Guest post by Kelly Murphy, Director of Merchandising at Schoola and former ski instructor.
Winter is a magical time of year ripe with opportunities to get outdoors and have fun. From making snowmen, to snowshoeing to skiing, the outdoor activities in winter are limitless. But if you’re cold the last thing you want to do is lace up your ice skates or go sledding, instead you want to snuggle up with a warm cup of hot chocolate. Dressing properly for the elements can make all the difference and as a former ski instructor these are my favorite tips for keeping warm!
- Always pee before you ski! We say it’s because your body pulls the warmth from your fingers and toes to keep your middle warm and prevent your bladder from freezing. While that could be true, the real reason is that there’s nothing worse than bundling up then going outside only to have to go back in to unbundle and use the bathroom. Whether you’re going skiing or going sledding it’s always best to go to the bathroom first.
- Don’t wear jeans – It’s easy to pull up your snow pants over your jeans and go outside but resist the urge! Because of their heavy material when jeans get wet they stay wet. Instead opt for a breathable cotton like leggings or sweatpants or a pant made out of a fleece material.
- Layer, layer, layer – If you’re too warm you can always unzip or take a layer off but once you’re outside there’s no closet with extra clothes so better be safe than sorry.
- Put gloves or mittens on first – This generally takes two but if you can tuck your long sleeves into your gloves or mittens then put on your coat you’ll create a continuous sleeve that helps prevent those icy wrists that are the worst part of making snowballs or building snowmen.
- Vests are the best – Just like with the “pee before you ski” tip, vests are a great way to keep your core warm so your body won’t start pulling the warmth from your fingers and toes. They make a great layer too because they won’t constrict your arms when you’re building a snow fort.
- Wool socks – As a kid I used to wear three pairs of socks so my toes wouldn’t get cold and then I discovered wool socks. Warm and breathable, wool socks are the best.
- Hats and mittens are your friends – I’ve come across a lot of kids that don’t want to wear their hats or mittens, which when it comes to keeping warm are some of your best accessories. I would always try and turn it into game and let the kid choose to put them on, surprisingly enough not a lot of kids want icicles for hair. Or compromise, “we can’t go outside without our hats and mittens on but if you still don’t want to wear it after ten minutes we can take them off.” Once they start playing in the cold they’ll totally forget about taking them off.
One of Kelly’s favorite parts of school was lunchtime; she even wrote her college application essay on the moments at lunch. While lunch helped hone Kelly’s social skills it was her oratory and creative writing teachers who were truly her favorite parts of school. Having those electives and teachers that truly believed in her and instilled confidence are what inspires her to work hard and make sure that all students have the opportunity to learn and grow.