5 Things to Help Battle the Mountain Elements


Imagine this... The sun is out after a nice snowfall (hello, fresh powder!). You're so excited to hit the mountains for some outdoor activities that you just want to bolt out the door at mach-50.

Now hold that thought. Just how prepared are you for that mountain? There's always the risk of injury, but what about the little things that make a difference when it comes to battling the elements?

Here's a check list of items you should always remember on those days you want to enjoy the outdoors:

Sunscreen. Probably one of the most important as it will prevent sunburns so long as you re-apply it as necessary (usually about once an hour for SPF 50; more frequently for SPF below that). Don't forget to cover your face and your ears. Not only are sunburns nasty and painful to deal with, they can lead to abnormal skin cell growth that can cause cancer. Along with this, lip balm is perfect to protect your lips from the sun and cold.

Protective or warmth accessories. This can include hats, gloves/mittens, goggles, scarves and so on. It's good to have your extremities and sensitive body parts covered so the weather won't ruin your fun.

Food or money for food. As with any activity, it's good to refuel your body. You don't want to wear yourself out because of a lack of nutrition. If you can, pack a small snack like a granola bar or fruit that you can store in your pockets. Some ski resorts have excellent dining options as well.

Avalanche beacon. This should be the case if the risk for avalanches is high or if you decide to go into the backcountry during high risk days. If an avalanche strikes, you will want people to find you and a beacon can help. Be sure to check conditions before you go.

Last but not least--water! Staying hydrated is always a good rule of thumb whether you're outside or not. Note that in cold weather, your body is more likely to get dehydrated. Stock up on H2O before you go!

Keep in mind that most of these items are recommended year-round and not just in winter (especially sunscreen and water). Even if you're excited, remember to stock up on what your body needs to stay in top-notch shape.

Be safe out there!