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Accessories

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Skin care
Wind, sun and reflected glare are tough on the skin and you should never ski without adequate protection. Use a sun cream with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15 every time you go out - even when it's not sunny.

Make sure that you cover all exposed areas, including your ears and any bald patches. If in doubt or if you've 'caught the sun' on a previous day, use a total block cream.

Reapply at intervals, and don't forget to use a good lipsalve. After-sun cream can be a relief if you are over-exposed, but it won't repair the damage done.
 

Eyewear
You should never ski without sunglasses or goggles, even on overcast days. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light can cause snow blindness, which may result in permanent damage to your eyes.

When you buy sunglasses, make sure they are good quality and preferably wrap-around. Never ever ski with glass lenses, always plastic.

Goggles are preferable when visibility is poor and for powder or serious bumps skiing. If you wear prescription glasses, look for special goggles and sunglasses that accommodate them.

 

Helmets
With the surge in numbers of freeriders and snowboarders who fly down the most challenging slopes both on and off the piste, helmets have now become a practicality.

They're also growing in popularity with piste skiers who are concerned about busy slopes and potential head injuries.
 
 
[Photo: Salomon]

 

Rucksacks
These are useful for carrying sandwiches, cameras, sun creams, hats and goggles etc.

It is best to choose a pack that has a waist strap to keep it in place over bumps.

If it's quite full, make sure you remember to take it off when you get to a chairlift.
 

Personal stereos
These might be fun, but they can be dangerous as they prevent you from hearing approaching skiers.

They can also be a bit antisocial on lifts - not to mention painful to fall on.