Our Favorite Gear for the Ski Trails

When you’re heading out for day on the mountain, we all have standard gear we pack to take with us. We asked our colleagues what their favorite thing to take on the trail with them is.

Keeping Warm

Dave, recommends instant hand warmer packets such as HotHands, especially for skiing with little ones”. Yes, Dave’s a dad, through and through.

Maribeth loves these hand-knit Peruvian hats. These hats are made by women supporting their families in Peru. It allows them to work from home and make a good wage,” says Maribeth. I will gladly spend that $$ to support that!”

HotHands brand instant heat warming packetsKnit Hat made in Peru, sold at ShitThatIKnit.com

Smart Electronics

Fitbits are great for tracking your heart rate, but they’re not really designed to track alpine skiing and snowboarding. For that, our go-to is the Ski Tracks app. Detailed data, plus bragging rights back at the lodge. #WINNING

Ski Trails app main screenGraphs of altitude and speed on Ski Trails appMap showing geotagged photos on Ski Trails app

If you’re one of the families that has eschewed iPhones for every child, walkie-talkies are a great tool (or backup). They may feel like a throwback to an earlier era, but they don’t depend on cell networks and are far more rugged than most smartphones! We’re fond of the rugged, inexpensive Motorola Talkbouts.

Either way, Ashley suggests a koozie to keep your phone or radio a little warmer. Phones freeze fast when skiing,” she reminds us. (In a pinch, a spare wool sock does wonders.)

Another option is a combo power bank/​hand warmer made for winter sports, such as Celestron’s Firecel+. It has a huge battery, which it uses to keep its battery at optimal temperature to recharge your phone. Or, you can turn on its warmers on one or both sides to warm up your hands. For just $50 it’s a pretty sweet bit of kit.

Two Motorola Talkabout walkie-talkie radiosCelestron Firecel combination USB power pack and hand warmer

Survival Gear

Avalanches get a lot of attention, but they aren’t the main threat. Keeping your body in good working order despite varied weather conditions is!

Pack snacks,” says Ashley. I always make sure I have something with sugars,” she continues. Having a source of quick energy to lift your blood sugars is a must.

And don’t forget a water supply. This can be as simple was a water bottle, but a Camelbak-style reservoir is ideal for full days of skiing.

If you do expect to leave the posted trails, REI’s clever roll-up Snow Claw” Shovel is compact, flexible, and can help you dig your way back to civilization. But I’ll be honest – where it really shines is in helping my kids dig out igloos out back.

Snow Claw roll-up avalanche snow shovel

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