So, you’re planning a holiday to a snowy destination. If it’s your first time seeing snow then you’re in for a treat. There is something so pure and magical about snow. It has the ability to make anything look beautiful. It transforms landscapes from nice to stunning. And it’s so much fun to play in! And no matter how old you are, snowball fights and snow angels are a must do.
But before you go running off on that winter holiday to frolic in the snow, there are some things that you should know to prepare you for your first time in the snow. Whether you’ll be in the mountains for skiing or snowboarding, or a city escape, these tips will make sure that your first time in the snow is awesome.
It needs to be 0°C for snow to start falling, so wherever you’re going, it is going to be cold. In saying that, any country that is that cold, is usually set up for it. That means that whilst it might be cold outside, most places will be heated to a lovely 20°C or so inside. There’s something wonderful about sipping a hot chocolate by a fireplace watching the snow fall outside. Wear layers that you can easily take on and off that aren’t too bulky.
Good thermals are absolutely amazing! They will keep you warm when you need it and make sure you don’t overheat when the temperature warms up. You’ll be wearing these under your regular clothes, so look for thermals that are lightweight, non bulky and breathable. I’m a massive fan of merino wool thermals as they tick all of those boxes.
And I don’t mean with a nice watch. Make sure you pack some gloves, a beanie or hat and a scarf or neck warmer. These little accessories will make a massive difference in keeping you warm. In cold environments, you’ll feel every chill on your skin and you’ll find that your hands won’t work properly if they get too cold.
Snow takes many forms, including soft snow, sticky snow, powder snow, heavy snow, wet snow and icy snow. Be conscious of this when you step out on the snow and assess what the snow is like on the ground that day. If it is icy, take small steps to prevent slipping over. I recommend having water resistant thick boots. The thickness will keep your feet warmer, the height of boots will prevent snow from falling into your shoe and the water resistance will keep your feet dry. An alternative option is to purchase shoe covers which are found in most snowy places. Also called ice grips or crampons, they have metal spikes and will fit over the sole of any shoe.
What you say? It’s winter! Yes, it is but there are sunny days too. UV increases in intensity at higher altitudes as there is less atmosphere to absorb the radiation. And when the sun hits the snow, it bounces back and reflects. That means that on a sunny day you are getting a double dose of UV, from the sun and from the reflection in the snow. Slap on the sunscreen!
Winter dehydration is a real thing. It may seem strange to think that you can get dehydrated in a cold environment but it happens all the time. In cold temperatures, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and draw warmth to our core. This also causes reduced thirst. Make sure you’re keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of water.
Winter air is very drying and can wreak havoc on your skin if you aren’t used to it, with chapped lips being the most common. Keep some lip balm in your pocket and consider getting a heavier moisturiser than usual for your skin.
With these tips you’ll be warm, safe and feeling great. Enjoy your first snow experience and make sure you take lots of photos.
Jen is a snowboarding addict and travel blogger at The Snow Chasers. Part of a husband and wife team from the Gold Coast in Australia, she aims to inspire others to follow their passions, dreams and find new adventures. Her goal is to travel the world, snowboard at as many ski resorts as possible and to always step outside her comfort zone.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.