Temperature wise, some of the best days are the “worst days” if that makes any sense. Well, if you ski or board and love chasing powder you know what I’m talking about. Some of the best snow days are the windiest and the coldest. Here are some tips of the Tam Fam’s tips on how to stay warm on even the coldest days so that you can be out there taking advantage on the awesome snow while the rest of society huddle around a fire indoors.
One of the optimal ways to enjoy the freezing conditions is by layering! This is probably the most “common sense” component of enjoying the cold, but it’s the truth. Make sure you bundle up with at least 3 layers on – top and bottom. Layering will utilize your natural body heat in without giving it the chance to sneak out.
Next, make sure to wear a ski helmet. Bring a helmet with some padding on the top of your head and ears. A helmet truly keeps the warmth in along with providing protection to your noggin. To go along with your helmet make sure to wear a beanie or head warmer under it, this will prevent the heat from escaping out of the vents that helmets do have.
Third, we all know that having cold feet can be a real drag, keeping your toes warm in winter conditions is one of the most difficult things to do. There are a couple of things that you can do to help avoid this situation. For example, the type of socks that you wear can have a huge impact. You may think that you should just go put on as many socks as you can to keep your feet warm, but that doesn’t always work. First, it is the type of socks. Never (and I mean never) wear cotton socks. They keep the moisture right next to your foot and don’t dry out as easily as other types. You should start with a liner sock, this lets your foot breath and allows the moisture to get away from your foot. The next layer should be a heavy wool sock. Wool is a great insulator; it can absorb a high amount of moisture to keep your feet dry. Wool also dries much quicker than cotton because of its physical nature; wool fibers have anti-bacterial properties, so when your feet sweat they don’t stink as bad. The other part with socks is not to have too tight of socks because that will restrict blood flow making your feet colder. Additionally, the second thing you can do goes along with restricting circulation is loosening your boots when you get a chance. When you are in the lodge make sure to loosen those boots.
Often, another part of your body that gets cold all of the time is your hands. The type of glove you get makes a big difference. Mittens keep your hands warmer than finger gloves. Mittens trap body heat by keeping your fingers together and reducing evaporative heat loss. Another thing you can do is when using hand warmers put the hand warmer on the backside of your hand. When going down runs that is where the cold air is hitting.
Drinking water and eating might be hard to do on an extreme powder day, but you need to replenish your body to help keep you warm. You burn a lot of calories when not only riding down the hill, but just by your body’s attempts to stay warm. You also might not realize this but you also can easily become dehydrated while hitting the slopes. So, when in the lodge grab some water even if you are drinking a beer, water is your best bet.
The right goggle has a big impact on your day of shredding on the mountain. On cloudy stormy days grab a pair of clearer lenses or lighter ones to help you see definition in the snow. You may also be finding your goggles fogging up more on these days. Try buying some cat crap. No, no it is not cat poop it is an anti-fog wax that you rub on and off of your goggles to prevent them from fogging. Also make sure your neck gator or facemask is not covering up where you are breathing out from. Leave a hole for your breath to escape.
Bring extra clothes and leave them in the car. Chances are you are going to fall in the snow and get snow in your glove or down your pants. Bring some extras and leave them in your car just in case, so no matter what you can enjoy the complete day.
Lastly, if you are getting a bit chilly stop in for a quick break at a lodge to give your body a chance to warm up. Most ski resorts like Tamaracks’ Packer Station have places mid-mountain or at the top, they are usually friendly people so stop in say hi and warm up for a few minutes.