Ski Accessories - GPS Tracking System - Ski Compass - Ski Watch - Once you have the essential ski equipment you can enhance your skiing experience with some of the many ski accessories that are available. For the skier who adventures off the beaten path some of these items are essential. In any case, accessories make great gifts for the skiers on your list.
Some of the more specialized accessories like GPS tracking systems and compasses are not usually needed by the average skier. Every skier, however, can do with a good ski watch. Some of the more advanced models have almost everything a skier needs for training and navigation, but even the basic models are useful for keeping track of your timings and (of course) telling the time.
A ski watch is similar to other sports watches in that it has a built-in stop watch and timer. These are particularly useful for racers the timer will let you see how your training is progressing. Other useful features found on some ski watches include heart rate monitors, altitude meters, and rate of descent functions. All ski watches need to be waterproof and shock resistant.
Global Positioning System devices are essential for anyone who does backcountry skiing. They provide precise positioning anywhere in the world and are useful for navigation as well as rescue operations. A GPS tracking sysem is usually a hand-held unit that may also include an electronic compass and an altimeter. Some models include map data that eliminates the need for paper maps, and some have memory logs that can be downloaded to a computer for storage and analysis.
Those who stay close to home may not need all the features of a GPS tracking system, but a handheld compass can come in handy even in familiar territory. They are essential during storm conditions because driving snow will prevent you from orienting yourself visually. Compasses come in a wide range of styles. They can be simple liquid filled devices which fit in your pocket, or they can be sophisticated electronic instruments that have a number of functions besides pointing north. Be sure to get a compass that is designed for cold-weather use.
Mountain skiing can be a dangerous sport, so it's always best to be prepared with a first aid kit. They are available in many different configurations so it is not necessary to carry a bulky kit with you at all times. Basic kits should include bandages, antibiotic ointment, and pads for blisters, while more comprehensive kits could include inflatable splints, heat generators and flares.
Keeping skis properly tuned is essential for getting the most enjoyment out of your runs. You can leave the tuning to the pro shop, but this can be expensive and offers fewer options than if you learn to do it yourself. A ski tuning kit has all the tools needed for keeping your skis in great condition. A basic kit will allow you to sharpen the edges and remove burrs that slow down your skis, and more advanced kits have materials for re-finishing the bases and polishing the edges. With a good quality kit you can keep your skis in like-new condition.
It is important to wax the bottom of your skis to match the current ski conditions. Powder, crud, and packed trails all have different characteristics and wax can help you get the best performance from your skis. Waxing kits have a variety of waxes for different conditions and may also include a waxing iron for better application. You should also have a wax removal tool to take off old layers of wax before applying a new coat. There are lots of different waxes available. Some of the modern polymer waxes are easy to apply and can be used in combinations to provide a customized feel to your skis. Skiers use a good quantity of wax every season so wax makes a great gift for any ski enthusiast.
Now that you have your GPS tracking system and ski wax you are ready to hit the slopes, do you know how to properly take care of your skis?
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