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Cross Country Skiing: What to Wear on the Trails

Yahoo Contributor Network

Are you thinking about going cross country skiing this winter? Will it be your first time on the trails? If so, you may be wondering how to dress for the occasion. Well, here's some of what you need to know:

Base Layer

Cross country skiing requires both upper and lower body movements. Thus, you'll want to wear a base layer of clothing that fits close to your skin and allows you freedom of movement. Based on my experience, your base layer of clothing should also be moisture-wicking, quick drying and breathable. Otherwise, your sweat could stay on your skin and cause you discomfort. Base layer fabrics that I would recommend include Comfortrel polyester and COOLMAX.

Insulating Layer

You'll also want to select an insulating layer that is warm and quick-drying. Furthermore, I'd recommend that you consider avoiding an overly thick layer of insulation because it can restrict your movements. There are companies that make thin, insulated clothes designed for engaging in winter sports. Personally, I like wearing fleece. Other fabric options include wool, Thinsulate and Thermax.

Outer Layer

When it comes to your outer layers of clothing, I'd suggest that you consider purchasing a ski jacket, pants and gloves made from a waterproof, windproof material. In my experience, fabrics that tend to work well in that regard are Klimate and Gortex. You'll also want to consider investing in a warm ski mask, a neck gaiter or another item that is capable of protecting your nose, cheeks and ears from the wind and cold. A pair of ski goggles is also important to have. I'd suggest selecting a pair with interchangeable lenses and an anti-fog coating.

Socks and Boots

Of course you'll also need to wear a pair of socks and ski boots. There are companies that make moisture-wicking, insulated socks specifically designed for skiing. Thorlos is one of them. I like Thorlos ski socks because they traditionally come with reinforced areas and a 30 day guarantee. Your boots will need to be compatible with your cross country skis. Therefore, I'd also suggest purchasing or renting your boots and skis at the same time. That way, you can be sure of an ideal fit.

Sunscreen and Lip Balm

Last but not least, you'll want to think about wearing sunscreen and lip balm. They are designed to protect your skin from windburn and sun damage. Personally, I don't go cross country skiing without first applying a SPF 15 lip balm and an SPF 30 sunscreen.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.

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