Happy Sunday! I hope you all had another spectacular week as we closed out January (already, I know!) and headed into February. If you live in the Vancouver area like me, then you know what I mean when I say that the fog was ridiculous this week. For almost the entire week there was a blanket of fog across everywhere you went – you couldn’t get away from it! Luckily, I was able to escape the fog for at least a little while on the weekend as me and a couple of friends made an afternoon/night trip to Cypress Mountain to do some snowboarding.
This was my third trip to this particular local mountain and I really enjoy boarding there, which is understandable seeing as it was also one of the chosen Olympic venues during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. You can see what I mean about the fog when you look at this picture I snapped on the way up. Those billowy white mounds that look like clouds are fog, and the entire Greater Vancouver Area is underneath it, crazy huh?!
I picked up snowboarding a few years ago now, and after getting over that difficult and often painful learning curve it’s one of the funnest outdoor activities I like to do. One thing that you learn through trial and error after many trips to the mountain is the things that you need to bring with you, and after many learning experiences I’ve been able to compile a list of the essentials that you will want to have with you on the mountain, no matter your skill level. Much of this could also apply to any winter sport as well as hiking or mountain biking, so if you’re looking for a little inspiration on what you might need to bring or perhaps didn’t think of before, here it is!
Chapstick is perfect because it’s small and I find that my lips can get really dry in the high altitude, so it’s definitely a necessity for me. Kleenex is another necessity, as you can probably recognize by all the sniffling you hear when waiting to board a chairlift. Runny noses are just annoying, and having Kleenex on hand is the quick and easy solution, plus it’s a little extra padding if you need it!
Now a water bottle can be tricky because it’s sometimes too bulky to fit in the average jacket pocket, but it’s probably my favourite item because you need to keep hydrated in order to be able to perform at your best. A mini water bottle would work well here, or even better would be a snow pack. My boyfriend has an awesome Dakine pack and it fits all these essentials easily. It’s a bit of an investment (the one shown here is $110) but if you’re on the mountain a lot it’s definitely worth it, or it’s a great gift idea to ask for next Christmas!
The microfiber cloth is meant to clean your goggles. All pairs should come with one, but if you’re like me and inherited an old pair that didn’t have an accompanying bag/cloth, this will be an extremely handy addition. There’s nothing more annoying than having foggy goggles (yes, even more annoying than a runny nose) so this is a good one to add to your packing list.
The bobby pins are useful for girls with long hair. I braid my hair to the side because it’s the easiest thing to do, but then I always get those strands that fall out and get stuck underneath my goggles or get tangled around my helmet straps, so bobby pins are a quick fix to do on the chairlift ride up. Lastly, the elastic is to hold my cards together. I don’t like having to bring my entire wallet with me, so I just take out the necessary cards and tie them together with an elastic and put them in my pocket. Done and done!
So that’s my essentials list; everything I need to have a worry-free day on the slopes. I’d love to hear if any of you have other necessities of your own that I perhaps haven’t thought of yet, or how your list might differ between activities. At any rate, have a wonderful week and I hope you’re able to make it out to your favourite mountain. Or if you haven’t given snowboarding or skiing a shot yet, I really encourage you to get out there and try it because you don’t know what you’re missing. =)