Hiking with Dogs

hiking tips
When hitting the trails, there’s no need to leave your four legged friend at home. Hiking with dogs is a great way to explore the great outdoors and to get some solid exercise for both of you. There are a few things to consider to keep your dog safe in the outdoors and to be knowledgable of his or her physical limitations.

Plan Ahead

Before leaving for your trip, look up whether or not the park and specific hiking trail you are planning to take allow dogs. There are many that do, but those usually have extra rules pertaining to dogs that are important to remember. For example, most parks require dogs to be leashed. Additionally, leashes should generally be less than six feet in length. Even if your dog is leashed on a trail, it’s proper etiquette to keep your dog under control when other people and dogs are passing by. You do not want to intimidate any fellow hikers and having good control of your four legged friend is considered polite.

Is Your Dog Ready for a Hike?

Make sure your dog is physically in shape enough to do the hike. This is especially true if you will be having your dog carry their own bag full of treats and water. Start small, by taking short walks with a pack around the neighborhood and work up from there. If your dog is older or in poor physical condition, they will probably be happier left with a friend or at home.

First-Aid for Dogs on the Trail

Be prepared. Take a lesson from the boy scouts and be ready for anything. You will likely be far from the closest vet so it is important you know how to react should anything happen. Petco and the Red Cross offer first-aid classes for pets, while the internet is also a great source for educating yourself on how to care for a wounded dog on the trail.

Dog Packs

Dog packs are specifically designed for mobile hydration and for carrying dog snacks. They are best for day hikes or trail runs. For backpacking trips, you’ll want a dog pack with more padding, cushioning and bigger volume. Young and healthy dogs can carry up to 25% of their weight in their pack. Some can carry more, but it’s not a bad idea to run it by your vet.

What to Pack for your Dog

Keep your pooch well hydrated and nourished on the trip. Dogs need water while hiking just as much as we do. As mentioned earlier, there are packs that dogs can carry where you can pack their food and water. Some of these packs come with a compressible water dish or it can be purchased separately. Instead of packing a food dish, it is recommended to simply place the food on a rock. This will help save some weight when hiking. Additionally, bring filtered water. Water from lakes can have algae or parasites that can make your dog extremely sick, so it is important to keep an eye on what they drink.

If you are headed out on an overnight trip, there are a few things to remember. First, depending on the temperature, you may consider purchasing clothing to help warm your dog. Some dogs prefer to sleep in clothing rather than a sleeping bag on cold nights outside. In addition, depending on the terrain, your dog will appreciate foot protection. Dog boots are available in various sizes, so be sure to find the right one that will stay on your dog’s feet while running on the trails.

Many dogs like to swim, however not all of them are comfortable around water. Depending on your dog’s swimming abilities, or if you will be around water at all, it is a good idea to bring a doggie PDF (personal floatation device). PDFs also increase your dogs visibility should he or she get caught downstream and they’re easy to grab onto should your dog jump into a moving current.

Waste Disposal

Just like humans, your dog’s waste should be buried at least 200 feet away from water sources. Cleaning up after your pooch in the woods is proper trail etiquette!

Basics of Sun Protection Clothing

Sun Protective Clothing

Sun protective clothing is gaining momentum each year…and for good reason. Slathering on some lotion is always a good idea, but most people only apply lotion to sun exposed skin and the tub of sun block runs out quickly! The sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate clothing and can be especially detrimental to those with fair, sun-sensitive skin. These days, we’re in luck with countless options of stylish, functional and durable clothing with UPF protection.

Let’s start with the UPF clothing basics. The level of sun protection provided by a piece clothing is measured by the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating. The rating was established in Australia in 1996, but is now used as a standard around the world. UPF measures how much a fabric blocks ultraviolet radiation and can be used in place of or in addition to sunscreen.  All clothing provides some level of protection from the sun, but more advanced protection is measured by a UPF rating of 15 (good) to 50+ (excellent).

Who Should Wear Sun Protective Clothing?

Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors will have more exposure to the sun and it’s harmful rays. Even if you do not burn easily you are still at risk for skin cancer and advanced aging due to prolonged ultraviolet exposure. Children, adults with fair skin or hair and people at higher elevations are most sensitive to the sun’s rays. Snowboarders, skiers, wakeboarders, and surfers are also at higher risk due to all the time spent on reflective surfaces like snow and water.

Why Should I Choose Sun Protective Clothing?

