El Nino has given mountain resorts an extended season, with more snow to love late into the spring. For those headed to their favorite alpine destinations, here are some essentials to take along.
Travel light and have GetOutfitted ship your gear and clothes to your destination. The service provides top quality clothing and gear, from skis, snowboards and the latest high-end outerwear and layers to goggles and action cameras. Everything comes neatly packed in a box in like-new condition and includes a free prepaid, pre-addressed packing container for returns when you are done. Simply drop the package at the front desk or nearest shipping office. Prices start at $23 per day.
What a jerk
Skip the long food lines at the lodge and snack on the mountain with Perky Jerky ($2.99 for 1 oz. bag), “the best tasting jerky on earth.” Stuff a few packs of this all-natural, no-preservatives, no-nitrites, no-MSG dried meat into a pocket for easy snacking and a quick energy boost. Comes in Original, Sweet & Spicy, Teriyaki, Hot & Bothered, and Jamaican Style flavors. Available at Whole Foods and other grocery stores nationwide.
Snuggle with your snow bunny honey in the Sierra Design Backcountry Bed System ($249). This super light-weight (2.8 pounds) sleeping bag, made in versions for singles or for two, is perfect for camping-in when you need an extra bed, or camping out in milder weather (40 degrees). Its integrated comforter design naturally adjusts to your sleeping position, and it features insulated hand and arm pockets, self-sealing foot vent and a sleeve that fits over a sleeping pad to keep the sleeping bag in place. Inside is ALLIED Feather & Down, the warmest, highest quality and cleanest duck down on the market, humanely and sustainably harvested. Available in several styles including warmer beds rated for 27 degree temperatures. Available at REI.
Jacket be nimble
As the warmer spring temperatures kick in at the base of the mountain, but the peaks are still below freezing, be prepared with the Outdoor Research Floodlight Jacket ($395). This lightweight, highly compressible waterproof jacket minimizes bulk so you can move, and with 800-fill ALLIED Feather & Down, it keeps out cold yet breathes for ideal comfort in changing weather conditions. It features an adjustable wire-brimmed hood, large handwarmer pockets, and an exterior chest pocket and internal pockets perfect for stuffing gloves and hats. Available in men’s and women’s fits. Available at REI and Outdoorresearch.com.
Snap and chat
Capture all the spring skiing action, including the shirtless hunks and bikini babes on the slopes, with the Vivitar DVR786 ($59.99). This versatile, waterproof, rugged and affordable action camera features a touch screen display and includes a helmet bracket so you can ride and shoot hands-free and get every moment on in full 1080p HD quality video as you and your buds catch air or eat snow. Available at Wal-Mart and Amazon.com.
Pack light with Eager Creek’s new TrueFit Carry-On bags, like the No Matter What Flatbed Carry-On ($180), which actually is the size and weight the manufacturer promises, so there are no surprises like extra fees when you board your flight. Eagle Creek’s carry-on luggage meets standard airline maximize size requirements of the 22 x 14 x 9” inch, so it fits easily in overhead bins and through aisles. This stylish luggage line sports rugged construction so it will be a great traveling companion for years. Take along the checkpoint friendly Universal Traveler Backpack RFID ($130) for easy screening through TSA. It features lockable zippers, a central lock point, RFID blocker pocket and safety whistle.
Spring snow can turn to sloppy slush by the afternoon, which can mean wet boots and wet feet, so take along Travel Dry DX ( $40). After a day on the slopes, slip these hot numbers into your boots (or gloves) to dry them in two to five hours. The TravelDry DX uses a hybrid convection, forced-air drying system that heats to approximately 99 degrees. It 1.3-pound lightweight and compact design that includes an AC/DC power adapter makes it easy to carry along in a small bag or backpack. To keep boots dryer and warmer on the mountain, slip on the DryGuy Boot Warmer ($30) which fits over your ski boot like a glove and offers extra insulation from the elements.
Give me skin
Skin can get chapped and dry at high altitudes, so protect yourself before and after you are exposed to the elements. Kat Burki Hand Therapy ($42.00, 4.4 oz.) available at Nordstrom.com, keeps your hands nourished and healthy with a vitamin-enriched, therapeutic formulation of palm, sunflower and safflower seed oils, along with Calendula, Chamomile and other herbs. Before hitting the slopes and after a day of wind and sun, hydrate your face with Equitance Hydrating Brightening Cream ($70, 1.4 fl. oz.); available at equitance-us.com, an ultra-light yet rich cream that nourishes and restores softness and suppleness with a skin-nurturing patented blend of brightening ingredients. Protect skin from intense rays holistically with trilipiderm®’s Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen with Vitamin D ($17.95, 3 oz.) which blocks ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation, all while keeping skin soft and supple with a non-comedogenic formula that lets skin pores breathe. Available at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy and trilipiderm.com.
Just hair-do it
Look sharp at après ski happy hour by taming down hair static from scarves and hats slicking down those beanie-head cowlicks with Layrite Pomade ($40). Favored by celebrities greasers for more than a decade, this pleasantly fragrant water-based styling product locks in an extreme hold like a wax but washes out like a gel. Available in Original, Super Hold or Super Shine at layrite.com and salons nationwide.
Sock it to me
Get warm down under with Heat Holders Thermal Underwear or Heat Holders Microfleece Base Layer ($19.99 to $24.99). These non-bulky, high-performance under garments keep warm air close to the body to ward off chill, and because they are so thin they can be worn under sweaters or heavier fleece so you can strip down as temperatures rise. Heat Holders also makes the world’s warmest thermal socks ($9.99 to $24.99), and cozy lounge socks ($17.99) to keep tootsies toasty. Available at Heatholders.com.
Tots can stomp in slush and stay warm and dry in Native Shoes for kids, like the 100% washable, odor resistant, shock absorbent and waterproof Jimmy Rain boot ($70). The bright colors and cool prints and styles make these the go-to, cool and functional gear for children from classroom to playground to the snow. Native also carries plenty of styles for mom and dad. Available at Nordstrom and nativeshoes.com.
Getting in those last runs of the season feels great, unless your boots are giving you the rub. Cushion friction spots and cover blisters with Johnson & Johnson’s Compeed Blister Cushions ($7.99 to 9.49). These hi-tech adhesive bandages fit like a second skin and stay in place for several days to help pad sensitive spots to prevent blisters or to protect blisters and relieve pain if it’s too late. Available at Walgreens.