This isn’t so much about skiing, but about spending time outdoors and making the appropriate choices for clothing in whichever outdoor activities you’re doing. During the ski season or the off season, if you choose your clothing wisely, the so called off season doesn’t need to be a long waiting game for snow but rather a fun, adventure filled time while in worry free comfort.
The number one choice I always make is to wear the appropriate clothing for my activities. Whether I’m out skiing, hiking, mountain biking, working as a window washer or out mining for gold during the summers on my off time.
What I prefer to wear obviously changes with the seasons and activities, but some things stay consistent year round.
The clothing I love to wear is always breathable. This allows any moisture to escape your body. In the winter this will help you stay dry and warm, in the summer this will cool your body down more rapidly and you’ll be less likely to suffer from dehydration, sun/heat stroke or hypothermia in the winter.
Dressing in layers is vital. If you get too hot or too cold you can add or remove the layers. I also suggest packing extra no matter what time of year you’re out having an adventure. The reason being its better to have it, then not having it.
One mistake I’ve noticed everyone makes, including myself, is wearing cotton. Cotton when it gets wet does not retain body heat, it takes forever to dry. I highly suggest buying some synthetic layers or even better some Merino Wool layers to layer up with. The saying “cotton kills” is very true to form.
A requirement that I never compromise on when I pick my outer layers is having a nice waterproof layer made out of Gore-Tex for my upper and lower body. Nothing can sap the fun out of a trip faster then getting hit by wet sticking snow while skiing, or getting nailed by rain and wind while hanging off a building window washing, or digging holes looking for buried treasure during the summer months. For years I’ve relied on an Arcteryx shell that I wear year round that doesn’t compromise waterproof-ness for breathability and maintains my comfort level.
The single most important item I bring with me year round is head protection; I always wear a well fitting comfortable helmet while skiing or a hat or toque to protect my head from the elements.