Unlike sun lotion, sun protection clothing doesn’t wash off or wear out. Even after repeated washes, the UPF rating of sun protection clothing does not diminish. Sun protection clothing is an easy to justify purchase since it provides protection with each wear and doesn’t need to ‘reapplied’ like lotion. Sun protected clothing is a great alternative to those with allergies, but it’s never a bad idea to still apply lotion to sun exposed areas like the hands and face.

What Should I Look for in Sun Protection Clothing?

A UPF rating is the first thing that should catch your eye when shopping for sun protective clothing. The higher the rating, the better the level of sun protection. The clothing can only protect you from ultraviolet rays in the places it is covering, so make sure that you are covered in all highly-exposed areas, like your shoulders and back. Another thing to look for in sun protection clothing is whether or not it is not constrictive. To be useful, sun protective clothing must be suitable for your activity and not hold you back. Since activity under the sun can make you hot and sweaty, most sun protective clothing these days is lightweight and wicks moisture from the body.

How Does Sun Protective Clothing Work?

Density and weight of the materials used in the fabric enable clothing to protect against the sun. The more dense the textile, meaning the fibers are closely woven together, the less light can penetrate the clothing. Keep in mind that older pieces of clothing stretch overtime, so more light will pass through the widened spaces of the fibers. Also, wet fabric’s ability to disrupt UV rays is diminished up to 50%. To put this into perspective, low density textiles, like a cotton t-shirt, only have a UPF rating of 10-12, which diminishes to 5-8 when wet.

Chemical treatments that disrupt UV rays are another popular means of adding sun protection to clothing. Optical brightening laundering additives and newly developed UV-distrupting compounds can increase clothing’s UPF rating.

Snowshoe Gear: The Checklist

Snowshoe Gear - The Checklist

The weekend is approaching and your snowshoes are anxiously awaiting some use. Even for veterans, planning ahead for your adventurous day will make for a smooth, safe and fun excursion in the wintry outdoors. Check the weather, deice where you plan to snowshoe and coordinate with your crew who will bring what so you don’t double up on gear. Try to head out in the morning since outdoor day trips can sometimes take much longer than expected. Below are the essentials you’ll need for your snowshoe outing, along with a few extra items for more extensive trips in the backcountry.

Snowshoeing Gear

  • Snowshoes – Fortunately, snowshoes have come a long way since their conception in the late 1800’s. The House has a diverse selection of snowshoes for every ability, aspiration and price point for men, women and kids.
  • Snowshoe FootwearWaterproof hiking boots are the best choice for longer snowshoe trips since they are the most comfortable and provide the most support. For shorter trips, under a few hours, insulated winter boots with removable liners will work.
  • Snowshoe Poles – These aren’t as essential as the snowshoes themselves, but poles can be quite helpful during longer treks. Snowshoe poles take a bit of weight off of each step and also provide increased stability on uneven terrain. They can also add an upper body workout!
  • GaitersGaiters provide waterproof and breathable protection, while keeping snow out of your boots. In deep snow, these babies are truly a lifesaver on a snowshoe outing!
  • Pack – Look for a pack that will hold all of your essentials, but one that won’t weigh you down or be cumbersome on your trek. Many packs are equipped with a waist and/or chest strap, which evenly distributes the weight load. Brands like The North Face, Burton and Dakine have a wide selection of such packs, perfect for snowshoeing.

Snowshoe Clothing

The Ten Essentials
As agreed upon by hiking organizations, a set of survival “ten essentials” has been compiled for hikers, backpackers and climbers. Not all snowshoe outings will require the use of every item, but it’s not a bad idea to gather your ten essentials just in case. All items will overlap for summer adventures, too!

  1. Navigation (map, compass or GPS)
  2. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
  3. Extra Food and Water
  4. Extra Clothes
  5. Headlamp/Flashlight
  6. Repair Kit
  7. First Aid Kit
  8. Knife
  9. Emergency Shelter

Gathering the gear you need for your snowshoe outing is a one time deal. Once you have the snowshoe gear, you won’t need new gear for a while and you’ll be more inspired to hit the trail when everything you need is right at your fingertips! One can never bee too cautious about entering the wilderness, so don’t overlook the ten essentials either!

What are Polarized Sunglasses?

What are polarized sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses are highly effective at reducing glare and increasing depth perception. They have been popular for years with boaters, fisherman and other people who spend time near water since the sun’s rays are intensified on the reflective water surface. Over the years, however, interest in polarized sunglasses for all types of outdoor enthusiasts has soared. They’re great for bikers, skiers, golfers, runners and those who spend a lot of time driving.

