10 Tips for XC Skiing with Kids (and liking it!)

10 Tips for XC Skiing with Kids (and liking it!)

10 Tips for XC Skiing with Kids (and liking it!)

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.

10 Tips for XC Skiing with Kids (and liking it!)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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…

10 Tips for XC Skiing with Kids (and liking it!)


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5 thoughts on “10 Tips for XC Skiing with Kids (and liking it!)”

  1. Great tips! You never know what to expect…. we’ve had some really great days and some not so great days (yeah… those melt downs when you’re 6k out in the middle of the woods…). I’ve learned to bring a little chocolate with us all the time (for the kids and the hubby!).

  2. I love skiing, my son loves it. My middle daughter hates it. So I’m trying not to pressure her. I pull the baby in a chariot, and try to get my daughter to at least try it. Super hard when we don’t have snow up here. (Come on, Alaska!!) but I just try for about 15 min, we stay close to the car or chalet on local trails and then I have my husband come entertain her when she is done so my son and I can get in some skiing. I’m not giving up on my daughter yet but it is frustrating. All of her close friends do Jr. Nordic and she has no desire whatsoever. She is 5, so I’m hoping as she gets older maybe she will be more into it.

    1. My middle one had absolutely no interest until this year (he’ll be 5 this summer). And you’re right – I think the consistency is the best thing you can do! I had almost forgotten about Jr. Nordic – so wish we had that down here too! Hang in there, Mama! It will pay off… 😉
      (And yes, come ON, Alaska! Where is the good snow?!?!)

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