Get Started Cross-Country Skiing
Snowy weather means it’s time to get out and have fun. Cross-country skiing is a great way to get the whole family out all winter. We design and test all our skis to make it a super-easy activity to take up.
Touring skis are narrow, lightweight and maneuverable for smooth skiing in groomed tracks. Designed for touring centers where trails are machine-groomed so you always have a smooth track to ski in, they can also be used in backyards and fields that are relatively flat and easy to navigate. Our touring skis feature a user-friendly shape and an easy-to-use waxless design. They also have a bit shorter length to enhance maneuverability and control for increased confidence. They’re a great option for beginners or if you just want to get some exercise.
The term “backcountry” can mean different things to different people. To some, it’s skiing a loop in the woods behind your house for a couple hours. To others, it’s hauling a sled full of gear deep into the wilderness for days of winter camping in challenging, technical terrain. They are definitely not a ski you would bring to a touring center with groomed trails.
Backcountry skis are wider for better flotation and stability on deep snow and steeper terrain. They’re equipped with full-length metal edges that provide excellent control on downhills and icy conditions. Their shape allows for better turning ability and a waxless, maintenance-free base provides confident grip in all snow types.
Get three FREE days of skiing at a local touring center when you buy any touring or backcountry skis.
Touring boots are lightweight, flexible and feature a narrower base that’s designed for the bindings found on touring skis. They’re usually equipped with heat-molded, adjustable liners that provide a custom fit to your feet. Locking lace systems offer fast on/off and extra support. Hinged cuffs allow a natural stride and good range of motion. A bit of insulation adds extra warmth.
These boots feature a wider, more stable base that’s designed to clip into beefy backcountry ski bindings. A stiff sole and higher cut design provide extra support for turning. They offer excellent stability and control for navigating steep and icy conditions. They have more insulation than touring boots to help keep your feet warm in demanding conditions.
Worn over your base layer, these consist of fleece jackets, wool sweaters, warm winter jackets and weatherproof shells. If it’s not cold enough to require one of these layers while skiing, it’s still a good idea to have a warm jacket in your pack for breaks and lunch stops.
You’ll need to protect your eyes from the sun reflecting harshly off the snow. A good pair of polarized sunglasses that wrap around your face is the best choice. A hat with a brim will also block the sun’s strong rays.
Bring a pack along so you can carry a few necessities. These include: snacks, food and water; extra layers; extra gloves, hat and socks; first aid kit; and toe and hand warmers. Your pack is also a great place to put layers you shed as you warm up. Always bring a headlamp in case you end up staying out longer than expected.
Here are a few tips to help you have fun, stay comfortable and be safe.
- Put some hot dogs in a thermos of very hot water first thing in the morning and by lunch you’ll have some tasty cooked dogs.
- Bring a thermos of hot cocoa or tea so you’ll always have a hot drink on the trail.
- Attach a toe warmer to the back of your phone to keep it warm and preserve its battery life.
- Always leave a note behind with where you’re going and how long you expect to be out.
- Leave water, food and a dry change of clothes in your car for when you return.
- Bring some duct tape rolled around a pen or pencil, it’s a great quick fix for everything from a broken pole to faulty bindings.
- Plan ahead by mapping out a trail behind your house before the snow flies. That way, you can pick the best route through the woods.
Need some skiing inspiration?
Check out our stories on world champion skiers Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall.