You’ve decided to spend one of your Alaska winter days cross-country skiing. Great choice! You’ve secured some gear (skis, poles, boots) and selected a trail to explore. Before you chart out on your adventure, check this packing guide of cross-country essentials and make sure you’ve got everything you need to not just get through the day, but make it extra enjoyable.
First off, you’ll need a small backpack. Not only to carry your provisions, but also to stow away some extra layers as you get warmed up. We promise this will happen – skiing is a great full-body workout! With that said, your extremities can still get pretty cold since they’re further away from your core, where all the blood is pumping. A great pair of lightweight gloves, wool socks and a supply of hand warmers will keep your digits nice and toasty.
Even if it’s cloudy, you’re going to want to bring along some sunglasses and sunscreen. The reflective qualities of snow are no joke, and you don’t want to spend the trip in a permanent squint. Additionally, since the snow is so reflective, it’s easier to get a sunburn, even if you can’t feel the heat of the sun. Spreading a quick layer of sunscreen over the exposed areas of your face is a good idea. If you’re out all day, make sure to bring some along so you can reapply.
Now, let’s move onto refreshments. Snacks are unequivocally a must. We love locally-made Heather’s Choice packaroons, delicious coconut energy bombs that come in flavors like orange vanilla, sweet coconut and spiced cocoa. These are the perfect solution to any mid-trail fatigue.
Water in an insulated bottle is always important for rehydration, but we also love to pack a thermos of delicious hot cocoa or even hot, spiced apple cider. If you’ve enjoyed these drinks while curled up cozily on your couch, you’ll love sipping on them while taking a well-deserved breather on the trail, surrounded by snow-covered trees and the kind of silence only a blanket of snow can provide.
With a backpack stocked full of these items, we’re confident that cross-country skiing could easily become your new favorite Alaska pastime. Happy trails!