Gear UP!!!!!!!

Let’s start simple. If you’re skiing with kids, the number one thing to remember is that keeping those kids warm and bundled up in the proper gear is the key to skiing success. Nothing will sour a kid on skiing faster than not being able to feel their fingers and toes, and nothing will cut a day on the slopes shorter than a blue lipped, borderline hypothermic kid. Here’s a list of essential items that you’d be wise to invest in before you snap into your skis or strap on a snowboard.

Stocking Cap – No pom poms please! Remember, your child’s hat will need to fit under a helmet!

Balaclava or Neck Gaiter – Some people consider these optional. I do not. All it takes is one plunge through powder or a kodak quality face plant to get snow down your neck and under your clothes. A good balaclava or neck gaiter gives you that added protection and warmth that can be so critical when alpine skiing!

Heavy Coat – I like coats with a zip-in fleece as an inner layer. That way you’re prepared for any contingency. It can be worn as a heavy coat, a shell on warmer days, or just as a fleece if the weather is nice and you’re strutting around town! 3 in one!

Snow Pants/Snowsuit – I can’t stress how important a good pair of snowpants is (or a good snowsuit for younger children). Remember, we’re talking kids here. Even if they’re a good skier, they’re going to spend a lot of time rolling around and playing in the snow. And if they’re just picking up the sport, they’ll spend as much time horizontal on the slope as vertical. Think warm and spend extra for waterproof!

Gloves – Bypass the cheap pair from Wal-Mart, and pick up a quality pair from a sporting goods store or outdoor outfitter. Again, think waterproof and warm, as it won’t matter how warm the rest of your kid’s body is if their gloves are sopping wet and their fingers are freezing. I even pack in a few spare sets just in case, as kids seem to have an uncanny ability to get their gloves wet!

Wool Socks – I prefer smartwool, because it’s warm and comfortable and your kids won’t complain about them being itchy. Worth every penny. Second only to cold hands, cold feet are your worst enemy when it comes to keeping a kid on the slope!

Long Underwear – Any kind will do, though I prefer synthetic materials that wick moisture over traditional cotton long undies (especially for older kids that seat more. Remember, anything wet = cold, and that’s bad if you want to stay on the mountain.

Skiing on a budget (and who isn’t)? 2nd hand stores in ski towns are great places to pick up high quality gear on the cheap! We make it a point to stop at least once a year, especially if we’re hitting more ritzy resort towns like Vail, Aspen, Steamboat, or pretty much all of Summit County. And if you’re just dipping your toe in the pool and only ski a few times per year, keep in mind that most ski rental companies also rent coats, gloves, and snow pants for $10-$20 per day. Sounds like a lot, but it’s not a bad option for the occasional skier, and especially growing kids who need new gear on a year to year basis!

Welcome to Low Country Skier

To say I grew up on skis is an understatement. My parents were self-described ski-bums, and my brothers, sisters, and I loved to carve it up. We spent all of our family vacations on the slopes, and since we had season passes, there was hardly a weekend during the winter that we didn’t load our gear into the Suburban and head to the Colorado high country. When I think back to my childhood, those are the memories that I cherish the most. Mom and Dad piling us into the car in our pajamas while it was still dark so that we could get out of town and up to the mountains before the slopes opened for the day. Bombing down runs with my siblings, much to the chagrin of my parents (and sometimes ski patrol). Epic powder, half-pipes, bowls, and backcountry, and at the end of a long day, hot chocolate and board games in front of the fire with my family.

So naturally when I got married, moved back home to Colorado’s front range to settle down, and started a family of my own, I was intent on turning my litter of puppies into a pack of powderhounds! What did I learn in the process? An awful lot that I wish I would have known ahead of time, which got me to thinking . . . what the world really needs is a comprehensive guide for the family oriented Suburban Skier! So here it is, ski Moms and Dads. From preventing snot sickles on your toddler to figuring out what the heck your teenager means when he tells you that he got in some “gnar jibs in the park before he tomahawked on a death cookie,” we’ve got all the skinny you need to transform your family from a bunch of touron buttdraggers into a well-oiled ski-loving machine!   We’ll tell you where to go, how to get there, what to wear, how to save, where to splurge, and tons of other practical tips on all things skiing for the Front Range suburbanite!

Somebody told me to put a YouTube video up on my site to help promote it, so check this out: