6 Key Items for Winter Adventure in Tahoe
|1. Quick drying layers: "Long Underwear" pants and two or more tops, depending on the weather and time of day. There are a myriad of quick drying fabric blends out there, both natural and synthetic, but they can be broadly identified by the keywords "wicking" and "fast-drying." These fabrics will keep you warm and dry, where your cotton t-shirt absorbs sweat and can leave you in an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situation as it hinders your body's ability to retain heat.|
2. Waterproof outer layers: Especially if the forecast is calling for precipitation, quality waterproof jacket and pants are a godsend. When it comes to waterproof materials, many brands claim it, but few stand up to the true test (Sun-wet Sierra Nevada snow will separate the best from the rest). Although it usually requires a healthy investment, Gore-Tex not only keeps you completely dry but also breathes out moisture created by your body. A shell layer combined with quick dry base layer(s) will do perfectly for rigorous day time activity. Go for an insulated version if you are prone to chill or aren't planning on working up a sweat.
3. Sun protection. Statistics vary but there is no arguing that the sun shines in Tahoe, a LOT. At high elevation, with surrounding snow serving as a skin-searing mirror, sunscreen is a must. Lip balm with sunscreen is crucial as well.
4. Refillable water bottle or a camelback.
5. High energy snacks: Even if you are planning a short snowshoe jaunt, be prepared with pack-friendly snacks like nuts, fruit or the dutiful Clif Bar. Winter activities can be surprisingly taxing because of the extra resistance that snow creates, so bringing along a simple refuel can really save the day.
6. Sturdy waterproof boots: Even if your favorite activity calls for different footwear, getting from here to there in snowy conditions is best done with a good pair of boots. The higher the cuff, the more protection you will get from powdery snow getting into your socks. Insulated boots will keep feet warm even when the car hasn't warmed up yet, and sturdy soles and tread will help maintain a safe footing. If you are planning on doing any snowshoeing, opt for a boot with a grippy shelf-like protrusion at the heel to keep the heel strap from slipping off.