5 Gifts for the XC Skier
So, your friend got into cross country skiing last year and she’s raving about how how much fun she’s going to have this winter. You, meanwhile, can’t stand up on skinny skis for more than a minute without falling on your butt and have absolutely no idea what to get your kicking and gliding friend. As someone who is also completely incapable of cross-country skiing, I went straight to Brett, the manager of the Eastern Mountain Sports in Buckland Hills, CT and backcountry mad man and asked him what kind of gifts he recommends for the XC skier on your list.
Darn Tough Micro Crew
Cotton is rotten for any outdoor activity but especially a highly aerobic winter activity like XC skiing. Cotton socks soak up sweat like a sponge which will make your XC skier’s feet cold, and depending on how long he’s on the trail for, at risk for frost bite. That’s why wool socks are such an awesome gift and if the person your shopping for has REALLY sweaty feet, the Darn Tough Hike/Trek Micro Crew Cushion is a good choice. The sock gives lightweight cushioning on the bottom of your foot where you need it and soft Merino wool for miles of comfort.
Swix F4 Liquid Wax
According to Brett, the Swix F4 is a good wax for the full ski to prevent clumping. It comes in two forms, a liquid wax stick and traditional block. The liquid stick is easy to carry and a great way to apply wax. It has a wide stiff foam applicator which makes applying easy and precise. It also comes with a felt polisher.
Cat Crap Anti-Fog
Cat Crap Anti-Fog Lens Cleaner
As I said earlier, XC skiing is an extremely aerobic activity. It’s no fun to have your sunglasses fog up in the middle of a work out. Not being able to see where you’re going is bad enough when you’re hiking but foggy lenses could cause an XC skier to run into a tree or veer off the trail. Cat Crap not only cleans lenses, it adds an anti-fog coating that lasts all day long. In addition to sunglasses, it also works on eyeglasses, ski goggles, swim goggles, face shields, and even binocular lenses.
Swix Pocket Edger
Swix Pocket-Size Ski Edger
If your XC skier uses metal edge skis, they’re going to love the Swix Pocket-Size Ski Edger. This Edger works for both base and side edges. It’s a great on the go tool to have if your skier gets a nick in their skis from a hidden rock.
Osprey Talon 8
Waist Hydration Pack
If your XC skier is going to be out for a few hours they’re going to want to take water and some snacks with them. The benefit of a waist pack is that your back doesn’t get too hot and sweating like it would if you had a backpack on. The Talon 8 comes with 2 20oz. sports bottles that can be put in their own padded bottle sleeves along with 8 L of storage. On the waist belt there are two small pockets for easy access to snacks they can take along such as Sport Beans or Honey Stingers. The larger pocket is good to throw in some of the layers they may need to take off during the day.