How to Keep Your Hands Warm When Skiing

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Resource added: 06 February 2023

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Worried about keeping your hands warm on your school ski trip? Check out our top tips!

One of the most common complaints we hear from students on the slopes is that their hands are cold. With a bit of forward planning, we can make sure they’re not complaining about this on your next school ski trip!

Here are our tops tips for keeping hands warm when skiing:

Invest in a good pair of gloves

It sounds simple but investing in a really good pair of gloves is really important. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive.

So, what should you be looking for in a ski glove?

Obviously, you want to choose a glove that is both windproof and waterproof. It should also be seam-sealed and insulated. The material you choose is really important – go for synthetic materials like GORE-TEX® which offer better protection on the mountain and more breathability. 

Let’s talk about breathability for a moment. It’s an important characteristic of a ski glove because your hands will sweat when you’re skiing. If that sweat can’t evaporate away from your skin, the moisture will make your hands colder. So, you should be avoiding materials like leather, which aren’t breathable. 

We would also recommend avoiding woollen gloves for skiing because as soon as they get a bit of snow on them, they’re going to get soggy and that will make your hands cold too. 

Another thing to look for when choosing ski gloves is the cuffs – are they long enough to go over your ski jacket sleeves? This will help to stop snow and wind chill from getting in. 

Once you’re in the resort, make sure you put your gloves on before you go outside each day. That way, your gloves will be insulating a room-temperature hand, rather than trying to warm an already cold hand. And make sure you keep them indoors and dry them overnight, so they’re completely dry when you put them on each morning. 

And if you do need to take them off while you’re out on the slopes, try to be as quick and efficient as possible, so that you lose the minimum amount of heat from them. That’s where our next tip comes in handy (if you’ll excuse the pun!).

Add glove liners

Glove liners are a fantastic option that can absorb sweat and provide another layer to keep your hands warm. They’re also much thinner than actual gloves, so if you do need to remove your gloves while outside, you should be able to keep your glove liners on to do whatever you need to, meaning you don’t need to expose bare hands to the elements. 

Try mittens

You’ll often see snowboarders wearing mittens and, trust us, you will notice a difference in how much warmer they keep your hands. That’s because your fingers are all sharing your body heat, so they’re essentially keeping each other nice and toasty!

They can make holding your poles a bit trickier if you are skiing – many skiers cope perfectly well, but it may not be the best option for beginners. 

Get some hand warmers

If you’re really concerned about cold hands or you’ve invested in some decent gloves or mittens and your hands are still suffering, then you might want to try some hand warmers. 

Fairly cheap and reusable, these nifty little things are easy to use and will keep your hands warm for anything from a couple of hours to the whole day. 

Or splash out on some heated gloves

Heated gloves are a pricier option but if you are a keen skier with seriously cold hands, they are worth the investment!

Tighten those wrist cuffs!

So, you’ve sorted your gloves/mittens and maybe even bought some hand warmers or heated gloves. All of that will be wasted if you don’t tighten your wrist cuffs properly!

Too loose and you’ll let in the snow and the wind, making your hands cold. Too tight and you’ll cut off the circulation to your fingers, which will also make your hands cold!

Keep your core warm

So, here’s the thing. Extremities like your hands and feet feel coldest first, so you may spend a lot of time and money focusing on keeping those warm. But if you don’t also make sure your core is warm, then all of your body heat will be directed there, leaving no heat left for your poor fingers and toes! 

Layers are your friend here. And, like your gloves, you should be looking for waterproof and windproof outer layers – and breathability is really important too. You should also look for ski clothing that’s made of polyester blends which will wick away sweat, keeping you drier and, therefore, warmer. 

Stay active

You need to keep your circulation to your fingers going in order to keep your hands warm and the best way to do that is to stay active and keep them moving. So, if you’re on a lift, or even stuck in a lift queue, make sure you wiggle those fingers – trust us, it will really help!

On a similar note, remember not to clutch your poles too tightly, as this will actually start to cut off the circulation to your fingers and will make your hands feel cold. 

Make sure you’re properly fuelled

It’s a fact – hungry people feel colder. So, make sure you’re well-fuelled for a day on the slopes and you should find it easier to keep your hands warm. 

For breakfast, try to have something hot – you’ll notice the difference once you’re out on the slopes. And make sure you pack a couple of highly nutritious, high calorie snacks in your day bag. Downhill skiing can burn around 400 calories an hour, so you will start to feel hungry quite quickly!

Plan in hot drinks breaks!

As if you need an excuse to stop for hot chocolate on a school ski trip…but it is a great way to warm up your insides and your hands as you cup that toasty mug of chocolatey goodness!

Like this?

You may also like our school ski trip packing checklist in our guide to equipment and clothing and our guide to getting beginners ready for their first school ski trip!

Ready to start planning your next school ski trip?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information or to request your tailor-made quote