But what do I wear?

One of the perks of taking up a new sport is…shopping for new gear! (And not feeling guilty about it).

What to wear for cross country skiing? If you do any kind of sport in the winter, odds are that you have most of the items you need.  Like all sports, how warm (or cool) you need to dress depends not only on the temperature outside, but how fast you are moving. Because you’ll probably be heading out early in the AM to ski up north,  it might be chilly in the AM but warm up considerably by the afternoon. What to do? The key is to layer, layer, layer!

Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors in the winter probably knows to layer on the top and bottom, but what I didn’t appreciate is how hot your hands will get xc skiing and how handy it is to layer your gloves or mitts.  A thin wool glove that you might use for running in the cold plus another thin windproof glove or mitt might be all you need – remember air is the best insulator. I always bring one extra set of gloves for the ride home because there’s nothing worse than putting on cold damp mitts at the end of the day (from sweating —or maybe falling a lot).

Don’t underestimate how much insulation and covering you need from the neck up – a neck gaiter and a hat that covers the ears well and is windproof will keep you comfortable. I have taken to wearing a thin wool hat, a neck gaiter, and then an extra gaiter thing that can also be worn on top or around my neck in case I underestimated the wind chill factor.

Lastly, for your feet – wool socks or synthetic ones that wick moisture are key. Do not wear cotton socks! (Or anything else cotton- it will just get damp, cold and clammy and you will probably swear off winter sports from then on.)

Here are a few links for more info ( note, these are not endorsements for these sellers; they just happen to have useful info presented well).

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/what-to-wear-cross-country-skiing/

https://www.jans.com/blog/lizyok/how-to-dress-for-nordic-skiing

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/crosscountry-ski-clothing.html

**** Don’t forget to visit the MEC ski swap and Trakkers booth this weekend at MEC downtown (400 King st West, @ Spadina)!

See you on the trails.

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