How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?

Glare is created due the sun’s horizontal reflection on flat surfaces like water, sand or a road. Normally, light is evenly scattered in more usual ways. When light is only reflecting in a horizontal manner, materializing as glare, it can be quite annoying and often dangerous. Here is where polarized sunglasses work their magic. They have a special filter embedded or applied to the lens that neutralizes this horizontal reflection of light.

Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglass produce a more crisp field of view without the painful brightness that makes you squint. Prolonged strain on the eyes from glare can cause headaches, tearing and wrinkles. When the most intense, harsh light is blocked with polarized lenses, glare is reduced or completely diminished and the wearer will feel a world of difference. Golfers use polarized sunglasses to follow their ball in the distance, fisherman can see beneath the surface (since there’s no glare on the surface) and drivers can make out colors (as in a stoplight) more accurately. For professions and activities like boating, sailing, fishing, snowboarding, skiing and car racing, blocking glare with polarized lenses is critical.

Why You Should Wear Polarized Sunglasses

From an ultra marathon to a walk around the block with your dog, polarized sunglasses serve their purpose for anyone spending time in the sun. They eliminate annoying and sometimes dangerous glare, reduce strain on the eyes, create accurate colors and improve depth perception. While their price tag is higher than ordinary sunglasses, The House has the best deals on polarized sunglasses from brands like S4, Smith, Electric and Spy. Save your eyes and get on the band wagon!

 

Types of Socks

Different Types of Socks
Whether walking, hiking, skiing, or just hanging out, socks can make or break your experience. Cushioning, moisture wicking properties, a good fit and temperature regulation are a few things to keep in mind when shopping around for socks. Once you try out a technical sock with a perfect fit, it’s tough to go back to straight cotton! The House has a large selection of men’s socks and women’s socks for every aspiration.

Different Types of Socks

Socks are often categorized by activity or sport to make it easier for consumers to decipher between materials, intended uses, and levels of cushioning. Of course there is some crossover within every category, but understanding design features is the first step in finding the right pair of socks!

Ski and Snowboard Socks – These socks sit higher than other socks, hitting just below the knee. They won’t ride down your legs and provide cushioning in the shin, arch and ankle. Ski and snowboard socks wick away moisture with either synthetic materials or merino wool.

Hiking Socks – Hiking socks provide cushioning in the ball and forefoot, while wicking away moisture and drawing it outside the sock. The extra padding is ideal for long treks where blisters or hot spots are likely. Hiking socks also will stay put for hours on end! They come in a variety of heights and typically two weights – lightweight and mid weight.
Skateboarding Socks – With a variety of colors, heights and logos, skateboarding socks are the economical answer for everyday wear for the younger generation. They’re typically made from cotton and will serve their purpose throughout the school year and beyond.
Casual Socks – Sitting right between a technical sock and a cotton sock, casual socks are usually a blend of cotton and synthetic materials. While not quite as efficient at wicking moisture as a hiking sock, casual socks will stay drier and warmer than an all cotton sock. Prints, colors and varying heights are common among casual socks.

Sock Materials

Merino Wool – If your feet tend to get cold, hot, clammy or sweaty, wool socks will be your best friend. Merino wool is comprised of long, fine, itch-free fibers that have replaced lower end wool found in Grandma’s sweater. Merino wool is the ideal temperature regulating fiber that keeps your feet warm when you’re walking to class and dry in the midst of a heat wave. Perfect for the summer or winter, merino wool also absorbs moisture and passes it through to the outside of the sock.
Synthetic – Synthetic materials like polyester wicks moisture and dries quickly. Other synthetics like nylon and spandex help socks retain their shape, provide a snug fit and add arch support. With a variety of synthetic blends on the market at reasonable prices, synthetic sock materials have gained much popularity over the years.
Ingeo
– Ingeo is an eco-friendly synthetic fiber derived from corn that yields outstanding moisture management properties, breathability, insulation and comfort. It’s hypoallergenic, so ingeo is a great alternative for those allergic to wool.
Cotton – Cotton socks absorb moisture and dry slowly, which can lead to blisters when used for athletic activities. However, cotton socks are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors and patterns that aren’t not available in technical socks. They’re ideal for kids, teens, and anyone else who doesn’t need moisture wicking properties for everyday use.

Gore-Tex Care: Maintenance, Washing & Restoring Gore-Tex

Taking good care of your waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex jackets or pants is very important when you consider the cost of wearing Gore-Tex.

Care of Gore-Tex

You love your Gore-Tex®. Admit it. Whether it’s your shoes, your jacket, or your gloves, you rely on Gore-Tex to keep you dry and comfortable for hours, days, months and years on end. Fortunately, Gore-Tex is easy to take care of as long as you keep the following in mind:

How to Wash Gore-Tex

Before you throw your Gore-Tex gear in the wash, be sure to read the cleaning instructions carefully. The first thing to note is that Gore-Tex should not be dry-cleaned if it uses both Gore-Tex fabric and down insulation. However, some outerwear garments that use Gore-Tex fabric also use silk or wool and these garments should be dry cleaned only. Be sure to request clear, distilled solvent rinse and a spray-repellent when dropping your Gore-Text off at the cleaners.  If you decide to wash your Gore-Tex at home skip the fabric softener (including dryer sheets) since they contain, among other things, fragrances, waxes and oils that will adhere to your Gore-Tex and lessen it’s ability to breathe and repel water. Never use chlorine bleach on your garment.  Machine-wash your outerwear in warm water using liquid detergent, preferably in a front loading washing machine. If you have a stain, you can use a stain remover such as Spray n Wash™ or Shout™.

*Always check the individual care label and follow those instructions first. This advice is not intended to override any specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Drying Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex Volcom Snowboard Jacket

Gore-Tex Volcom Snowboard Jacket

When drying your garment in the dryer, tumble-dry warm is the recommended setting. The heat from the dryer helps to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment’s outer fabric. DWR is a repellent for outdoor fabrics and is recommended for use with Gore-Tex products. However, it is not recommended to use the wash-in treatments as this may affect the garment’s breathability. DWR is available at your local outdoor retailer. If you need to restore the water repellency after being caught out in a rainstorm, simply machine wash the garment, rinse, and put it in the dryer. Washing will remove dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer will redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface. If the DWR treatment is no longer effective after washing, it can be restored by applying a topical DWR treatment.

Ironing Gore-Tex

If your jacket or pants are wrinkled after coming out of the dryer, it is acceptable to pass the iron over the garment. Only use a warm steam-iron. Be sure to place a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. You do not have to iron the garment until it is completely dry. Be very careful not to melt the outer fabric.

In summary, Gore-Tex products such as Gore-Tex JacketsGore-Tex pants and Gore-Tex Shoes are built to last and are easy to take care of. Taking care of your Gore-Tex will ensure that you get your money’s worth from the product. Routine care and maintenance on your part will ensure the highest performance from them and extend their useful lifespan. So, follow the instructions carefully on the label to help your Gore-Tex product looking fresh and new for a very long time.

Pretreating Gore-Tex

If you are taking on the responsibility of cleaning it yourself be mindful of a few thing before jumping in. It is safe to use a pre-wash treatment such as Shout or Spray ‘n Wash as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And always be mindful to rinse well. Bleach is something that you should never allow to come in contact with your Gore-Tex jacket or pants, as this will likely damage your garment.

Repairing Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is guaranteed for a lifetime against manufacturer’s defects. Gore isn’t afraid of anyone putting it to the most extreme tests! Accidents do happen, however. Gore makes a repair kit that comes with two patches that press on if you in the field and happen to tear your jacket or pant. It’s not a bad idea to stash one of these in your pocket. Once you get home, ironing the patch increases its performance. Patches should last just over five washings. A more permanent repair is recommended, so take your damaged Gore-Tex gear to an authorized repair center or contact Gore directly at 1-800-431-GORE.

Gore-Tex Footwear

You can clean the outside of your Gore-Tex footwear using a brush or a cloth and tepid water. When drying your shoes, remove the laces, loosen the tongue, avoid direct heat and allow them to dry naturally. Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics. They do not recommend wash-in treatments as they can affect breathability.

Gore-Tex Gloves

First off, Gore-Tex gloves rule! Say good bye to swampy, cold hands. Your Gore-Tex gloves should be hand or machine washed in warm water with powdered detergent. Follow the same rules (no bleach, no fabric softener) as you would with your outerwear. Gently squeeze the water out of your gloves, but do not wring or twist them. Allow them to drip-dry with the fingers pointing upward.

Restoring DWR

Gore-Tex is treated with DWR, or durable water repellent. It is an extremely thin polymer that causes water to beadupon the surface of your gear and roll off. DWR is not permanent, however. Dirt, exposure to insect repellents, detergents, and normal wear and tear will eventually cause the DWR to stop working. Normal washing and tumble-drying outerwear will redistribute DWR over the surface, thereby reactivating it. Over time, however, a topical DWR treatment for outdoor fabrics will be needed and can be applied to the garment. Never use wash-in treatments, as they will affect the garment’s ability to breathe. If your footwear needs its waterproofing refreshed, a DWR treatment for shoes will do the trick. Unless it has been specifically approved for use on Gore-Tex, never use any waterproofing waxes, greases, or polishes on your Gore-Tex shoes.

What is the Difference Between Wetsuit and Drysuit?

Wetsuit vs Drysuit

Wetsuit vs Drysuit

Whether it be surfers, wake boarders, divers or paddle boarders, people are commonly confused with wet suits and dry suits. Both are intended to keep you warm and protected from the elements. The each have their place when it comes to playing water cooler than your body temperature. And for good measure, we threw in a quick break down on rash guards.
Wet SuitsWetsuits

By far the most popular form of thermal protection, wet suits are made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber foam filled with thousands of tiny gas bubbles. Wetsuits work on the principle that your body is the best source of heat. It allows thin layer of water between a person’s body and wet suit. The body then heats the water, which allows the heat to be retained, keeping you warm.  There are different thicknesses of wetsuits depending on how cold the water is going to be and how what for of versatility you are looking for in a wetsuit. The styles usually range from 2mm of thickness to 9 mm. Industry has made great break throughs with wetsuit technology and materials. Thick wet suits are a thing of the past. Here are the most common styles of wetsuits…

  • Full Body Suit – jump suit or one piece wet suit
  • Two Part Suits – includes top and bottom
  • Shorties – short sleeve arms and legs for warm water

Drysuits

Dry suit is just what is says. It keeps you dry underneath the suit while you are in cold water. Dry suits can be made out of foam neoprene, crushed neoprene, vulcanized rubber or heavy-duty nylon. It’s a close fitting double layered suit that keeps a warm layer of air between you and the suit. It has a waterproof seal on the neck, wrists and face. This keeps you very dry and very warm. Air is introduced to the suit via the front power inflator. It has a pressure release valve to let air out. When dry suits first came out they were very bulky, hard to weigh down and difficult to use. Today they are made of much better synthetic material and are very to use.

Rash GuardRashguards

A rash guard is an athletic shirt intended to get wet that’s typically made of spandex and nylon or polyester. Rash guards are most commonly used by surfers to protect their chest and stomach from incessant rubbing over the sticky wax used for traction on the deck of a surfboard. It also adds a good measure of sun protection on the upper body. Some are even long sleeve and insulated perfect to take the chill off an early morning surf. Rash guards are also common for babies, kids and anyone else looking to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Honestly, everyone who plans to spend more than an hour or so near water should have a rash guard on hand.

The House has you covered for all your drysuit, wetsuit and rash guard needs!!

How To: Plan a Ski or Snowboard Heli Trip

Photo Courtesy of Epicquest/H.Mayberry

Listen, there are few things more exhilarating than lifting off in a helicopter, never mind having said helicopter then drop you off in the mountains with nothing but untracked snow for miles. If you’re a dedicated rider/skier chances are someday you’ll have a heli day on your lifetime wishlist. But heli laps don’t come cheap, so if/when you decide to book a trip, take some things into consideration to maximize your time in and out of the ‘bird.

 

1. Book in advance. This goes without saying, but these operations only get to fly so many days a year, and seats are limited. If you have very specific travel dates, book well in advance, especially during Spring Break and the Christmas holidays. Also, when considering trip dates, look at historical weather information to see what time of year has the best combination of sun and good snow conditions.

 

2. Be prepared not to fly. High winds, snow, and cloud cover can all derail a heli trip. You want to give yourself as big a window as possible to wait out bad weather, and be ready to ride when (if) the weather breaks. Many heli operations also have snowcats, which they’ll use to shuttle riders on down days—look into that amenity, as it’s a pretty good insurance policy against cabin fever.

 

3. Don’t go undergunned. Whether you own one or not, be sure to bring a ski/snowboard setup that won’t torpedo in powder and be overpowered by backcountry terrain. You want to savor every turn, not fight to keep control and afloat. If you don’t want to add a new board(s) to your quiver, go ahead and rent one. You won’t regret it.

 

4. If your goal is to charge all day and bank as much vertical as possible, try and book an entire heli with a full group of like-minded riders, otherwise you’ll be limited by the abilities and skill level of the “weakest” rider.

 

5. Once you’re there, remember: Always, always obey the pilot and your guides. And know where the rotors are at all times. This is the real deal.

 

-MH

 

How To Book a Ski or Snowboard Vacation

Not all shred trips are created equal. Some destinations offer incredible snow and terrain, but lack in nightlife and other amenities. Others rock out like NYC on New Year’s Eve, but leave something to be desired on the slope side of things. And that’s okay, it’s just a matter of prioritizing what’s most important to you. Price? Snow quality? Park scene and features? Aprés and Nightlife? Spa Treatments? Here’s a guide for lining up your next mission.

Why Travel?

• There’s nothing like exploring a new place by sliding on snow. You meet new people, have new experiences, all while quite literally dropping into the unknown run after run. It’s flat-out awesome.

Have the gear but need something to transport it in? Click here for tips on what to look for when buying a board bag or ski bag or check out our selection of travel bags here.

When?

Obviously you need to pick a date for your trip, and unless you are bound to holiday and spring break trips because of school, consider these other factors for when to go.

• If you don’t dig crowds, and are flexible, then pick a time of year when most people are working. Mid January, much of February, early and late March into April tends to be pretty mellow.

• If powder is your priority, research and see what month your destination of choice receives the most snow. It’s still a gamble, but an educated one at least.

• See if there are any events happening that might add value to your stay (concerts, races, competitions, parties etc). Most resorts websites have event calendars to help with this.

Where?

• You likely have a wish list of destinations already. Evaluate them against your list of priorities and create a short list.

• If budget is a concern, then weigh your options in terms of value. Where will you get the most bang for your buck? What’s affordable? Airline hubs play into this conversation too. It doesn’t matter if the lodging is cheap when flights are through the roof. Do some math to find a happy medium there.

Is a good terrain park one of your top priorities? Check out Transworld Snowboardings Resort Poll for the season’s top ten parks. Photo courtesy of Park City Mountain Resort

How?

• Book accommodations directly through the resort, via online booking sites, through a travel agency, and even by checking the classifieds in local newspapers.

• Try and bundle lift tickets and accommodations together, as many resorts offer package deals to entice potential guests. Better yet, some offer the Trifecta—Airfare, accommodations and lift tickets for a discounted, bundled price. Remember, these resorts are competing for your dollars, so be sure to sniff out some deals rather than booking blind.

Many resorts offer packages for the whole family that even include lessons! Photo courtesy of Park City Mountain Resort

Conclusion

There are so many destinations out there, you can really pick and choose to suit your every desire. Some destinations have it all—or close to it. Whistler-Blackcomb, for example. California’s Tahoe region hosts a number of world-class resorts, from Squaw to Heavenly. Colorado pairs some of the best freestyle and freeride terrain on the planet, spanning Breckenridge to Crested Butte. And don’t forget Utah, where powders days are the norm rather than the exception. This list goes on and on, chances are wherever you go it’ll be an experience to remember.

How To: Snowboard in Powder

Is there anything better than laying down the perfect heelside slasher into a deep pocket of powder? We haven’t found it if there is. But as intuitive as it looks, snowboarding in powder actually requires more technique than you’d think. Figure it out and you’ve unlocked the door to the best part of being a snowboarder.

Gear Choices: First off, you don’t necessarily want to ride a little jib stick on a two-foot day. Choose a board that’s going to float, ie. keep the nose above the snow surface. And move your stance back toward the tail a notch or two – this will help with the float factor, and reduce back-leg burn. Rocker shapes dominate in powder; camber boards still shred just fine, but rocker boards require a little less effort to keep afloat.

Reading Terrain: There are few things worse than finding yourself marooned in the flats after milking a few extra powder turns. Watch how the slope angle transitions – if it’s deep and the transition looks flat, there’s a good chance you’ll bog down. Avoid these powder traps unless you feel like hiking out in waist-deep snow with people on the lift above heckling you.

Technique: In powder, it’s key to keep up your speed and weight your back foot to avoid a nosedive. You can make longer radius turns at higher speeds and maintain control because of the support and resistance soft snow provides. Surf it, slash it, point it – in pow, it’s pretty much all good.