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Gathering Skiing Proper Skiing Equipment

Aug 17, 2007
Putting the together the proper skiing outwear can make or break a ski trip. If you don't have enough equipment, you'll get too cold and if you're wearing too much, you'll be uncomfortable.

Equipment must be kept to the lightest weight consistent with reasonable durability and adequate protection against emergencies. A light pack makes a trip more pleasant and control of skiing more certain. Even the robust man, who could easily carry much more, should always have as light a pack as possible, to maintain reserve energy for emergencies and a reserve of carrying power in case of injury or fatigue of any other member of the party. He should further consider that if he is injured, the party must carry his pack - or discard some of it.

The equipment is divided into that which is worn, carried in the pack, included for community use, and necessary for difficult climbing on rock and ice. The equipment listed first in each of the divisions is the minimum requirement for a tour of at least one night on the snow, with possibility of blizzard and temperatures down to 30 degrees F; "optional" equipment can be added as desired. The community equipment is based on a four-man party. Variation in the number in the party using the community and climbing equipment, as well as the type of expedition, would require some changes in the items suggested.

Inner garments are preferably all wool, of loose weave, and should consist of several lightweight layers for greater warmth and to permit adjustment of the amount of clothing under changing conditions of weather and exertion. Cotton is undesirable; it absorbs and retains moisture, and then lacks the warmth of wool for garments of equal weight. Lower underwear should be woolen and extend to the ankles. It is not easily changed, and need for protection against extremes of cold should therefore be anticipated. Overheating may then be avoided by removal of clothing above the waist. The shirt should have a long tail. Inner socks may be light wool, over socks of heavy wool or goat hair.

Outer clothing must be close-woven, windproof, water-repellent, with a smooth finish. It need not be wool. Rough or fluffy material must be avoided, for snow will cling to it and melt. Down garments utilizing the offset seam construction provide the greatest insulation for a given weight. It is important that outer windproofs fit loosely over inner down garments to allow for full expansion of the down.

Ski pants should be full at the knee and long enough to stay well inside the boot. Pockets on outside clothing should have zippers or adequate overlaps and fastening to keep out snow. A good all-metal zipper is not seriously affected by icing. Tabs should have thongs, for easier use by mittened hands.

The parka should reach below the hips so that there is no gap between parka and pants, and should fit loosely. Such a parka will protect the torso better. The pull-over type is best for blizzards, but a long throat zipper is needed for ventilation. Large pockets or muff are advisable. The parka must be water-repellent but not waterproof, except possibly for the shoulders and hood. A waterproof garment can easily become soaked from within by condensing perspiration. The parka hood must have drawstrings to permit covering head and face, except eyes and nose.

A cap or headband will supply necessary additional insulation for the ears. Overmitts should be large enough so that fillers will not press against the fingertips.

These items will protect you from the cold so you can really let loose on the slopes.
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