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Winter brings snow – and snow brings fun. Start planning early for your winter skiing and snowboarding adventures so you're ready to carve up the backcountry.
A snow holiday demands good preparation so before you head off, make sure you research your individual destination and the likely weather conditions – and stock up on all the ski gear you need with the help of our suggestions.
Going skiing without clothing isn't really the ideal way to enjoy your time on the mountain. It's a key component for having a safe, fun day at altitude – and without the right clothing, cold, dampness and even frostbite can set in.
Take your time to lay out the ski or snowboard clothing you already have, and think about the gear you need to purchase or upgrade to stay warm and comfortable on the slopes.
Protecting your head during those inevitable wipeouts is essential. Gone are the days of being bravo about not wearing a snow helmet – protecting your cranium is vital for nailing those black runs.
Staying warm up top is another important consideration. No one likes the numbness of half-frozen ear lobes, and you can avoid this uncomfortable feeling by wearing a:
Seeing is believing – and when carving it up, seeing is everything. Sunglasses are an option but for that extra level of protection and clarity, go for a pair of snow goggles.
A common early lesson among polar explorers is, “If your clothes get wet, change them immediately – or you’re going to die.”
Sounds fairly extreme but this important warning is valid in any alpine environment. Protect your core by investing in body hugging baselayers that wick moisture and keep you dry – and grab some thermals for your young ones too.
The wind at altitude can be stronger – and definitely chillier – than at sea level. Your key clothing item to keep the chill out is an insulated mid layer.
It's equally important to keep the kids warm so they don't start moaning about the cold a few hours into your day on the pow. Get them appropriately suited up in our Styper:
With its main job description to keep wind and precipitation out, an outer layer shell will round your snow apparel out nicely – ensuring you stay warm and dry on the white stuff. Our Styper gear comes to the party here again, offering the:
It goes without saying that you'll need the right size board or skis to cater for your height and skills on the powder. Do your research if you plan on buying, or look at renting or secondhand equipment to keep the cost down.
Beyond your method of getting down the slopes, consider what type of baggage will suit your skication.
Depending on how far off-piste you plan on exploring, you may need a day pack that can hold a few emergency items, plus some food and water. A couple of options include the:
You'll want to spend all your time, and focus all your energy, on improving your mountain skills. Keeping your gear organised will help in this sense, so stay ahead of the game with a:
Whether or not you need to carry any survival gear really comes down to your intended snow adventures.
Hanging out on a commercial ski area's groomed slopes with plenty of ski bums around is safe as houses, but if you're planning on going cross country or off-piste, you'll need to carry a: