It is always a dilemma to pack myself for cross-country skiing trail efficiently. I need to find a balance between the weight of the bag I carry and being prepared for every possible weather condition. If you are interested in my list of useful items I bring with me to cross-country ski trail, read my list of ski accessories I always have with me.
Note: It is probably clear, but I will state it here just for a case. Of course, I bring also cross-country skis, poles, and gloves with me. If you want to know more how to choose right skis and gloves, check our guides below.
My Ski Accessories List
I am not a big fan of heavy bags while cross-country skiing. It limits my style, my speed and I do not feel comfortable. Sometimes, there is no option, especially on a long trail when I need to carry some food or an extra shirt, or jacket with me. If possible, I always try to have as least ski accessories with me as possible.
Ski hats & Neck gaiter or Headband
I always decide what to take on my head according to the weather. When it is really cold I will take warm ski hat plus neck gaiter to keep me absolutely warm. Staying healthy is a priority for me in subzero temperatures.
If the weather is not so cold I skip the neck gaiter and warm ski hats and replace it with a headband. It provides an extra layer to keep me warm enough. It is very light, soft and breathable, what I appreciate the most as I am sweating a lot during cross-country skiing. Headband usually has UV Filter, what is a pretty useful feature during sunny winter days. A headband can be also used instead of a neck gaiter if needed.
I always have my sunglasses with me no matter what the weather is. In sunny days, they protect my eyes against the UV radiation. And we all know how sharp the sun can be when it is mirrored by white snow. In foggy and snowy days, they protect me against the snowflakes. It helps if sunglasses have anti-fog feature. It can surprise you, but I get used to cycling sunglasses. They give me all the comfort I need.
Sunscreen & Lip Balm Stick
Even in winter, I do not hazard with face UV protection. As I said earlier the sun can be intensive when mirrored by the white snow. I always put on facial sunscreen before the skiing. It helps against the sunburn. Special oily winter sunscreen helps also against the cold and freeze. Besides, I use also Lip Balm Stick to give extra protection for my lips.
Water or Tea
Hydration is key when doing any sport, and skiing is not an exemption. In cold weather, you do not feel the need to drink, but believe me, it is very important. I always take a bottle of water (or tea if it is really cold) with me. It is good to have an insulated bottle when taking a hot or warm tea with you.
Waist Pack with Bottle Holder
Tea (or water) bottle is the biggest item on my list. It seems I have to take a backpack with me but I have another solution. I use a waist pack with bottle holder. There is a place to store some other small items I need to carry with me. Usually, I have car keys, a little money, lip balm stick, tissues, and smartphone which is good for tracking the route or for emergency reasons.
In many cases, indeed you need a backpack. When you plan a long cross-country ski trail, you take kids with you or unstable weather conditions are expected, you have no choice. You need a backpack for an extra t-shirt, jacket, and other bigger items.
That was my ski accessories list. If you think I miss something, let me know in the comments section.