Not everyone handles winter well (raises hand). But sometimes the best strategy is just to embrace it. This year especially, when we’ve all spent so much time at home, it feels even more vital for our mental health to get outside, get some Vitamin D, and get some exercise.
Whether you need some gear for snow sports, running, hiking, or a neighborhood walk, here are my favorite outdoor winter essentials.
These $30 fleece-lined leggings earn an A+! They are soft and warm. And they have pockets! I wear these as a warm and cozy baselayer under snow pants and by themselves to run. They are squat proof (not a hint of see through-ness) and are structured enough not to accentuate every jiggle. They are also easy to care for and machine washable. Did I mention they have pockets?
Repeat after me, “Cotton is rotten. Wool is cool.” Cotton stays wet so it traps moisture on your skin which will make you colder when you sweat. Merino Wool is breathable and moisture-wicking. Wool is easy to care for, super versatile, and long-lasting. It is thin and light, and a great choice for many uses because it comes in a variety of weights. Wool does not hold on to smells, so lighter weights are great for traveling and summer when you need help keeping cool.
For winter in New Mexico, a mid-weight works great for layering or even by itself. Smartwool and some other brands assign a number to weights. A midweight is around 250. The link here is a 250 weight from Smartwool, but you can find others similar. I wear this one as a base layer to run or ski, or by itself to run or walk when it’s not as cold. Wool can get pricey, but it’s definitely an investment. You can also find wool for about half the cost, used, on Poshmark, or the REI Garage sales.
The beanie is made for women and it shows! It has a ponytail hole, and sunglasses holes so you can pull it down a little lower. It is very light and comfortable (because #woolrules) and could easily fit under a bike, ski, or snowboard helmet. The wool will pull sweat and moisture from your skin which could also help ensure you don’t break out under it.
Have I mentioned Merino wool is magical? I love these PhD Ski Socks for snow sports which are a heavier weight. The lighter weight hiking socks are great for hiking, walking, and running.
Skida has a few products and they’re all equally fantastic. But the Alpine Neckwarmer is my fave. It’s a double bonus buy this year because you can use it as a face mask, especially when skiing/snowboarding where face masks are required at all times in New Mexico. It is soft with fleece on the inside, soft like satin on the outside, and still breathable. Skida gets bonus points because all products are 100% made in the USA.
It’s easy to forget about sunscreen when it’s cold out. But it might be even more important in winter if the sun is reflecting off the snow. This Eucerin cream is great for face or hands. It’s moisturizing enough to help prevent windburn, protects from the sun, and won’t clog pores.