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a crowd-sourced gear list for staying warm - #9
October, also known as snowtober.
This past week, on October 12, it snowed 7 inches. There was powder skiing on the other side of the pass in Silverton. What does it take to go powder skiing in Silverton? Gear.
After eight years of 72 and sunny, we are deeply shy on gear. But thanks to some bad weather friends, we are rich in recommendations. Below are all the goodies people felt strongly enough to type into a tiny box and sing its praises. We always knew these things would be an expense moving here, but let’s call them an investment because doesn’t that sound nicer. Let’s begin! I’ll cover clothes, body products, and toys. (Also, most of these links go to the women’s section. You can navigate out to the men’s version if you have big shoulders.)
Patagonia Women’s Down With It Parka: this jacket was mentioned several times as the ultimate parka. I'm not exactly a parka gal, but I’m parka-curious now.
Arc’teryx Sentinel AR Jacket: everybody loves this jacket, which is why there are so few sizes and colors left. Turn to the Ebay my friends. This is likely where I’ll buy my ski gear from, but one credit card payment at a time.
Burton Kimmy Anorak: many people said Burton (no surprise) but this jacket was a favorite. Hope you wear a Small, because that’s all they have.
Helly Hansen Jackets: no one had a model they drooled over, but it came up. What comes up, must be written down.
Farm Rio Black Wild Bananas Puffer: look sometimes you need to be warm and look fancy. Plus this is two fancies in one — it’s reversible.
Flylow: multiple people recommended this company for ski clothes.
Fjallraven Camp Pants Curvy: these are the most expensive pants I’ve ever owned and they’re worth every penny. I got them in a 38, and I’m 5’4” 130lbs with thick thighs. They’re warm, flexible, durable, and the fit is incredible if you’ve got curve. A size 38 also allows me to wear a Patagonia base layer underneath.
Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Bottoms: which brings me to these baselayer bottoms. I’ve had these for years and they never wear out.
Uniqlo HeatTech: this product line was mentioned several times. Though no one mentioned one item in particular. Which means I didn’t buy any. So… verdict is out.
Buffalo systems special 6 shirt (wet snow): The reviews on this shirt are great, but it is for a wet snow. I want a full season here investigating snow conditions before I commit to something like this.
Smartwool Merino 250 Baselayer Top and Bottom: Love these, but I’m between sizes. I went with a small top and a medium bottom, and they’re both roomy. Not big… just… by the end of the day there’s room for another meal. Perfect baselayers for walking around the house in slippers bra-less and throwing on a sweater whenever the Zoom calls for it.
Onepiece Puppy Jumpsuit: guys I own this and I adore it. I’ve never been warmer. Just know, this is not a sexy piece. You could fit three of me in my small. And I’m fine with that.
Carhartt Insulated Overalls: three Midwesterners recommended these overalls. And sorry, but Midwesteners know winter best.
Smartwool Ski Targeted Cushion Cushion Over the Calf Socks: why are Smartwool socks so ugly, god help me.
Bombas womens merino wool sock 8 pack: so much better looking but fuck, spending $160 on socks all at once is overwhelming. (Let’s ignore how much money I spent on The Athletic socks the last 8 years.)
CEP Wool Compression Socks: who the fuck is designing socks, oh my god. Anyway, these ones aren’t terrible in black.
Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 3-fingered Gloves: how do you argue with a name like that.
Burton Goretex Mittens: these are the ones I got because I need a handwarmer pocket like a big ole baby.
Kinco Insulated Gloves: the bad boys of the hardware store. Perfect for doing work outside.
Marmot Expedition Mittens: remember when Ford named all their SUVs “e” names? That was fun.
Swix Gloves: no one specified a type, but pick your poison. One of their designers (all of them?) are obsessed with the 80s.
Gorewear Goretex Lobster Gloves: I rode in cloud-covered 30 degrees on Friday and by the time I came home down a 25 degree canyon, I could have used these.
Neoprene bar mitts: wait just kidding, THESE are what I needed. Wow. And isn’t neoprene such a pretty word?
Sealskinz Heated Gloves: wow I missed a lot living in a warm climate for 8 years.
Sorel Caribou Boot: some people complained about this boot being heavy, which is so, so funny to me. Like yeah, babe. That’s the point.
