For many people this is a myth because they don’t know what I know and what you will know in four to six minutes. While staying warm when skiing is extraordinarily hard it is definitely not impossible. On one hand, it is understandable that beginners, people who have never gone skiing before, are having troubles staying warm. However, many experienced skiers have the same issue. Not being able to stay warm has a lot to with your clothes, but not all is in that part.
Food to you is like wood to fire – it gives you energy and fuels you, and on top of everything, it keeps you warm. Also, skiing burns a lot of calories, even though it doesn’t look like that to many people. This means that, in order to stay warm and not starve on the middle of the slope, you have to have a proper meal before you go out. Whether it’s breakfast or lunch we are talking about, make sure to intake as many calories as possible to keep you full and warm throughout the day.
Another important aspect is hydration. There is virtually no way to bring a water bottle with you on the slope as it will distract you and be very uncomfortable. This means that you have to drink as much water as possible before going out. Proper hydration before setting out to conquer the mountain means that you won’t get dehydrated on your way down, which can sometimes be very long. Also, a free tip: don’t forget to pee before going out because heavy-duty ski suits can be hard to take off and accidents may happen. Furthermore, ski gloves limit your hands’ mobility and they are not the most comfortable for handling those kinds of situations.
Planning and fabricating
Your daily activities and climate conditions vary from one day to the next which means that a lot of planning has to be done with little room left for improvisation. Will you be doing anything other than skiing, how long will you be out, what is the weather going to be like and what is the predominant climate for that specific area? All of that is important and all of it makes a difference in the way you should dress.
If the weather is dry, without rain or snowfall, you can wear lightweight jackets and pants that aren’t waterproof and that won’t limit and constrict your movement. However, even if it’s dry but the temperatures are extremely low, a heavy, puffy jacket is a must, just as ski gloves or even snowmobile gloves, goggles and a neck gaiter. Windproof jacket is always a good idea, because even if the weather conditions aren’t particularly harsh, you will be moving down the mountain very, very fast. If you don’t have enough insulation from wind, no matter how many layers of clothes you have on you, you will be cold.
If you plan on staying out the whole day, it may be a good idea to bring some additional layers with you. No matter if your clothes are mainly waterproof, chances are something is still going to get wet. Water-resistant clothes are designed to maintain the inner layers dry for a brief period of time and protect you against small amounts of water. However, waterproof clothes do the same but over an extended period of time and they protect from a much larger quantities of water. That being said, I also have to mention that no waterproof piece of clothing can withstand the constant onrush of huge amounts of water. That’s just not possible, so an additional, dry layer can save you from a lot of discomfort.
As with everyday winter dressing, layering is important for skiing. Actually, layering is even more important when skiing, as it is a crucial part of the equation that helps you stay warm. As there has been a lot of talk about the importance of layers, the division of layers and their purpose, we will only focus on the layer that is most important for skiing. Now, you might think that it’s the outermost layer and technically you wouldn’t be wrong. However, a layer that is often forgotten is the base layer.
Many focus on the last layer and they are right to do so. It keeps you insulated and protected from the elements. Nonetheless, in the process of focusing on that particular layer, many tend to forget about the importance of the base. The base is what actually keeps you warm, and what’s even more important, it keeps you dry. It usually consists of one piece of clothes, most commonly an undershirt. Its main purpose is to grip your body and wick the sweat your body makes. Because of this, cotton is not a good option for the base layer, even though a lot of undershirts are made from it. Cotton has major absorbing capabilities, which isn’t all good, since it has almost no wicking abilities. This means that the sweat is trapped close to your body and over time it gets cold. This sucks if your goal is to stay warm, so mixture of synthetic and cotton is the best option.
Taking a break
As it was already mentioned, skiing can be really hard and tiresome. Great tactic is to take a break every now and then. Find a nice little coffee shop and relax with a cup of coffee, or even better with a cup of tea. Also, you can refuel on food and water while warming up, resting and drying off your clothes. Hot liquids, like soups, will warm you up, but be careful not to overeat as it will negatively influence your performance. A light snack should be enough.
Once you are rested, refueled and dried, you will be much more comfortable once you get back out. Repeat this as much as you need to get the ultimate skiing experience.