kids on XC skis or shoes?
Thinking of trying to get more of my family, instead of just me, outside this next winter.
kids are 7, 5, and 6 months so I'm leaning towards snow shoes - easier for the kids, easier for parent with baby bundled in somehow, and of course cheaper
any tips or advice either way?
I would tend to aim more for skis, but that is partly because it is what I have more experience with. The 5 and 7 year olds would be fine on skis. The 6 month old could go in a chariot (on skis) or other sled behind mom/dad at the same time. One advantage is that there are lots of ski trails around Anchorage (if you are in that area) that are lighted in the evenings, so you can get out and be relatively comfortable with the kids even after work. Snowshoes are not allowed on most of the lighted trails, so if your looking to get out anytime other than the middle ofthe day, you may be in the dark. Kids really like to be able to glide a bit without working. The downhills give them a bit of rest time and some excitement. Snowshoing doesn't provide this and is typically more physically demanding to cover the same kind of distance. You may only get a very short distance on snowshoes, but could be out longer and cover more territory with skis for the same effort.
Originally Posted by akjw7
There are some good programs out there for kids learning to ski. Anchorage Jr. Nordic is one that I think takes kids as early as 6 years old. I coach for the Jr. Nordic program and it is a great way for kids to learn the fundamentals while having fun with a group of other kids around their own age/ability. Just the love for being outside in the winter is one of the things we push, whether it is skiing or not.
Thanks - we're in fairbanks but I know there's lots of trails etc here too.
I think you're right that the family would probably enjoy skis more than shoes, but Dad likes being in the woods plinking birds or rabbits more than skiing lighted trails!
Also cost is an issue too - any guesses offhand on what a complete XC package for kids would cost?
Oh and how are XC boots for warmth - especially for the kids? I think it's likely a lot easier to wear the right gear for our serious interior cold with snow shoes.
I hear you about liking the backcountry.
Not sure about the cost of a ski setup, but the guys down at Beaver Sports could help you out on that. You are probably right that you could keep kids warmer (more comfortable) for longer times on snowshoes since they could just wear their regular winter boots. There are ways to insulate ski boots to help out if you go that way. Take a nice thick wool sock and cut the toe out so you can still clip the boot in the binding.
Fairbanks definitely puts a twist on things. I skied up there for UAF for 4 years. Definitely want to be ready for the cold. Lots of layers.
Is there a Junior Nordic program in Fairbanks? If so, look into that for your kids. They'll help get them outfitted, teach them to ski, and do it all in a fun, supportive environment with other kids. When my son is old enough I am certainly going to put him the Junior Nordic program.
turns out there is a junior nordics program here - and registration is this saturday...talk about timing
but I don't see anything on their website about helping with gear - probably just go to the registration and see what works out
also the website says ages 6-14...hopefully my son who will be 6 in february will get in on his looks!
I'm not sure if they help out with gear - but I'm sure they can point you to a source for reasonably priced gear. Also, I bet they do some swapping/selling within their own ranks as kids outgrow their gear.
Originally Posted by akjw7
going to hit up play it again soon...bad timing with dividend checks out now!
thanks for the tips - I wish the wife would have picked snowshoes...but I had a feeling she wouldn't!