Winters in Canada are usually met with dread and a yearning to hibernate until spring—no more! There are many fun and exciting ways to spend these cold months, but perhaps the most exciting of them all is hitting the fresh winter snow on the slopes. Before you spring for that season lift ticket, you have to get the right equipment and clothing to stay warm and safe. Follow this handy guide and you’ll go from bunny hills to black diamonds before the ground starts to thaw!
- Layers are the name of the game. With local temperatures as low as -31° C, you’re used to the cold. But being cold on your four-minute walk from the work parking lot and being cold for eight hours on a mountain are two different things. Invest in quality, sweat-wicking long underwear to stay warm and dry and layer with a comfortable long-sleeved shirt and active-wear pants. And remember, when it comes to warmth and comfort, jeans are not your friend.
- Protect your head. Concussions and skull fractures aren’t limited to football players. When you’re going down a hill 5kph, it’s easy to wipe, hit a hidden patch of ice, or simply lose your balance. Don’t let the image of fluffy white snow fool you, hitting your head will hurt and can cause serious damage. Play it safe and strap on a helmet before you push off—a bruised ego is better than a bruised skull.
- See things clearly. Between snow rushing at your face and the harsh glare of the winter sun off pristine white, it can be difficult to see well on a slope. Not only will the right pair of goggles provide protection from the sun and snow, they will stop your eyes from watering due to wind and momentum.
- Pick the right jacket and snow pants. Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof. If you’re a novice skier or boarder, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your back and knees! What level of insulation you want is really a personal preference and depends on how warm your inner layers keep you. Leave some extra room to accommodate those layers—or better yet, wear the layers when you go shopping—and make sure you have full range of motion without an oversized, baggy feeling.
- Keep your digits warm. Don’t make this the winter you get frostbite: Get a high-quality pair of waterproof gloves. While mittens will keep your hands warmer, they’ll limit your ability to adjust your gear or strap in on your board. If you still struggle with dexterity and coldness, add a layer of liner gloves beneath your normal ones.
- Make your feet comfortable. Believe it or not, thicker socks are not ideal with ski or snowboard boots. Opt for socks that are thin, so they don’t bunch up; high, so they don’t slip into your boot; and sweat-wicking, because your feet will get very hot.
Now that you know how to pick the right accessories for your mountain adventures, you’re ready to hit the trail with the pros. If you find yourself lovin’ life on the mountain, it may be time to leave rentals behind and buy your own equipment. When the snow finally lets up, you’ll need someplace safe and convenient to keep your stuff until next season starts. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find the perfect place for all your gear this year.