Tips for Dressing in Cold Weather
It happens every winter. The temps drop, your face freezes, and you still want to get out and ski. We have a few tips to keep you comfortable while out cross-country skiing in zero or below-zero temperatures. We always recommend a windproof yet breathable outer layer and good, moisture-wicking baselayers. Our tips take this general formula and elevate your dressing to handle the coldest weather.
- Wool baselayers- Wool keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable even if you get a little sweaty. We recommend wool baselayer pants, baselayer tops, and of course socks.
- Mittens- Mittens will keep your fingers the warmest. They have friends to keep each other warm! Split mitts are a good alternative option. How thick your mittens are can depend on how warm your hands run.
- Boot covers- rather than doubling up on socks, we recommend adding a boot cover. Boot covers are made of neoprene and some even have a thermal wool liner to keep your toes toasty.
- Face tape- Covering your face with a cream such as Warm Skin or Dermatone or pieces of Face Tape or Rock tape will go a long way towards protecting your delicate and exposed skin.
- Layers- Dressing in layers that you can expend or add is key. Always layer the lightest, tightest, and most moisture-wicking first, then add a midlayer, windproof jacket, and potentially a vest. Choose layers that still have an element of breathability. Despite how cold it seems, once you're moving you will sweat and the sweat will need a place to go!
- Sunglasses/Goggles- Keep your eyes protected from the wind and glaring sun. Choose an option with wide coverage for maximum protection.
- Buff/Balaclava- Keep parts of your face and neck covered with a light yet thermal neck gaiter or balaclava (no, not the dessert). Wear this in addition to your favorite hat for extra ear protection.
- Hand and toe warmers- Use them after you ski or while you are out there, you can’t go wrong with adhesive toe warmers stuck on top of your toes and a hand warmer in your mitt. Add a wool liner glove to separate your hand from the warmer and even more insulation.
- Keep moving and have fun! Remember, you will expend more energy in frigid temps. Listen to your body and head inside if you feel overly fatigued or notice signs of frostbite. Don't forget to drink water and fuel properly before and after heading out.
With these tricks up your sleeve, you'll be able to handle anything the winter throws at you. Now let's get out there, make some tracks, and enjoy outside!