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Skiing Attire

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While many think that skiing attire is meant to make a fashion statement, its real purpose is to keep you comfortable while skiing through a variety of cold, wet, and sunny conditions. Basic ski attire includes:

  • A parka that can keep you warm in cold and windy conditions and that also has an adequate degree of water repellency. While you are unlikely to ski in the rain, melting snow (from the sky, a snow machine, or a spill) should not penetrate your jacket. At the same time, the parka should "breathe" or emit moisture to keep you from getting covered in sweat during exertion. The parka should have sufficient pockets, including interior security pockets for valuables and an exterior pocket for a trail map. Most of the time, you don't want a snug parka as the parka should permit layering of sweaters or liners underneath, which will allow you to adjust your warmth and thus be comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.
  • A hat that is water repellent and, more importantly, impervious to wind. A hood on your parka also is advisable.
  • The hyper-cautious may want to wear a helmet, though an even better safety tip is to ski defensively, avoiding excessive speeds and risky moves, while keeping a safe distance from other skiers. Nonetheless, if you choose to wear a helmet, be sure to select one that does not impair your peripheral vision or your hearing.
  • Fog resistant sunglasses or goggles that offer maximum protection against glare and UV light. Even on overcast days, enough light reflects off the snow to fatigue the average person's eyes rather quickly. Your sunglasses or goggles also should protect your eyes from blowing snow and icy wind. If you require corrective lenses to see safely, you might prefer large goggles that fit over your regular eyeglasses.
  • Wind and water resistant ski pants will keep you warmer, drier, and more comfortable than ordinary street attire. While on ski lifts or as the result of falls, you are bound to come into contact with snow or water at some point.

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