What to Wear for Cross Country Skiing

While many people love downhill skiing, it is far from the only type of skiing you can do. Cross country skiing has millions of fans from all over the world who do it as a sport, for fun or to simply get around.

However, before you head out on a cross country skiing journey, there are some things you need to know. Most notably, you need to know what to wear. You might think you wear the same clothing as downhill skiing, but that is not actually the case.

cross country skiing wear

It’s All About Layers

In general, it is advised to wear layers when cross country skiing. You want to be warm, but cross country skiing can be hard work, so you want to be able to cool yourself off, if possible.

Layers will ensure you’re prepared for any type of weather change without being uncomfortable. Let’s look at the layers and how you should choose what to wear for each one.

A Comfortable and Form-Fitting Base Layer

Your base layer should be both comfortable and form-fitting. This will allow you to move easily with it on, and not have to worry about a lot of excess fabric. Despite this, you want to make sure that the base layer isn’t too tight, or it could limit how much you can move.

These base layers can be made out of a range of materials including merino wool, polyester, spandex, and many others.

Whatever material you choose, aim for it to be one that can wick moisture away from your skin. This will keep you dry when you inevitably sweat during the hard work involved in cross country skiing.

Of course, the exact items you choose will depend on the weather you expect in your area. Also, while many people think hard about their top, bottoms, and underwear, don’t forget about your socks.

They are a very important part of your base layer and ensure you are warm and comfortable.

A Mid-Layer to Keep You Warm

The middle layer that you wear should be warm and have insulating qualities. This layer has the goal of keeping warmth in.

While one layer in the middle might suffice, some people might opt for two if in a cold area. If it ends up being too warm, you can easily take off a layer if need be.

While they make some high-quality middle layer options out there, you should go through what you have already.

A nice fleece from your closet could work perfectly fine as a middle layer in many cases. This garment should also be moisture-wicking so that your sweat doesn’t just stay in the base layer.

A Weather-Resistant Outer Layer

Your last and final layer should be your protection from the weather. These should be wind and water-resistant, to keep you comfortable and dry.

The front of the jacket should be resistant to wind, but you should also make sure that the back is breathable to continue to allow moisture to evaporate.

While a large jacket is often worn when downhill skiing, cross country is often more labor-intensive and wearing something too bulky could overheat you.

Instead, opt for something relatively light and breathable, that still protects you from the elements. Don’t forget about protective pants, as well.

Don’t Forget the Accessories

In addition to your layers, there are many other accessories that you should consider wearing when cross country skiing.

This includes gloves, hats, sunglasses or goggles, and potentially even gaiters. All of these can help you have a more comfortable and enjoyable ski outing.

Also, consider bringing a nice light backpack if you’re able to. It can hold important items, hold your water and even store your extra layers if you decide to take them off.

Overall, your cross country ski accessories will vary depending on how long your journey is and the climate.

I hope that this guide has been able to help you learn the best things to wear when going cross country skiing.

Are there any other things you like to wear when you go cross-country skiing? If so, I would love to hear more about them in the comment section below.

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