.
Keep ’em fueled. Hunger and thirst will make anyone colder. Just a bit of dehydration makes it harder for the body to regulate temperature, so be sure to drink water throughout the day, especially if you are skiing at high altitude. Also, carry snacks in your pocket. Cheese sticks, fruit chews, juice boxes, even M&Ms, will help a tired, cold child warm up.
Take breaks. There’s no point in skiing when you’re miserable. And if you have a cold, unhappy child, you’re miserable. Go into the lodge to warm up before your child complains of the cold. Just a short break for water, or maybe hot chocolate, and you’ll be good to go, all day long.
Please share any of your personal tips. Enjoy!