Cross Country Skiing — Where to Start

by Source For Sports Cross Country Skiing If you can walk, you can ski, making it a great winter activity for winter enthusiasts of all levels.

Cross-country skiing has a reputation for being a difficult or challenging sport. But in fact, because your heel can fully flex, injuries are very seldom — especially to the lower body. If you can walk, you can ski, making it a great winter activity for winter enthusiasts of all levels.

Beginners should learn the basics on flatter ground and slowly work up to hills as their confidence grows. The best advice is to be aware of your limitations and avoid steep hills until you feel comfortable. Start in an urban setting like a park or golf course rather than a long, remote trail. This way, if you get tired, getting back to the trailhead doesn't take too long.


Beginners and experts both need the same thing — gear that fits and is right for your skill level. A ski too long or short, a boot too loose or tight, will reduce your performance and could make for a miserable day. Since all skis and boots fit a little differently, it's best to work with your local Source for Sports expert to find your perfect fit.

Cross-country skiing can be enjoyed in almost any weather when dressed properly for the conditions. Wearing layers and covering any exposed skin on cold days keeps you comfortable and reduces your risk of frostbite.

Cold hands or feet can distract you from the beautiful scenery around you.  For that reason, wear warm gloves and socks and never put your hands into cold gloves or feet into cold boots. Carry hand and toe warmers just in case it's colder than expected and ankle gaiters to keep the snow from dropping inside your boots.


Despite the cold, your body will be burning through calories and sweating as you move. Making sure you have some water and a protein bar or two in case you need an energy boost is always a good idea, no matter how long you plan to be. Want to know what else should be in your pack for a day on the trails?

Check out our blog on what to pack for a winter hike.

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