Winter is just not winter for me unless there’s snow on the ground. Mostly because snow means sledding and skiing and snow forts and all the fun you can do only in colder temperatures.
I have loved cross country skiing for most of my life, and love seeing my own kids get on their own skis now. While over the past couple of years, it has gotten a bit easier (mostly because at least one of them can get their own skis on AND make forward motion now). But, it hasn’t always been that way. We have had serious meltdowns on the trail…usually in the middle of a loop, far away from any bail-out points. It’s never pretty.
So, while I can’t guarantee any else’s kids being perfectly behaved (much less my own), here are some of my best tips we have learned over the years for more successful family XC ski days.
- Set your expectations low (really low). Don’t even hit the trail right away. Start in your backyard or a field or somewhere you can get back to the car quickly if needed. That way you are at least practicing getting skis on, shuffling and have easy access to a warm house if needed.
- Ditch the poles. While poles are necessary for XC skiing in general, they just get in the way when someone (kid OR adult) is just learning. And to lessen the temptation, leave your own poles at home too if you can (otherwise your little one may not understand why he can’t have poles too).
- Dress for the weather. Be smart about it. Use layers, and bring extra gear (mittens especially) in case they get wet. Warm kids = happy kids.
- Kick & Chase! Tell kids to pretend they are kicking a ball to help them get the motion down. It also helps to have a parent (or adult) ahead to chase and an adult behind to be “pick-up-crew”.
Read all the rest of the tips over at the Sierra Trading Post Hub. And yes, I saved the best for last so it’s worth clicking over…
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