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Essential Items For The Slopes

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Flickr/lilybartlett

Water

The single most overlooked and underrated item in snow sports. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean that you’re not sweating—it’s a sport and you’re working hard. You’ll need to keep hydrated, especially if you’ll be out on the mountain for more than one day. Your muscles need it, your body needs it, rehydrate!

Flickr/kurafire

Energy Bar

Snow sports are unique in many ways. One of the most notable is that people typically spend hours out on the mountain; some people spend whole days and evenings outside. That level and length of activity can be a quick drain on energy and when you’re drained you are much more likely to make mistakes that result in injury. An energy bar or some small snacks can help keep you going strong.

Flickr/guilmay

Sunglasses

Most people prefer goggles for the larger area of protection and the strap that keeps them secure. Really, you should take both goggles and sunglasses. Sunglasses will be ideal for when you take breaks or stop to rest. They’ll be more breathable, lighter on your face and you might want a break from the goggles.

Flickr/WKeown

Cell Phone

Many skiers and boarders leave their phones behind. Some like to get away from it all, others fear they may break or wet their phones on the mountain, whatever the reason you should consider bringing it along. If you’re with friends it’s easy to lose one another on the mountain, a phone will help you find each other. It’s good to know the time so you can get that last run in before the lifts stop for the day and if you get hurt you may need to call for help.

Flickr/joelogon

Whistle

Generally recommended for the more advanced or those venturing into avalanche territory, a whistle is an essential part of any survival kit. During the worst-case scenario, a whistle will allow help to find you. Many ski and boarding backpacks come outfitted with a whistle. It’s inexpensive and compact; why not bring one just in case?

Flickr/mikepetrucci

Body Heat Blanket

Again, this is an item for the worst-case scenario. These blankets are small, they weigh just two or three ounces and they generally cost around $5.

Flickr/GuudGrf

Toe and Hand Warmers

Yeah, these are the things you’re parents always bought you in bulk and insisted you bring. Naturally, you didn’t want to wear them then but you probably should now. These little miracles can make all the difference when the temperature really drops.

Flickr/somaya

Extra Gloves

Cold, wet hands are the last thing you’ll want on the mountain. Packing an extra pair will ensure you can keep them dry and stay out longer. Let’s face it, hovering over the bathroom dryer with your soaked gloves is simply not a good look.

Flickr/Nagy David

Backpack

With all the pockets in jackets, who needs a backpack- right? Well, maybe a backpack isn’t for everyone but there are specialty snow packs made to fit comfortably, remain light and allow movement. The best packs will have water storage inside to keep the liquid from freezing and some even carry skis and boards (in addition to everything else on the list).

Flickr/Idhren

Lip Balm

You don’t need a Blistex commercial to tell you that the winter weather can be harsh on your lips. The constant exposure that comes with snow sports and the added wind will certainly take its toll. Don’t forget to reapply.

Flickr/LifeInMegapixels

Sunscreen

Is that red face from the wind or the sun? You won’t be sure for a few hours unless you protect your skin. Sure most of your body is covered, but at times your face might not be. Bring a small tube along; you’ll be glad you did.

Essential Items For The Slopes