Ski Season Prep – Top Tips & Gifts To Get Ready for Winter

This post comes from TMS Ambassador, Rachel McCullough. Rachel is an avid runner, hiker, mountain biker, rock climber, yogi, skier and photographer living in Truckee, CA. Follow @rachelmcphotos on Instagram for stunning images of beautiful Sierra scenery. When Rachel isn’t enjoying her free time in the outdoors, she’s teaching skiing at Northstar California or building gorgeous websites for her clients at McCullough Web Services.

My skis are tuned. My boots are fitted perfectly. And I think I’m ready for my first day on the slopes.

Until I dig through my bag of ski gear in a rush the morning of. It’s only then I realize last year’s goggles are scratched, my glove liners are threadbare and oh yeah, my Camelbak leaks a bit. That little leak didn’t seem like a big deal on a 60 degree day in April, but it really wasn’t pleasant on a cold December day. On the plus side, with threadbare gloves, you can use a touchscreen!

If like mine, your gear needs a bit of an upgrade this season, check out these TMS favorites, including some great gift ideas for your loved skiers and riders.

Smith I/O 7 Goggles ($200-230 )

Two is better than one, right? These come with sun AND snow lenses, so you can bring both and switch mid-day if those storm clouds happen to part. If you like to ski fast, these goggles seal out the breezes and leave your face goggle-mark free at the end of the day – no pressure points. And with their anti-scratch coating (ride right through those tree branches) you’ve got a great resort or backcountry goggle.

Protect that Eye Protection ($20)

Don’t forget a goggle case, and to actually use it. Make your investment last and protect them in transit or storage.

Toko Rub On Universal Wax (<$15)

Perfect for your pocket, and under $15. Save the wait in the wax line and give your skis or board a quick wax on the go. Carrying wax is especially helpful in the backcountry where snow conditions are more variable and change with elevation and aspect.

Platypus Soft Bottle (<$12)

Stay hydrated and on the snow all day with this pocket-sized soft bottle. Unlike the disposable bottles you grab in the food line, it lays flat and out of the way. And squishes down to almost nothing once your water or other tasty beverage has been consumed.

While we’re talking about tasty beverages….

Stanley Stainless Steel Flask ($10-$25)

Also a replacement for whatever heated clothing you were considering purchasing, this is the perfect gift. It fits in your pocket and your friend might just share its contents.

Sorel Caribou (for men) and Tivoli (for women) $150

Start the day off right and arrive at the base with warm and toasty feet. As you’d expect from Sorel, these are super-cozy with the classic removable fuzzy liner. They feel like heaven after taking off your boots at the end of a long day on the slopes.

Phunkshun Neck Gaiter ($20-$35)

Functional and fashionable, Phunkshun’s inexpensive fleece-lined neck gators keep sun or snow off of your face and neck. I am going for the giraffe print. Check out the tie-dyed, outer space, and banana patterns (really!), if giraffe spots aren’t your thing.

Sol Sunguard High Altitude Sunscreen – SPF 40 ($ 7-$16)

The #1 most forgotten item for a day of skiing! Stash one of these in your pocket and you’re set. Specially formulated for elevation and exposure (mineral oxides plus moisturizers for the dry air up here), choose the tube or facestick (great for kids). Lipbalm too!

Handwarmers/Toewarmers (priceless)

In my book, these are required for cold days on the slopes. Don’t be shy, put two in each glove or mitten if need be!

Leave your ski buddies (big and small) no excuse for heading home before last chair. I shove them in every spare pocket.

And, if you forget and see me on the lift, I might even give you a pair. It’s been known to happen. You can never be too prepared:)

Rachel Arst McCullough is an avid runner, hiker, mountain biker, rock climber, yogi and skier living in Truckee, CA. She’s always up for an outdoor challenge and is willing to put in the hard work to tell you all about the process, learning experience, and adventure, even if it didn’t go quite as planned!

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