Things You Need to Remember When Storing Your Ski Wear

Storing Your Ski Wear
Photo credit: Markus Bernet

As ski season starts to wind down and skiers return home from their spring break trek to the mountains (we just got back from a crazy-amazing trip to Winter Park), it’s time to think about storing your ski gear so it’s clean and easy to access next season.

Here are a few steps to be sure that your skiwear stores well and is fresh when you pull it out next year.

1. Take everything that is machine washable, wash it and dry it thoroughly. Long johns, socks, fleece jackets, hats, neck gaiters, etc.

2. Take your items that are not machine washable and spot clean them as necessary. Then turn them inside out and let them sit outside in the sun on a nice warm spring day for a couple of hours. This includes your jackets, pants, mittens, etc. This will get them thoroughly dry and the sunlight will help kill any bacteria or mildew that’s trying to take over in the damp.

NOTE: Don’t forget to clean out all the pockets. Those ski jackets and pants have lots of little compartments and may have lip balm, sunscreen, and even snacks just waiting to ruin your day when you pull them out of storage next year.

3. Sort through the items and create two piles – giveaway/sell and keep.

4. Pack giveaway/sell items away in their own Rubbermaid tub and clearly label it “Ski Clothes to Giveaway/Sell”.

6. For the items you intend to keep, fold them neatly and sort by family member. Take note of any items each family member will need next season and pack the list with the “Ski Clothes to Giveaway/Sell” tub. You’ll see why in a minute.

7. Place each family member’s ski wear in its own plastic bag, and label it for that family member. Place all the plastic bags in a large Rubbermaid tub and label it “Ski Wear”. If you have vacuum bags, they can be a huge space-saver.

8. Make a note in your calendar for November to pull out the items you need to giveaway or sell. Post them on Facebook and/or Craigslist. Also, post the list of things you need on Facebook to see if any of your friends have what you need. This will give you plenty of time to shop for needed items that you can’t barter for or borrow.

9. Add any new items to your “Ski Wear” tub.

10. When it’s time to go skiing, throw the “Ski Wear” tub into the car. Let everyone pack their own smallish bag of non-ski clothing and toiletries.

A little prep now makes planning next year a breeze. Do you have any great tips for storing your ski wear?

Happy Feet: Three Things You Should Know About Choosing Ski Socks

choosing the right ski socks

In the rush to get all the gear you need for your group ski trip, it might be tempting just to throw some regular old socks in your bag and call it good. But there is nothing more miserable than uncomfortable feet when you are skiing (except maybe freezing hands) – whether it’s from the cold or something rubbing your foot the wrong way, the tiniest problem can turn a perfect ski day into a miserable ski day.  You are safest when you choose actual ski socks, and you want to choose them wisely.

Socks made for skiing are often thicker on the shin to cushion against the boot, and a little thinner on the bottom to keep down the bulkiness inside the boot, they keep your feet dry and warm, and they help prevent blisters and other unpleasantness. Regular old socks won’t do that for you.

Choosing the Right Ski Socks

  • First, make sure the sock fits properly.

    You don’t want any loose material bunching up around your toes, nor do you want it to be squeezing or pulling on your toes too much. Be sure that they are taller than your ski boot so you have cushion at the top edge of the boot.

  • Second, choose a breathable, wicking sock.

    Imagine your damp feet dangling from ski lift in 20 degree weather and it’s obvious why this is important. By choosing a sock made from a breathable, wicking material, you can keep your feet dry from perspiration, and therefore warm. There are a variety of materials that can accomplish this, often a combination of wool and synthetics. Look for wicking on the label.

  • Third, choose the proper weight.

    The right weight depends on the conditions – if it’s really cold go heavier, if it’s going to be just at freezing, go lighter. It also depends on your level of exertion on the slopes. If you tend to work hard and burn it up all day, you will generate a lot of body heat and need lighter-weight socks. If you are more of a casual cruiser, you might want something a little heavier.

An important note, the thickest socks aren’t always the best. Boots are now designed to be insulating, so it doesn’t necessarily fall to the sock to do all the work of warming your feet. In fact, a thicker sock may make your boot too snug and eliminate the insulating layer of air. This can make your foot colder! (Hint: wear your ski socks when you get fitted for your boots.)

Do you have a favorite style or material of sock for skiing?

Something New on Your Next Group Ski Trip: Skiboards

You’ve skied bumps and back bowls, you’ve boarded the toughest terrain parks, and you want to try something different on your upcoming ski trip. Ski boarding might be the change of pace you are looking for. You may have seen skiboarders on your last ski trip, doing jumps and pirouettes on what looks like a really short pair of skis.

A combination of skis, snowboard and skates, ski boards (aka, Snowblades, the brand name sold by Salomon) look like a pair of really short skis, and skiboarders may use poles, but usually don’t.

With a shorter learning curve than skis or boards, skiboards let beginners see pretty quick progress in a short amount of time, making them a fun first experience on the slopes. Intermediates can try things that were beyond their reach on a traditional pair of skis, and experts can use their skills to master something new on skiboards.

