Winter is in full swing as snow is falling and temperatures are dropping. The snowfall this season has been extraordinary and outdoor enthusiasts are in freshie powder heaven. The snow has reached record levels in parts of California, Colorado and Utah so if you are a winter sport adventurer then the season is upon you. If you’re planning a trip to a mountain resort then you can’t forget to pack these must have items.
Ski pants, jacket, gloves and a warm hat go without explanation, because if you need to be told to bring these then maybe you shouldn’t be going in the first place.
Here are some items that are often forgotten.
A good pair of ski socks are so crucial to your comfort and often overlooked. Many people just toss their old gym socks in their ski bag and call it a day. Boo to you I say. Any skier or boarder worth their weight will tell you that cotton is not the way to go. A wool blend or synthetic sock is the best way to go. I advise a trip to your local sports store or ski shop to find the perfect pair. When shopping for socks, make sure they are not too tight because proper circulation is key to keeping your extremities nice and toasty.
Long johns or Thermals
Fashion be damned when skiing or snowboarding is all about keeping warm and dry. Layering is your best friend and it’s always smart to start off with a quality pair of thermal long underwear. Steer clear of the cheap stuff and invest in a nice pair, this time I recommend cotton or a blend. Synthetic fabric doesn’t breathe as well and you want sole of the heat to escape so you don’t sweat too much.
Hand and feet warmers
These little buggers are a lifesaver. What many people don’t understand is that skiing and snowboarding is actually about 60% sitting in the ski lift, so hand and foot warmers come in handy. See what I did there, pun time! These guys can be found at almost any store in a colder climate, usually by the checkout register. If no luck there, I guarantee them to be at ski shops or a sporting goods store. They cost less than a few dollars and last up to 8 hours.
A good quality adventure backpack or waist pack are key to any good ski trip. When buying one, look for a secondary securing apparatus like a waist or chest strap. This will help with all the vigorous activity you are about to do.
A good pack can hold all your stuff and so much needed water. Staying hydrated is important and often over looked because you are in cold weather. I like a pack that also has a hydration system, like a Camelback.
It’s so bright in the mountain during the day it’s crazy. My first time skiing I was amazed at how blinded I was from the sun reflecting off the snow. Grab a cheap pair of shades that you don’t mind breaking or losing.
Nighttime skiing can be dangerous without a good pair or goggles. The wind is whipping around and snow can be blinding, so quality goggles can save the night.
Everyone always forgets the sunscreen. I understand, you figure it’s cold and you are all bundled up, but you don’t know want to look like a raccoon when you return home. I recommend a strong sun block, SPF 50 or above and get a waterproof or sweatproof one. You’d be surprised at how much you actually sweat when skiing or snowboarding.
We aren’t all professional snowboarders or skiers so grab a helmet and wear it. They serve multiple purposes; a) to keep your noggin safe and b) to keep that same noggin warm. Most of your body heat escapes through the head and a stocking cap doesn’t always work best. You can rent a helmet at every reputable ski resort and most ski rental shops. They want you to come back so they always offer helmets for safety reasons.
When you get off the slopes and take a long hot shower or jacuzzi you are going to want some comfortable sweats to lounge in, believe me. The warmer and softer the better, your sore body will thank you.
I’m not advocating skiing or snowboarding drunk but a little nip of an old flask always warms you up from the inside out. Maybe save this for after your skiing is done for the day or maybe not, I’m not your parent or guardian.
These little guys are awesome and getting increasingly more affordable. They are impact and water resistant so throw them into your adventure pack and capture all the amazing memories. Just make sure the battery is charged and memory card is empty so you don’t accidentally tape over your kid’s recital.
Good luck out there and remember to have fun, life is too short.
Adventure Travel: Push the Limits of your Vacation
A new year and a new you, time to push your limits like never before. I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in immediate danger but I am saying you should test your boundaries. Let yourself live and maybe you will improve your regular self. Exploration and self discovery rarely are found in a […]
A new year and a new you, time to push your limits like never before. I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in immediate danger but I am saying you should test your boundaries. Let yourself live and maybe you will improve your regular self. Exploration and self discovery rarely are found in a pool or a bar stool, you’ll need to walk a few steps outside your norm to find what you didn’t know you were looking for. Go on an epic adventure and see what life is really about.
Instead of renting a car, try a motorcycle or scooter on for size. This small adjustment to your normal itinerary can completely change your vacation. Let the wind rush through your hair and grab onto those handlebars tight as you vroom through the streets. Can you feel the power between your legs? Have you lived like this in a long while?
A small adjustment to the standard vacation can really turn things upside down. Side note: don’t rent a motorcycle if you have never ridden one before, maybe start with the smaller engine on the scooter. You can still feel the rush without seeing the inside of the local hospital.
