What do you need for cross-country skiing?

Norway Winter Wonderland

WalkingWomen’s Cross-Country Ski Trips to Norway have been so popular since they began more than two decades ago. We have always been going to the wonderful Dalseter Hotel in the heart of the Espedalen region. We have enjoyed lots of snow and lots of fun. Each year, more and more women come, and we are developing our cross-country experiences. Once you start, it is hard to stop, and each year, we crave the exertion of this snowy exercise. All the fresh air and blue sky is a tonic for the soul.

But how to prepare….read on

Our guide Anita has become a bit of a guru with her ‘getting goat fit’ exercise routines, and we add them to YouTube so everyone can prepare for their holiday. See below the video Anita first did for us, which remains relevant today. Do go on our YouTube channel, and you will find many more, with more to come …

YouTube player

Huntley Nordic and Outdoor Centre for those looking to get outdoors and do some practice  Huntley

Recommended by one of our cross country ski fans…

“Huntly is the only cross country ski centre in Britain.The British Olympic XC skiers train there yet it is a very welcoming and relaxed centre. It is set in the hills of Aberdeenshire amongst beautiful surroundings. When I did a weekend introductionary course  there was no snow so we had to practice on the dry slopes. The staff were helpful and full of encouragement and enthisiasm. I had not skied for over 20 years so was rusty and nervous. They gave me lots of  support and sensible advice to adjust to XC skiing. They provide the boots & skies and have a lovely space in the centre for lunch & coffee. If there had been snow we would have gone out onto the XC ski forest trail  around the centre. It helped my confidence enormously and I did not feel so daunted when I put on my XC skies in Norway a few weeks later. I would recomend everyone gives it a go if you have not XC skied before.”

Nordic Walking can also help you prepare and we have been doing some work with some of the instructors of  British Nordic Walking.

You might be able to find a club to join near you if you check out their website above. Nordic Walking is a great way to develop the right muscles,balance and confidence for cross country skiing.

They also have a podcast with Mary Tweed, one of the instructors,that may give you some tips Walking on Air

And what kit do you need – a question so many women ask

If you get the right kit, it will last for years and years, and it is worth it to be warm and comfortable.

On all our cross-country ski trips, we provide you with  ‘classic’ style cross country track skis with either ‘fish scales’ or ‘skintec’. If you have your own classic track skis, check with us first to ensure they are suitable.

Our suggested kit list for cross-country

You can use items you have already got for hiking, as many are versatile for all activities. The key is layers so you can be cool in summer and warm and toasty in winter.

The kit on our website gives a lot more detail and also some guidance on where to buy items. Take a look at the link below…

WalkingWomen Hiking Kit List

Here, we are giving specific guidance for our cross-country ski trips’ equipment.

Winter kit list - Snow scene

  • Rucksack – 20 to 25 litres with waist and chest strap – you need to be able to carry a warmer jacket to put on when you sit for a packed outdoor lunch. Also, you may want to carry spare socks. As well as the usual water, a flask of something hot…
  • Rucksack waterproof cover or liner to keep contents dry
  • Water container – 1 litre, drink tubes and bottles stowed on the
    outside of your rucksack usually freeze in winter
  • Thermos Flask – in Norway at Dalseter, this  will be filled each morning, free of charge
  • Pair of sturdy walking boots for walking around in the snow and
    possibly snowshoeing if you fancy a day off from skiing.
  • A small thermal “sit mat” to insulate your bum when we stop in the
    wilderness for a break. Grethe sells them at the Dalseter Hotel if you don’t have a chance to get one.
  • Sandwich box or wraps – something to carry your packed lunch in. We love our outdoor lunches – sometimes, we will find a heated mountain hut.


We have a discount with the women-run outdoor clothing store Findra

Usually, during winter months, all outdoor shops have started discounts, and they have people who can guide you in choosing the right equipment. Some shops are more specialists in cross-country skiing and winter trekking, so do ask. Last year, Jack Woolfskin increased its women’s cross-country ski kit due to the sport’s increasing popularity.

Winter kit list - Jackets for sale

  • Waterproof jacket – essential; this must keep you dry during a day of continuous snowfall or at least as dry as any waterproof jacket ever keeps you! It needs to allow you to move, as cross-country skiing is quite energetic!
  • Waterproof trousers – in case of heavy snowfall
  • Trousers – lightweight, windproof and warm
  • Thermal top – long sleeves. We recommend merino wool.
  • Thin fleece – long sleeves
  • Waistcoat – fleece/wind stopper
  • Gloves x 2 (one thick and one thin) – gloves can be better to keep hands warm rather than finger gloves.
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat as the sun can be very bright
  • Head/ear band – there are some lovely headbands in the Dasleter Hotel shop!
  • Duvet /Down jacket (or second warm layer)
  • Scarf or ‘Buff’ for neck
  • Socks – 2 or 3 pairs. It’s a good idea to pack thinner liner socks to help boots fit better. Wool is the best.

For extra comfort…

  • Lip salve
  • Sunscreen – essential
  • Sunglasses – essential
  • Snack bars/chocolate
  • Tissues – we recommend biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Personal First Aid, including plasters and painkillers. All our guides carry First Aid Kits, but it is always handy to have a few essential things.
  • Swim Suit – Dalseter has a pool, and many winter hotels also have them. Great after skiing.

Before all our trips, WalkingWomen sends out final travel information with reminders, so you should feel completely prepared.

If you have any questions on getting prepared, just ask as we are happy to chat – contactus@walkingwomen.com or call on 01784664063

WalkingWomen Travel Essentials

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