4 Foundational Elements A First-Time Skier Should Know—Part 3: Accessories

So you’re finally taking the plunge and getting on skis this season! Get excited; instead of dreading the cold days ahead, this sport will have you loving winter and wishing for lots of snow — that is, at least, if you do it right your first time. The reasons people don’t give skiing a second try can usually be avoided with some easy prep. The following is part three in a four-part series of how to help ensure maximum fun without the blues (except those that are on the run).

By now, you’re covered with clothes that wick moisture and have started on a fitness routine that targets the muscles you need for the slopes. We’re ready to move on to the fine details; namely, accessories.

Get your head covered

A helmet helps keep heat in better than a hat while protecting your control-center (a.k.a. “brain”) which you’re going to need to ski, of course! These days, pretty much everyone sports a helmet so if looks are a concern, let it go: nearly all serious skiers don a hard hat on the hill.

Protect Your Eyes

Helmets are usually goggle-compatible, which is good news, since goggles provide more protection than sunglasses in alpine environments. A goggle’s full-enclosure design helps protect your eyes in two ways: it blocks the effects on your eyes from the harsh reflection of the sun onto the snow and keeps the wind at bay, preventing eyes from watering and keeping vision clear.

Keeping Hands Warm

After you’ve got your head and eyes covered, we need to protect those hands of yours. Is warmth most important? Stick with mittens, which pack all four fingers (sorry thumb!) into one compartment, allowing them to benefit from shared warmth. Dexterity more your priority? Go with gloves: these separate each finger, allowing them to move independently. Whatever you choose, hand wear for snow sports should have a sturdy, water-resistant outside layer and an interior made of synthetic material that will wick moisture away and keep your hands warm.

If you need even more warmth, there are two options: heated gloves, which use a battery-operated warming system, or a less-expensive option: heat packs that you zip or slip into your gloves.

You’re seeing clearly and fully protected; stay tuned to next week’s post to find out what’s next on your skier’s checklist.

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Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. Leaving home to journey westward alone, she chased the sun to Utah. Over the years, she was consumed with skiing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and getting lost on back roads. But exploration continued to call. After closing her bakery — which funded college courses and adventure — she stored her possessions and hit the road again, on a quest to reach the distant places of North America. For three years she lived in her little Mazda 3 and skied the backcountry of Alaska, slept under the northern lights in the Yukon Territory, ice climbed Colorado's frozen canyons and rock climbed across the continent, photographed Nova Scotia’s coves, backpacked in southern US wildernesses and munched on sugared tamarindo in the jungles of Mexico. But living in a car started to feel limiting, so after seeing the many glories this continent had to offer, she chose the only place fitting for an explorer to spend a lifetime of wild wonder: British Columbia. Dual citizenship in hand, she settled along the Powder Highway in the Selkirks and is now making her home between four walls and deeply wooded mountains. When she's not playing the part of a photojournalist, Gina can be found collaborating with women worldwide through her nonprofit, Outdoor Women's Alliance, and working to improve her outdoor skills and wilderness safety certifications.