Why walk when you can get pulled in a tuk-tuk, a rickshaw or by some local bovine. When I’m in NYC I always take a hansom cab ride around Central Park, this may not be too exotic for most but to me it’s fantastic. A hansom cab is a horse drawn carriage that tours you around Central Park. I’ll always remember the time my wife and I first visited New York and we took our first hansom cab ride. A cold February night had us in a romantic mood, so we hailed a hansom cab and got all cozy under the blankets. Our driver gave us a wonderful tour and we still talk today about that night.
Step Outside your Resort Walls
How about instead of sitting around by the pool, you venture outside the all-inclusive resort. Take a stroll through the town, or maybe a jungle hike. Get the blood flowing and your heart beating. Take in the clean air and beautiful surroundings. When I travel, I usually bring my hiking boots because I look for adventure at every turn and couldn’t imagine just sitting around a pool all day. Although, I have had some of my best vacations just sitting round a pool, but that’s another article altogether.
Look for Adventure
Every vacation destination has brochures and pamphlets advertising their local attractions, these are great places to start. I usually tend to ask locals for advice or do some previous research on fun activities. But, you would be surprised at some of the awesome adventures that await just around the corner. Zip lines, waterfalls, ancient ruins and guided tours are just the start. Some of these tourist attractions are just traps and ways to suck money from the weary traveler. That’s why I do the added legwork and some light planning to find my true adventure.
Travel for Adventure
Ditch the all-inclusive resorts and head out for adventure completely. Instead of sitting by the pool, try snorkeling in the ocean or white water rafting down a rushing river. Adventure awaits you at any experience level so don’t let your greenness deter you from an adventure. If you search hard enough, you can find a journey for every expertise level. My kayaking skills are lacking but that won’t stop me from trying. All I know for sure is I won’t get better at kayaking by not kayaking. Grab life by the proverbial balls and live it.
This is not for everyone, but can be for some. Skydive, cliff jump or bungee jump, to start your vacation. Obviously do it with caution and only after you have done some proper research, but hell man, live it up. There is nothing like a little adrenaline rush to get that blood pumping through your veins. I’ve done it all and haven’t regretted an instance. Sure, skydiving may not be for everyone, but the same adrenaline rush I get from jumping out of a plane, you might get from eating exotic fruits. Each his own and you make your own adventure, as long as you are living it up; I’m cool with it. White water raft down a river or cliff dive into the ocean, life awaits.
Now I’m not saying that chilling by a pool at a resort can’t and isn’t fun, what I’m trying to say is maybe spice it up a bit. Sitting by the pool all day is perfect after you hiked 10 miles and bungee jumped off a bridge. We only get one ride on this planet so you should enjoy every step you take.
Travel on my friends; enjoy your ride, wherever it may take you.
6 Pro Travel Tips from Adam Richman
If your New Year’s resolution is to travel more, get ready to feel inspired. With technology and air travel connecting our world more than ever before, it’s not as tough as it may seem to turn your “Places To Visit” Pinterest board into a reality. To prepare to get up close and personal with the […]
If your New Year’s resolution is to travel more, get ready to feel inspired. With technology and air travel connecting our world more than ever before, it’s not as tough as it may seem to turn your “Places To Visit” Pinterest board into a reality. To prepare to get up close and personal with the world around you, take a look at these tips from travel expert Adam Richman, host of Travel Channel series like Man vs. Food and Secret Eats. Richman also recently teamed up with Capital One’s Priceless Surprises program to surprise four lucky Massachusetts cardholders with trips to Rome, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. Now, he’s ready to help SELF readers plan out dream adventures of their own with the below travel secrets. Happy exploring!
1. To avoid crowds, be picky about which travel times you choose.If you have enough schedule flexibility to fly on off-peak hours, take advantage of it. Popular travel dates and times (like Saturday mornings, Sunday nights, and pre-holiday rushes) lead to congested airports and flights, which is no fun for anyone. “Choose your travel times carefully, ” Richman suggests. “[See] if you can take a red-eye [flight] out the night before a desired date.”
2. Be kind at the airport, no matter what.“Keeping a level head is extremely crucial,” Richman explains. Nobody loves the tension that comes with long lines in crowded airports, but treating others with respect is one way to keep things in check. “Being kind and polite has helped me as much as any kind of traveling savvy,” Richman says. “Also, have your boarding and your deplaning routine fairly down to a science, so you can get on and off the plane with ease.”
