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Cross-country Ski and Snowshoe Safety

Cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike at eight Oakland County Parks for fun and fitness in winter. Consider these safety tips before you hit the trails: 

Take formal lessons. 
Learn proper ski and snowshoe techniques before heading out on the trails. Even experienced skiers benefit from completing a refresher course. Visit the Events Calendar for information about Oakland County Parks and Recreation cross-country ski and snowshoe lessons.

Use proper equipment.
Make sure ski boots are fitted properly when purchasing or renting equipment. Also ensure that bindings are adjusted correctly. Other protective gear to consider: helmet, goggles or sun glasses.

Dress appropriately for the weather.
Dress in layers, especially when planning a longer excursion. Layers allow you to accommodate fluctuating weather conditions and body temperatures. Also, consider wearing sunscreen, hat, gloves, hand warmers and boot warmers. More on gearing up for the outdoors.

Be prepared for emergencies.
Ski with a friend or group. If you do find yourself skiing alone, be sure to let someone know where you are and when you expect to return. Consider wearing a backpack with food, water, extra clothing, cell phone and first aid kit.

Practice ski etiquette.
Follow trail guidelines and rules. Avoid skiing off the trail or in the path of another skier. Give fast-moving skiers the right-of-way. If you need to stop, step off the trail so others can pass.

Know your limits.
To prevent injury, it’s best to exercise before ski season or stretch before heading out on the trail. Ski at a speed and on a course that is suitable for your level. If you are tired, take a break on the side of the trail or in a warming area. If you start to feel faint, take a break to eat, drink and rest.

Have fun!
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking are great ways to be active, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the outdoors. Pack up your gear, take proper safety precautions and hit the trails!