Here you can see a first timer on snowboards. And if you poke around on YouTube, you’ll find quite a few experts out there, too.

Have you tried skiboards or any other alternative to skiing or snowboarding? If so, let us know about your experience. If you would like to try them, let Ski Daddy help you set it up on your next Colorado group ski trip.

The Best Smartphone Apps for Your Group Ski Trip

There was a time when you might struggle to get cell phone reception while on a group ski trip in Colorado or Utah. That time is definitely over and not only can you send a quick text while skiing to make lunch plans, there are apps for your group ski trip popping up left and right to help make it a fantastic experience.

Epic Mix

If you are skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge,  or Keystone in Colorado, or The Canyons in Utah, or any other mountain owned by Vail Resorts, you might want to download EpicMix. By working with the RFID chip in your lift ticket, the app allows you track the vertical feet and trails covered, race against Lindsey Vonn, earn pins for your on-mountain achievements, and store ski photos on your personal EpicMix dashboard for sharing on your social media networks.

Find My Friends

Even though Find My Friends isn’t a “ski” app, it certainly comes in handy on the mountain. Have your group all download the app (Apple only, sorry) and send invitations to the group to be your “friend”. After they accept, you will be able to view their locations on the mountain at any time. This is a great tool for group leaders!

REALSKI

The REALSKI App uses the GPS and camera built into your phone to help you with mountain navigation. Not sure what slope you are looking at or what difficulty level it is? Just point your camera at it to get the info. Can’t quite remember where a bathroom is? Again, point your camera and it will help you identify the facilities available in your area.

REALSKI also let’s you Geotag locations such as where you parked your car or where you dropped your glove from the chairlift. The dropped glove thing is a real phobia of mine, so that feature alone is worth downloading the app as far as I’m concerned.

SHERPA – Copper Mountain

Sherpa is one of several great apps for your group ski trip

The mountain specific app, Sherpa, is an audio app provided by Copper Mountain. Just plug in your headphones and start skiing. The app will give you tips and information on trails, such as which sides are groomed. It also provides a one-touch ski patrol button should you find yourself in need of help.

Mountain specific apps like Sherpa are sure to be popping up all over the place, so be sure to check the resort you’ve chosen to see if they have one.

iSnowReport

Get information on the Colorado resorts’ ski conditions using iSnowReport. Find out the conditions and base depth, which lifts are open, lift hours and more. If you are skiing outside of Colorado look for state specific apps like iSnowUT.

 

Do you have any favorite apps for your ski trip? Please share them with SkiDaddy. We try our best to provide the latest technology for our group ski trip, which is why each of our ski groups receives their own private ski trip webpage. Contact us so we can help you plan your group’s trip.

Should you recommend gloves or mittens for your group ski trip?

When you are planning a group ski trip, you will probably get a lot of questions from your group about what type of equipment is necessary. A common question is whether or not to choose gloves or mittens for a Colorado ski trip.

Gloves or mIttens

No doubt, cold fingers on a ski trip are enough to make you want to scrap the skis and head in for a cup of cocoa – just to hold that warm cup in your hands. So the question of gloves vs. mittens is a good one.

Gloves

The advantage of gloves is that you maintain some dexterity. With your gloves on, you can probably fish the lip balm out of your pocket tuck it back in. And if your gloves have fingertips made for a touch screen, you can even add a selfie to your Instagram while you ride the lift.

Unfortunately, gloves aren’t quite as warm as mittens.

Mittens

Mittens have the advantage of being warmer because the heat lost from each finger stays trapped amongst all its buddies.

But, when you need that lip balm, you will probably have to pull off your mitten, tuck it somewhere so it doesn’t float down to the ground 30 feet below the lift, fish out the balm, apply it, return it to your pocket, and put your mitten back on.

While you are doing that? You guessed it – your hand gets cold.

Glove Liners

Glove liners can be a solution that helps solve the problems with both gloves and mittens.

If you prefer gloves, a pair of glove liners made from quick-drying, high-insulating material can help keep your fingers warm.

If you prefer mittens, a pair of glove liners underneath can keep your fingers from freezing when you need to pull off your mitten to apply that lip balm or make a call.

Handwarmers

Handwarmers are little air-activated packets that generate heat for several hours. They tuck nicely into a pocket designed to hold them in your gloves or mittens and help keep your hands toasty all day.

Hint: you can use them for your toes, too.

The Bottom Line

If you are going to be skiing where the weather is relatively warm, say high 20’s, then gloves will probably be just fine. But as the expected temperature for your group ski trip drops, you may want to consider gloves with liners, then mittens, and add the handwarmers if it’s really cold.

Finally, remember to wear a good hat! Although it doesn’t seem related to your hands, much of your body heat is lost through our head, and a good hat will help keep your entire body warm, including your fingers.

Need more advice for planning your group ski trip to Colorado, New Mexico or Utah? Drop us a line at Ski Daddy. We would love to help!