Category Archives: Winter Tips

Layering Basics for Outdoor Winter Activities

layeringThe key to being able to enjoy outdoor activities in winter is dressing appropriately for the weather conditions. The longer you’re able to stay warm and dry, the more fun you’ll have while snowmobiling, ice skating, hiking, or doing whatever else is on the agenda. Once you become cold and wet, misery quickly follows and you’ll just want to pack everything in and call it a day.

So what’s the best way to dress for the elements? Well, since winter weather can be unpredictable, layering is the approach most people prefer. Dressing in layers allows you to be flexible and add or remove clothing as external temperatures and conditions dictate.

But layering involves a little more thought than simply piling on as many shirts, sweaters, and jackets as possible. Here’s how to do it the right way:

Base layer
The purpose of the base layer is to keep you dry, which means you should wear something made from moisture-wicking fabric that will carry sweat away from your skin. The base layer can be snug or loose, depending on personal preference, and can consist of anything from lightweight thermal underwear to long-sleeved tees or turtlenecks.

Middle layer
While the base layer should keep you dry, the middle layer should retain body heat to keep you warm. Merino wool, fleece, and synthetic materials like Thinsulate are ideal for this layer, as is any battery-heated apparel you may have. The middle layer should be loose to allow for unrestricted movement.

Outer layer
The outer layer or shell is your first line of defense against the cold, wind, and rain, and should therefore consist of the best quality product you can afford. Depending on your intended activity, you should choose a shell that is windproof, waterproof, and temperature rated for expected conditions.

It’s also important to keep your head, hands, and feet warm and dry during your outdoor activities. Fleece hats and toques can help retain heat and repel wind, while battery-heated glove liners, water-resistant gloves or mittens, and insulated boots will ensure your fingers and toes stay toasty warm.

Five Tips for Choosing a Ski Resort

deer valley resortJanuary is the height of ski and snowboard season, so if you’ve been meaning to try one or both of these sports, now is the time to start making plans.

But there’s more to putting together a successful ski vacation than just grabbing your battery heated clothing and booking rooms at the cheapest resort you can find. Instead, you’ll have a better chance of making your outing a successful one if you follow these five tips for choosing a ski resort: 

  1. Assess the skill level of everyone in your group. Not all mountains are created equal, of course, which means you have to choose one that has terrain to match your group members’ abilities. This could mean small and gentle slopes for beginners, or longer runs with fast and steep descents for advanced skiers.
  2. Investigate childcare options and activities for younger children. If you are traveling with younger children that aren’t quite ready for skis, it would be a good idea to find out what kind of childcare options are available (and what it will cost you). Some resorts provide basic indoor nursery-style care with snacks and meals, while others might offer sledding, sleigh rides, and similar outdoor activities.
  3. Take into account the “off-snow” amenities. Even the most diehard skiers and snowboarders won’t be on the slopes 24/7, so think about what else you’d like to do while at the resort. Do you want spa treatments? Are shopping and fine dining choices a must? Is a vibrant nightlife part of your vacation formula? Check around to find a resort town that has everything you need.
  4. Consider the size and popularity of the resort. Some of the largest, most popular ski resorts in the country can easily see a million skiers or more in a single season, which means their slopes are usually always packed. If you love being part of a crowd, then these renowned resorts are for you. But if you want a low-key holiday, try to stay off the beaten path.
  5. Save money by taking advantage of package deals. Just like other vacation destinations, many ski venues offer discounts to guests that purchase package deals. A typical package for a day trip might include lift tickets, lessons, and equipment rental, while overnight packages might also include special room rates and discounted meals.