Selecting Ski Accessories Tips

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What size bladder should I get for ski trips?

Hydration Packs

So you live in Texas, and you've decided to take a ski trip to Copper Mountain. On your first day at the slopes, you find yourself feeling a bit light headed. That can happen at 10,000 feet; especially if you are not acclimated. In some cases, that tipsy feeling might be due to altitude sickness. However, it is often the result of dehydration. Carrying a water bottle is not plausible on a ski slope. Returning to the lodge to drink more water is just not fun. However, there is a simple solution: A hydration backpack. These backpacks come with a hose that allows you a hands-free method of hydration. While they are definitely a convenience, here are some things to consider.

First of all, while hikers might choose 100 oz hydration packs, these are not necessary for skiers, who have a chance to refill the bladder in the middle of the day. In fact, 100 oz will make the pack far too heavy. A 40 to 50 oz pack is more than sufficient. The bladder itself should be composed of a breathable, antibacterial material. If it is not, the water is going to taste pretty darn funny. Look for large shoulder straps. Smaller straps are going to dig into your shoulders. For winter sports, the bladder should have an insulated bladder sleeve, as well as foam insulation around the hose. This helps prevent winter freeze up.

What should I look for in boot bags for my ski boots?

Essentials to Choosing Boot Bags

If protecting your skiing gear is important to you, don't neglect any of your gear. Without your ski boots, you won't be making it onto the slopes, so boot bags are important to keep your boots in good shape through your transport. Choosing between boot bags is mostly a matter of taste, however, there are important factors that you should take into account when buying any boot bags.

First, the materials are the key. Make sure that the boot bags that you are looking for have water resistant materials that are durable through any conditions. Most boot bags are made from poly-fibers that are extremely durable and far cheaper than their natural alternatives.

Also, be sure that you have enough space. Ski boots come in many shapes and sizes, so boot bags also come in many variations. If shopping locally for boot bags, bring your boots with you to ensure a good fit. Lastly, look for a comfortable shoulder strap. Hauling boots around can give your shoulder a test in durability itself. A comfortable shoulder strap could mean the difference between an aching shoulder and one that is ready for whatever the slopes can dish out.

When do I need ski socks?

Ski Socks – Don't leave for the Slopes without Them!

Most novice skiers are so overwhelmed with all the special supplies needed to hit the slopes, that they neglect the small stuff. Perhaps the most important of these often neglected items are ski socks. Ski socks are specially designed to stay drier and warmer during the harsh conditions on the mountain.

It is very common for water to get trapped in the ski boot. It is so important that this moisture is moved away from your toes, or else so matter how perfect the skiing, you will be uncomfortable and cold in your boots. This can be so distracting that it can cause a skier to cut his or her day short. Spend the few dollars it takes to stay warm and dry…your feet will thank you!

Are ski bags a practical way to travel with my own skiing gear?

Ski Bags - Bring Your Gear With You

Most skiers need to travel a long distance to make it out to the slopes. If you travel by air to get to your favorite mountain or resort, ski bags are the best way to travel with your own equipment rather than having to rent from your final destination. Ski bags are designed to hold your skis along with your boots and all of your other skiing accessories. Their design will often give your skis a safe packaging for a long trip.

Look for ski bags that are made from durable materials. Travel can give any luggage a beating, and ski bags are no exception. You don't want to arrive and find your skis were damaged in transit. Spend the money on a good ski bag and you won't threaten your entire skiing investment. Shop around the Internet for great deals on ski bags. Your ski manufacturer may have ski bags available that are custom fit for your model of ski. If so, these are a great option. However, there are many after market manufacturers of ski bags that make just as good of a product for an often, much lower price.

I want to take video on the slopes but don't like the weight of a digital camera. any suggestions?

Ski Watches and Cameras

You are on the slopes, and you have a few questions you'd like answered. The first one is simple. What time is it? But even more important, what's the altitude? How much vertical have I covered? Is it my imagination, or was that a really steep pitch? How fast did I ski that slope? Am I better than Bodie? I'm lost. Which way is East?

Enter the Suunto S6 Ski Chronograph. This watch has an intriguing menu of features, such as an altimeter, barometer, compass, and a weather alarm and interval timer. It comes with sophisticated software, which allows you to analyze your runs over a variety of factors such as maximum speeds, degree of slope and vertical drop. You can even share statistics online to help define performance goals for your next trip.

Perhaps, on your next trip, you might even make a video of your improved performance. But then again, you really don't want to drag your heavy camera on to the slopes. Enter the Go Pro Digital Wrist Camera. Appropriately called the Digital Hero, this waterproof, watch-sized camera allows you to shoot 3 mega pixel photos. Even better, it lets you shoot up to 54 minutes of TV resolution video. Weighing 4.5 ounces, this affordable digital camera is easy on both your wrist and wallet.

What is the purpose of the Walk EZ Revolution?

Walk EZ

Here is a typical scenario. You just had an awesome day on the slopes. After skiing the bumps the bowls and the steeps, you're totally stoked. All is well, until you walk across the parking lot and slip on the ice. Don't you hate it when that happens? It need not happen again, if you purchase the Walk-EZ Revolutions ski boot attachment.

It comes with a thick, semi-flexible layer of rubber that provides traction on any type of surface, as well as a convenient combination lock that can be attached to any ski rack. The curved shape enhances posture, alignment and balance. Their benefits go beyond safety. These products protect the bottom of your ski boots from wear and tear. The company has also designed “Mini Revolutions,” especially for kids.

