Skiing is one of the most popular cold weather sports in the world. When done responsibly, skiing can be very safe; however it does present a number of unique safety challenges. In fact, the cold weather that makes skiing possible is itself a potential hazard. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps that anyone can take in order to protect themselves.
First of all, it’s essential to dress correctly. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur more easily than many people realize, especially if one neglects to dress in a warm, waterproof set of clothing. Long lasting exposure to cold weather can also weaken the body’s defenses, making one more susceptible to illnesses such as the cold or the flu. Here is a simple guide to dressing for a skiing outing:
The bottom layer: The bottom layer of clothing should be relatively tight fitting, and should be made of a wicking material. Wicking material is designed to draw sweat and other moisture away from the body. Synthetic materials such as polyester, polyethylene, and microfiber-based fabrics generally do the best job at wicking moisture, however wool has fairly effective wicking properties as well. Cotton is the worst material to use as a bottom layer, as its tends to lose its insulative quality when wet or damp.
The middle layer: The middle layer can vary depending on weather conditions–on warmer days you may wish to use lighter jackets and sweaters, whereas on colder days you can add more clothing.
The outer layer: The outer layer must be waterproof. This means a shell coat and ski pants (if there is any piece of clothing you should invest in specifically, it would be ski pants. There’s no replacing the value they offer). The smartest way to invest in outer layer clothing is to buy clothes with no built in insulation, that way they can be used in all weather conditions.
It is incredibly important to be aware of any potentially dangerous weather situations that could arise, which is why it’s important to check the forecast before hitting the slopes.
From cold-weather skiing to extreme water sports, Beacon Watch is committed to helping sports enthusiasts of all kinds enjoy safe and responsible activities. Check out our website for more info on ski safety, boating safety, and our innovative line of sporting safety products.
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