UGG Adirondack III Boot: once you get past the fact that UGG put their logo in four different places on each boot, and the fact that you’re wearing UGGs, these are supposedly the best possible winter boot. That said, I can’t and won’t buy them without some level of desperation needing to kick in first.
XtraTuf Rubber Boot: for the wet stuff, these can’t be beat.
Bogs Winter Boots: these are like, Arctic weather protect-your-feet-at-all-costs boots.
Salomon Goretex: Salomons don’t fit my feet, but the praise on these was undeniable.
Keen Revel IV Polar Boot: Keen, however, does fit me, and I’ll be wearing these everywhere.
North Face Thermoball Traction Booties: the best thing about these is I can walk the cats in the snow when it’s 17 degrees. The wetness never gets to my feet, they have good traction for a slipper, and my toes stay warm.
LL Winter Fleece Bean Robe: not only was this recommended by real humans, it’s also the warmest robe on the Strategist and Wirecutter. Only downside I can see is these terrible fucking colors. Bright Navy seems liveable. Light Mauve and you might as well call it quits on just about everything.
Outdoor Research Goretex Gaiters: I can’t argue with this. These are great.
Smartwool Merino 250 Neck Gaiter: it’s hard to argue with Smartwool.
O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet and Working Hands - I use these creams before bed every night. They’re have a permanent home in my nightstand. And I love that I can buy them at the local hardware store. To me, there is no higher quality of skincare than that which serves the roughest hands.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: several people recommended this and I can’t tell you how incredible this product is for dry, cracked lips. I know it says “sleeping mask” but sometimes I just have to smear this on my lips in the middle of the day and I fucking love how it feels. My only complaint with this product is it comes with this little wand that has its own envelope… but I am seriously supposed to put this sticky wand in this tiny envelope every night? I tried cleaning the wand and the envelope but the whole point is the cream is thick and stays put. Whatever, it’s worth it.
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask: preserve my body for all of time in a vat of Laneige. I love their stuff. When my face feels wasted from a dry day, sleeping with this on just feels good.
Ursa Major Forest Alchemy Eye Cream: I never thought I would buy an expensive eye cream, but I got a sample of this that they said was for three uses, and I used it for three weeks, and then couldn’t live without it. My eyes are persnickety about products, and this is the only eye cream I’ve had that doesn’t make my eyes water. Plus it has noticeably changed the skin around my eyes and it feels good. One order of this seems like it’s going to last me a year.
Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream: another highly and frequently recommended product from locals in Colorado, Chicago, Vermont, and more. And it’s worth it. It feels like putting cool, melted butter on your face, but instead of feeling oily, it feels like getting a facial in heaven.
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes: every gear site says they’re the absolute best. Can’t wait to try when their website acknowledges my address is a real place.
Yaktrax ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System: no more slippy slidies.
Hotronic S4 Universal Heated Insoles: what will they think of next.
Ocoopa Rechargeable Handwarmer: well I’m getting this, so…
Pure Enrichment Heating Pad: look I don’t know what makes this one so good, but when we lived in a freezing cold cabin with no insulation, I used to put a heating pad in bed like 30 minutes before I got in it, and it was the best thing I ever did.
Hey Dewy Portable Facial Humidifier: I turn this on when I go to sleep every night. Not a bloody nose in sight.
Lots of people suggested different brands of skis, but no one included any specific type of ski, and it’s been 20 years since I got new skis (Dynastars lol) so when I outfit myself with a beacon, a shovel, a backpack, a jacket, bibs, boots, skis, etc., I’ll let you know.
AND TWO MORE THINGS:
Land’O’Lakes Hot Cocoa: this is a hot water cocoa mix, and it benefits from a splash of half’n’half, but you don’t need it. This is the best hot cocoa out there. I have tried a lot.
The Ginger People Turmeric Latte Mix: when I've had enough decaf coffee to make me sick, I switch to this. Again, better with a splash of milk product, but this drink is perfectly cozy.
Something missing from the list? Want to make sure everyone knows about the greatest winter product you’ve ever tried? Just reply and I’ll include it next week.
Thanks to everyone who made suggestions. Keep warm, stay cool, and share this newsletter with a friend.
Follow our journey of high-altitude relocation and renovation at @shangrilogs.