Walk EZ Revolutions are a significant improvement over cat tracks, which tend to fall off your boot at the worst possible moment. In fact, this product is so popular that it has received endorsements from Olympic Champions such as Donna Weinbrecht, Ted Ligety, Tommy Moe and

Picabo Street

David R. Sellers, president of Walk EZ International has also created the Walk EZ Ski Shuttle. This fold –up ski tote device comes equipped with slim wheels that allow you to push your skis and poles through the snow. It even has a lock that attaches to the ski racks. Your shoulders will thank you.

What are the advantages of cargo boxes over ski racks?

Ski Racks and Rooftop Cargo Boxes

If you are lucky enough to live within driving distance from your local ski area, the majority of your ski trips will be road trips. As such, the equipment transport needs of road warrior ski enthusiasts are significantly different from those of their flying brothers and sisters in snow. If you have a big enough vehicle, you can simply store your skis and gear in the back. However, if you have either a small car or a large group of fellow skiers, you will need to consider some sort of rooftop storage.

In the past, outdoor enthusiasts that were involved in more than one outdoor sport had a problem when considering ski racks. What worked for skis did not work for a kayak or bicycle. Fortunately, thanks to modern accessories, a ski rack can be altered to function in a variety of ways. That said, there are a number of factor that should be taken into consideration when choosing a ski rack. For example, unless you plan to keep the same car for the next 20 years, you will want to make sure that the mounting locks that fasten the roof rack to the car can be removed and used in another mounting system.

If you plan to carry a good deal of equipment, you might consider a cargo box as opposed to car racks. In addition to providing extra storage space, cargo boxes can protect your skis from bad weather. However, while most cargo boxes are designed to hold any type of athletic equipment, keep in mind that some are not designed to carry skis.

What are the advantages of a boot backback?

Boot Backpacks and Wheeled Luggage

One of the most wonderful things about becoming a skier is that it gives you the opportunity to explore all parts of the globe while staying active and athletic. Unfortunately, for many people, the prospect of lugging ski equipment through an airport puts a damper on their enthusiasm. Fortunately modern technology and design methods have created ski luggage that can make air travel a bit more comfortable for skiers.

For example, wheeled ski bags can eliminate the cockeyed shoulder condition that comes from carrying heavy skis on one side of the body. When choosing a wheeled ski bag, look for large, high-quality inline skate wheels. In general, swivel-action wheel will enhance the ski bag's maneuverability. Substantial wheel housings should be mounted on the bag's interior, and well-designed ball bearings will allow the bag to roll smoothly over a variety of surfaces.

If you are choosing a wheeled duffel bag for your ski clothes, the same principles will apply. Some of these even come with compartments for your ski boots. This is a very convenient way to carry your clothing and your boots. Caveat: If the airline loses your bag, you will be without your ski boots. If you could not, in your wild imagination consider using rental boots, you might be better served by buying a boot backpack. Look for packs with padded shoulder straps and adequate ventilation.

How can I keep my hands warm on the slopes?

Boot Dryers, Hand Warmers, Foot Warmers

Before you take your next ski trip, here are some chill raising thoughts to consider. Your feet and hands are home to the highest number of sweat glands per square inch. When these glands produce perspiration, the resulting moisture becomes a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria, which in turn create odor and disease. Additionally, moist garments can be up to 25 times colder than dry garments. Since boots and gloves are closed end garments, they often fail to dry sufficiently. This is why you may need a boot dryer. Boot dryers come in a variety of models. Convection heat portable dryers are relatively inexpensive. They create air exchange by releasing the warm air and replacing it with cooler air. These dryers do not require you to take out your ski boot liners, and the dryers take about 30 minutes to warm up. Your boots will dry overnight. Other types of high-tech boot dryers can dry up to two pairs of boots and gloves simultaneously. These are generally more expensive and less portable.

For warmth on the snow, consider a pair of hand warmers. In general, these come in packets of two, and can last up to seven hours. Some gloves come with a special compartment that holds the hand warmers in place. These are a good idea if you tend to have cold hands. The compartment keeps the warmers from applying too much heat directly to your skin. Toe warmers are also available, but beware. If you have custom made footbeds, these products can cause your boots to fit incorrectly. A boot glove, which fits over your boot, might be a better choice.

What determines ski bag price?

Price of Ski Bags

Price-wise, ski bags can range from as low as $20 to as high as $200. Why is there such a huge differentiation in price? In most cases, it has to do with the type of material that is used for the construction of the bag, the type of zipper, whether are not the bag is padded, and the type of stitching that is used in the seams.

First, let's take a look at the weight of the fabric, which is expressed in Denier. Denier is actually the weight of the yarn that is woven into the fabric. It can be compared to the thread count of your sheets. For nylon bags, look for a Denier count of at least 420D in nylon and 600D in polyester. Also, bags that have a tighter weave are more resistant to abrasion. In most cases, nylon is a stronger fabric than polyester. Cheaper bags are usually made of ramie, ramie polyester blends or cotton ducks. However, you get what you pay for. These bags do not last very long. Be sure that you ski bag has a PVC laminate coating, as opposed to a liquid one. PVC laminate strengthens the seams of your ski bag, and makes it waterproof.

Finally let's talk about zippers. In most situations, tooth zippers are a better choice than coil. Tooth zippers are easy to snag, and difficult to unsnag. If a tooth zipper is broken, it's best to throw away the bag. It will cost less to replace the bag than it would to replace the zipper. Luggage coil zippers come in sizes 5, 8 and 10. The larger sized coil zippers are easier to unsnag and repair. In general, larger sized coil zippers ski bags will be more expensive than the smaller ones. Better luggage will also have two rows of stitching holding the zipper to the fabric.

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran