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Our 'what do you really need' series of protips is designed to help you get outside & save money. We talk honestly & frankly about the purpose that different items are designed to fulfill, as well as help you evaluate your needs, which there isn't always a good formula for, every body is different! Our goal is that you don't feel like you have to spend $100s before every trip buying all new gear, especially when many existing items may work! On our individual gear guides, we also have specific info on alternatives you can use. If you're looking to buy, check out our calculator first to see if it's a good deal!
What gear you really need for snowsports encompasses a few different topics, so we'll clarify the scope:
What's left is protective gear, which is still important to discuss because snowsports can be incredibly dangerous, whether you're downhill skiing at a resort, or navigating the backcountry. For the essentials that we offer, click on the item name to view the gear guide, with much more info on how to choose, how to use, etc.
We believe you should always wear a helmet if your activity has one. Remember, even if you're confident in your abilities, there may be crowds of other people less skilled than you. Combined with speed, and this can be dangerous. For example, even average skiers can reach speeds up to 60mph going downhill (97kmh), over 3 times faster that the top range of average commute speeds on a bike & as fast as highway speeds for vehicles (at least you need a license to drive)!
Snow reflects so much sunlight that it can cause snow blindness. Sunglasses still allow light at the periphery. Moreover, when you're skiing quickly, the wind can blow snow or ice in your face (not to mention if it's actively precipitating!). Just like jogging in the rain even with glasses is pretty annoying, skiing with sunglasses can be the same.
There is pretty much every kind of protective gear you can imagine, from butt, knee, and wrist guards, to reinforced/ armored vests or pants (impact clothing). Most people will not need these. Of these, the most commonly used are wrist guards. A lot of people instinctively will put their hands out when falling (especially in snowboarding, where most injuries come from this type of impact). Guards in these cases can help prevent broken or sprained wrists.
Thoughts, ideas, questions? Let us know in the comments below! We're Last Minute Gear, the only outdoor gear shop where you can buy, rent, or borrow gear!