Mountain Mama favorites...
I am not going to sell myself as a "know it all" where kids and skiing are concerned, but I've been doing it for 6 years and certainly have learned the shortcuts and what works for me. For your family, maybe you have some other tips to pass along which I will be happy to hear about. Skiing is not like soccer, you don't grab shoes and a ball and head to the park. It is a an art form of packing kids, car, snacks and enough gear that looks like you're going on vacation for a month. Enevitably, you forget something and either have to turn around or just buy it when you get there.
So, I've compiled a list of my favorite things and links.
Favorite jacket: Killtech. Very well made with thick material. Works well for Brennan as a snowboarder because the jackets tend to be long so when he has to sit down to buckle his bindings, he's sitting on this jacket bottom. It also has a great outer pocket for holding a pass.
Favorite warmers: I prefer Hot Hands insole warmers for feet. I put them in Emily's boots before we leave the house and it keeps her feet warm all day. It is a whole foot warmer vs just the toe warmer which can bunch up in the front of the boot. I have learned recently that as kids progress in their skiing, to put the whole insole in takes away a bit of the feel of the foot to the snow or the control of the edge of the ski. Stay tuned for more on that. In the meantime, for your little fellas that have cold feet, try this as it keeps feet warm all day. I also prefer the Hot Hands hand warmers as well. I have tried many brands and find this works the best for us.
Favorite socks: I have gone on and on about this before. If you spend money on one thing, buy good socks. NO COTTON slouch socks. You will have crying kids and cold feet will ruin your day. Euro have always worked for me. They are not too thick, they stay up, they have a snug fit but don't cut off your circulation and last for a good part of your season. I've tried others, no luck.
Favorite thermals: Terramar. There are tons of more expensive thermals. Hey, if that is what you want, totally fine. I like this brand and feel it is every bit as warm as others and cheaper. Not in warmth, but price. I like the waffle type that is a little warmer. The pieces come in different thickness and material. A tip to Mom's built like me-short-buy the kids sizes, a little cheaper and fits just fine. I have a couple different layers and on really cold days, put both on the kids and rarely have a complaint. I like the zip tops with the higher necks for warmth.
Favorite helmet: POC, Emily is required to have a hard eared helmet for ski racing. This helmet fits snug for great protection. If you note a lot of ski athletes, they will be wearing this helmet. If your kids are just starting out, you can probably stick with a Giro. Look for the adjustable dial on the back to grow with your child's head.
Favorite mittens: None. In 6 years, still searching...
Favorite snack: Brookside chocolates with peanuts or nuts mixed in. They have the fruit, chocolate and protein with the nuts and my kids love them. It is good when cold, too.
Favorite neck gaiter: Bula soft gaiter. Keeps your neck and cheeks warm and is super soft.
Favorite dressing tip: Put the kids long johns on first, then pull the bottoms up to mid calf. Then..put on their socks and pull them over the long johns. You do not want extra material in their lower leg. When you clamp down the boots, it will pinch all that extra material. It should just be the sock. You can buckle the boots a little tighter with less fighting.
Favorite goggles: Smith IOS . Emily just got these and love them!! All these years we've been night skiing, we haven't used night vision lens. Wow, now we can and what a difference. If your child is reckless (Brennan), try the Smith Squad. It has the interchangeable lens but is a little cheaper should your child break them. The good thing is too, if your lens wear out, you can order replacement lens instead of the whole goggle!
Favorite lessons: Anything but yourself! Don't try to teach your kids or your friends/spouse. Get them a lesson, you will never regret it.
And last but not least.....
Favorite moment so far this season: Emily meeting Mikaela Shiffrin. On a day at Park City when Emily had a ski race ahead, there was a whisper....Mikaela is here. HUGE! Emily's role model and after the Olympics to say "I want to be like Mikaela". She skied alongside the race hill as all the little girls watched with wide eyes. After her race, Emily ran over and Mikaela took time to sign autographs and take pictures. Em floated through her day so proud to wear her speed suit signed by Mikaela. There are days when you feel lucky....that was definitely one day. That my kids have that opportunity to meet these Olympic heros and learn the dedication and work at a sport they so love, we are lucky to live in Utah.
Feel free to share your favorites with me!