Tag Archives: xc skiing

What to Wear When Cross-Country Skiing

Now that we have our second year of cross-country skiing under our belt, I can say with 100% confidence that we love cross-country skiing! I grew up x-c skiing in gym class (that’s upstate New York for you) but hadn’t picked it up as an adult until last year. Having a winter activity makes brutally cold weekends so much more fun!

Why am I telling you this now? When we’re getting our first glimmers of spring? It’s not because I am disorganized, but because now is the time all the equipment is on clearance. If you are interested in cross-country skiing next year, consider looking now!

When we first bought our skis I wasn’t quite sure what to wear to accommodate the cold weather and keep me the right temperature. I think I’ve got it figured out now – so I thought I’d share the wealth. Without further ado, what to wear when cross-country skiing:


1. Women’s Soft Shell Jacket

This particular jacket is a North Face, I have an EMS. I love my fleece-lined soft shell jacket. It’s warm enough to keep me bundled (even on 0 degree days!) and the side ventilation zippers (basically a huge arm-pit zipper) easily let you cool down when you’re feeling too warm.

2. Ankle-Zip Water-Resistant Pants

You will want some type of water-resistant athletic pants. I recommend getting pants with zippers on the ankles so you can zip them down over your boots. These are Swix Universal Pants.

3. Ear Warmers – I made mine from this tutorial at Delia Creates

I prefer ear warmers or a headband to a hat, but maybe that’s just me. I usually don’t bother with a scarf or a heavy hat because you will be too warm! If it’s a particularly windy day I will bring a scarf to help block the wind from my face.

4. Cuddl Duds Top

Whatever you do, don’t wear cotton! Cotton will soak up your sweat and then make you cold.

5. Women’s Rossignol® X5 FW Ski Boots

I have these boots from L.L. Bean and I love them! They are fleece lined, and have a top that zips together over the laces to prevent snow from getting inside. With these and my ankle-zip pants, I have never gotten snow inside my boots!

6. Fleece lined leggings

Under my water-resistant pants I wear fleece lined leggings for warmth. These shown are Anne Klein. I got mine from T.J. Maxx. (High heels optional – haha!)

7. SmartWool Snowflake Fair Isle Socks

Warm socks. Sometimes I double up. SmartWool socks are always great. Although not cheap.

8. Agloves ® Original Touchscreen Gloves

I have these smart phone gloves and I love them! They have metal strands knitted throughout the glove so there is no special touch-point on your fingertip. I am always whipping out my phone to take pictures of the beautiful snowy landscape, so I like to ski with these gloves on.

Do you cross-country ski? Any tips for me? I am still learning!

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshiresvia

The first of [February] was covered with snow
So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
The Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go.

While some parts of the U.S. are blooming with flowers and sunshine-y afternoons allow *gasp* a pair of sandals, it’s still snowy here in Boston.

As we celebrated the vernal equinox last week, it’s technically spring. But today I’m going to talk about snow and my new hobby – cross country skiing. I should post on this topic before we (finally) catch up to the rest of you!

The last few years I’ve wanted to buy cross country skis. I have no winter hobby, and one can only watch so many movies when the world is covered in snow for months at a time. Cross country skiing was going to be that hobby.

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires
This year we finally did it! We waited until the end of the season and snatched up all our gear at L.L. Bean for 50% off. If you’re lucky they might still have a pair. Plus, you will get ski passes for local trails with your purchase. All in all, the cost for everything was less than a one-time downhill lift ticket for just one of us!

We purchased Classic Touring skis. Classics have “fish scale” texture on the bottom of the ski for gripping. Touring skis are best for beginners and for use on groomed trails, as opposed to skate skiing, which is a motion similar to ice skating. Touring skis are a bit wider, therefore steadier.

You will want to get fitted for your skis and poles, as there are several varying factors like weight and height.

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

Our first foray into our new hobby drove us out to the beautiful Berkshires a few days after a snowstorm (hence the James Taylor quote above). I’ve been driving through the Berkshires for nearly ten years now, but this summer when we went to a James Taylor concert at Tanglewood, was the first time we actually visited. It’s a beautiful area.

Canterbury Farms

Canterbury Farms of Becket, MA was our snowy destination.

“With 22 Kilometers of groomed and tracked ski trails, you will ski alongside beautiful brooks, beaver ponds, stone walls, lakes, fields and mountains where nature abounds. Our trails meander through old wood stands which gives you the feel of being in the wilderness.”

Sounds lovely, huh? As the say, a picture says a thousand words:

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

The trails were well-groomed and very pretty.

Trails were easily marked, and you are well warned of difficult hills ahead if you want to stick to flatter trails.

We saw a few other skiers, but most of the time it was just us. As evidenced by the strong sun, we went in the late afternoon.

Cross Country Skiing in the Berkshires

Don’t Own Skis?

If you don’t own skis, they have all the equipment available for a day rental.

Canterbury Farms also has an inn and kitchen. Eat something hearty – XC skiing burns lots of calories!

What to Wear

Don’t be fooled into dressing for downhill skiing. Cross country is a WORKOUT and you will warm up right away. I was happy in leggings under thin waterproof exercise pants (falling happens to every snow-bunny), a fleece, sunglasses and my trusty felt earwarmers. I didn’t even wear gloves I was so warm from the workout.

I also wore a small backpack that held an unneeded scarf, my camera and a bottle of water (we definitely needed that!).

For a Weekend in the Berkshires

Next year we plan to rent a small cabin and make a weekend of it.

In that case, I’d also like to spend my time in the Berkshires exploring some of the following:

I can truly say I’m a bit sad to see the snow go – I want to go skiing again!!

Have you ever tried cross country skiing? What’s your winter hobby?