When making preparations for the coming season, it is hard to forget the most important things: a waterproof, breathable jacket and pants, a hat, gloves or mittens, socks, base layers, and a helmet. Every year we make that mental checklist to ensure that we aren’t scrambling the day before hitting the slopes to get properly outfitted. However, it is easy to forget the small things that make or break a perfect day in the mountains. For a fun fall activity, have a prepare your pockets party with the little ones to make sure their jackets are properly stocked for the winter.
Ski and snowboard jackets have hidden, specialized pockets everywhere to make it very easy to stash the essentials. What do we consider essential for every child to bring along?
- Beyond Coastal Chapstick. Burned lips are awfully painful, but pain is not the only thing to worry about. Repeated overexposure to UVA + UVB rays can cause permanent skin damage. UVB rays will typically burn the superficial layers of your skin, causing extreme discomfort and irritation. The intensity of these rays is dependent on many different factors: the season, the geographic location, and the time of day. Peak intensity is usually between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm (the hours that we are usually playing in the snow!). Beyond Coastal’s SunCare products are recognized in Environmental Working Group’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide as the best. We can see why! With 15 SPF, this particular lip balm, in Citrus Grove, blocks 93% of UVB rays and is made with only the best, natural ingredients.
- Beyond Coastal Active FaceStick (SPF 30). “The best-ranked non-mineral sport sunscreen by the Environmental Working Group.” With SPF 30, this particular product effectively blocks out 97% of UVB rays. Additionally, it is made to to provide protection in high exposure areas. Our favorite part about it, easy application for the kids. No need to get their hands all messy to apply this stick, as it easily applied with gloves still on. So, need to leave the slopes and go inside to re-apply (how great is that!). Remember, if you feel like you are getting burned, you are already burned!
- Heat Max Hand Warmers. We operate on the philosophy that “when the kids are cold, the day is done.” A great way to prevent that, keep HotHands on hand. HotHands hand warmers are air-activated and will provide up to 10 hours of soothing warmth inside gloves, or pockets. On a very cold day, this could make the difference between taking a few more runs, and going home to warm your frozen fingers by a fire.
- Mitten Clips. When a glove or mitten is dropped from the chair lift, you can pretty much consider it a goner. By the time you find that spot where you think it landed, it has moved, or been trampled on, or buried in a pile of snow, never to be recovered. Then you are left with a freezing cold hand, and the option to either buy another set of gloves at a mountain shop, or call it a day. That is 100% preventable with mitten clips. The kids gloves or mittens stay attached to their jackets so you never have to go on an unexpected recovery mission.
- Kleenex. Runny noses are very uncomfortable and can also cause painful skin irritation, especially if your child gets in habit of wiping their face on the sleeve of their jacket. Stash some kleenex in their pockets to avoid this problem all together. That way when they do need to blow their noses, you don’t have to remove all your gear and take a trip into the crowded resort restrooms.
- Granola bar or another small snack. Being active on the slopes can drain energy quickly. Refueling with nutrients throughout the day is crucial. Instead of heading inside when you hear “I want a snack”, stash a granola bar in their pocket to easily enjoy on the spot.
- Contact Card: “Who brought me?” Although we always try to keep an eye on the little ones, a crowded resort, swimming with little shredders, can make that difficult. If they speed past you, it might take some time to figure out where they ended up. This can be extremely frightening and overwhelming for a child to handle, especially if they take a tumble when you aren’t there to help them up. Too often, I have seen children on the slopes, crying so hard that they can not explain who they are with, or why they are so upset. That is why we suggest putting a “Who brought me” card in their jackets to easily identify contact information. Show your child where that is (a lot of jackets have clear ID pockets for this reason) so that even if they can’t form the words, they can hand ski patrol their card.
What other essentials do you stock in your gear for an awesome winter day? We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts.