Equipment and Gear

Equipment and Gear

Otter Gear Swap

Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or donate ski gear, click here to learn more about our Otter ski swap.

New to Skiing? Click Here.

What to Wear

Cross country skiing requires clothing that keeps skiers warm and dry during periods of high activity. As a general rule, don't wear cotton. When cotton gets wet, it loses the ability to keep the skier warm, sticks to the skin and causes chaffing, and becomes quite uncomfortable. Also, no downhill ski coats. They're fine for before and after practice, but they simply become too warm for this type of skiing. Overall, the information below is simply meant as a guide/suggestions. 


We recommend base layers that are light to mid-weight and made of moisture-wicking fabric. Usually they are made of polyester or a blend of poly and another fabric like merino wool. Unlike cotton, poly does not feel wet and clammy during exercise. Also, these layers tend to fit close to the skin and should not restrict range of motion.


There are many styles available but there are some features to look for. Look for pants with wind resistance... especially in the front portions. Also, look for features such as moisture wicking, breathability, water resistance and the like. More for preference, pants are available in both loose or tight fitting. These pants can be worn as is, or over long underwear and are necessary for warming up and withstanding cold winds. 


Follow similar rules as pants.  The jacket is to be used as a layering piece over a base layer and middle layer of a heavier polyester or light fleece. 


Ski specific gloves/mitts are necessary to fit pole grips (downhill gloves are too bulky). A popular model is the "lobster" two finger glove. Consider a glove liner for the really cold days. Like the other pieces of clothing, look for breathability, moisture wicking, and the like.


Lightweight wool/merino wool/polyester/fleece, these hats come in many styles and colors. Many skiers use head bands to prevent frostbite on earlobes. Buffs or products like Buff work great as a versatile hat, face mask, head band and more. As part of looking like a team, we will be offering the option to purchase a team hat.


Choose mid to heavy-weight socks made of a wicking material that will wick moisture and keep you warm. Liners are optional depending on the sock weight and skier preference. Boot covers are another solution to cold feet. These neoprene, fleece lined covers Velcro over the ski boot and are warmer than stuffing socks inside the boots (too much sock in your boot inhibits your boot from keeping you warm). May we recommend Darn Tough socks? Yes, one pair will set you back about $25.00, but. BUT they don't get smelly, and they have a no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee. 


Just ask any male skier, you need this product. Ladies, give a shout out if this is encouraged for lady folk as well. 


Optional but nice. Bring water with you on long training sessions. The waist pack wraps around waist with zip pockets for wax and/or skis.


This is optional and only if you'd like your own. Otherwise our team has bags to use. In any case, the bags are necessary to carry skis, poles, hats and other equipment to and from practice and races. Without ski bags everything gets kicked around and lost on buses. 


Balaclava for face covering, glove liners, dermatone (Vaseline also works but is more likely to cause acne in younger folk) for face, vests which offer tremendous versatility for wind and insulation... What suggestions do you have?


In-town, you'll find items at Fleet Farm, Dunhams, Wally-World... Also, you can find plenty of used gear around town. For instance, we've had luck at Krupkes and using the Fergus Swap and Shop on Facebook. For online shopping, REI, Pioneer Midwest, The House and others usually have some nice sales, but can also be spendy. Also check out, ,, ... just some online go-tos for my family. If you have other suggestions, let us know.

Buying all this stuff can add up. Don’t forget, most of you have been doing Minnesota for some time and probably know how to dress for it. Chances are, you can find most items around your home already. There’s no need to look fancy for practices and have the newest gear. The key is to be warm and be able to move. 


Besides your registration fee, boots are the one piece of equipment each athlete needs to purchase. Please buy NNN Ski Boots for your kiddo. They must be NNN so they fit our skis. New or used will work perfectly fine. Especially for our younger athletes who are still growing, used boots are a great way to go. Be sure there is enough room in the boot for a good, warm sock. 


As for skis, we will rent those for a small rental fee to incoming, new and families that cannot afford equipment. Fees: $30 for skis (classic and/or skate). $10 for poles. Rental for both plus poles is $80. All fees are for the season.

As a team, we’re fortunate enough to supply this equipment for your kiddo(s). THAT SAID, if you are serious about skiing, want a competitive edge, an older athlete, done growing…, we highly recommend that you purchase your own gear. This gear will last you well beyond your high school experience.