3. Strategically coordinate the outfits you pack.The best way to save space in your suitcase is to make sure everything you pack matches. “A friend of mine who works in the fashion and magazine industry recommended that I always pack in the colors of black, white, blue, and brown,” Richman says. “That way, everything goes with everything. I’s kind of a classic combination, and then you have the opportunity to go to multiple venues.”
4. Pack healthy snacks on the go.You ever know when you’ll be stranded someplace without any healthy eating options, so it’s always wise to pack your own fuel. “It’s very funny that at 30,000 feet people with the most strict dietary rules just let them go,” Richman says. “Normally when I sit down to dinner, I don’t have rolls, I don’t order bread, but suddenly I’ll have an in-flight meal with bread and butter. It just doesn’t make any sense.” Richman suggests fighting this phenomenon by stashing snacks like chicken jerky, turkey jerky, healthy granola bars, and raw almonds. “If I’m going to get [food] in an airport, I’ll usually get something like some kind of salad with chicken or some kind of simple turkey sandwich,” he explains.
5. Arrive with a sense of curiosity.“You know that expression that every gym teacher told us that made us roll our eyes, ‘You get out what you put in’?” Richman says. “It’s so true though. Ultimately, if you have an open heart and an open mind, and a willingness to go beyond the typical tourist places, and you do so with respect towards the environment around you, then you’re often rewarded by some of the most remarkable finds.” Don’t be afraid to (safely) push past your comfort zone. “Be humble, stay curious, stay hungry, and don’t get complacent.”
6. Be open to wherever your adventure takes you.Travel has the uncanny ability to bring out parts of our personalities we rarely display at home. “There’s that line from the song ‘Bittersweet Symphony,’ where he sings, ‘I’m a million different people from one day to the next,'” Richman says. “The thing about travel is that there are different places that elicit different sides of us that we might not necessarily be able to access in our day-to-day.”
Skiing vs Snowboarding: How to choose
Skiing versus snowboarding is an age-old discussion or at least a few decades old. It’s winter, the snow is falling all around and you can’t decide which winter sport you want to try. Sure, you have friends who have done both and they all give you differing opinions as to which sport you should give […]
Skiing versus snowboarding is an age-old discussion or at least a few decades old. It’s winter, the snow is falling all around and you can’t decide which winter sport you want to try. Sure, you have friends who have done both and they all give you differing opinions as to which sport you should give a try. Skiers will tell you that snowboarding is for kids and snowboarders will tell you that skiing is lame. Who do you listen to and how do you choose?
I’ll be your impartial observer who gives you both sides of the story and you can decide your own fate. I’ll dictate some good talking points and some funny observations I’ve made in my over 20 plus years of winter sports participation. That’s all I’ll classify my activity as, I’m not an Olympic athlete nor am I completely uncoordinated. I am however a decent athlete and more than competent at both sports.
When discussing snowboarding, fashion is number one. Snowboarding culture is closely related to skateboarding, including their style and general demeanor. Snowboarders wear baggier clothing, the funkier the better with multiple clashing patterns. Snowboarders think they are cooler than they are and that attitude to important if you wish to emulate their style. Baggy pants and loose fitting jackets are the norm and you’d benefit from a cool beanie, like the hipster wear.
The way one speaks is definitive to their culture and snowboarders definitely have their own traditions. Get ready to drop more “Dudes” and “Bros” than you are accustomed to. A snowboarders’ verbiage is similar to surfers and skaters. Also, break out your high fiving hand and be prepared to slap a few.
The boots may be the classic difference between the two sports. Snowboarding boots are softer and cooler than ski boots. Snowboard boots are also much easier to walk around in, which makes a huge difference. These boots resemble normal winter boots except they are generally thicker and stiffer.
Skier style is more focused on speed and function than form. Skiers normally travel at a higher velocity than snowboarders so their outfits are tighter and more aerodynamic. You’ll notice bright colors and smoother fabrics, which help with speed and control.
Also a huge difference between the two is skiers have poles. Poles help with balance and increase in the ease of moving on flat ground, which is a huge disadvantage to snowboarders.
Skiers will speak of moguls and black diamonds, which will hardly be spoken by a snowboarder. Moguls are the bumpy sections of harder slopes and black diamonds reference the hardest and steepest courses. Snowboarders tend to stay away from black diamonds and tend to hang in the snowboard park. Skiers tend to speak in perfect sentences and mention lattes often.
Once again the biggest divide between the two are the boots used. Ski boots are extremely stiff and almost impossible to walk around. Snowboarders will habitually make fun of the duck like walks of skiers. Ski boots are stiff to give the rider much more control at high speeds.
These are just a few of the differences between skiing and snowboarding, now it’s up to you to chose your poison. Skiing or snowboarding, it’s a tough decision, why not try both, and see what fits your style better.
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