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How to prepare for a day with tahoe snowmobiles and tubing

a group of people riding skis across snow covered ground

The outdoors can be very unpredictable when it comes to weather. This is particularly evident in mountainous regions like Lake Tahoe. One minute you are freezing in a blizzard the next you may find yourself getting scorched by the sun. This is why it is crucial to bring layers of clothing to adapt to most situations. Here are some basics on the types of layers and gear you want to bring. 


The First Layer you will put on is called a Baselayer, Thermal Layer, or Moisture-Wicking Layer.


a person with collar shirt

Though wintertime may bring low temps, the right clothing can trap the heat your body generates causing you to sweat. The right moisture layer will draw the sweat away from your body and keep you from freezing once you stop moving. Some popular materials for this layer are Merino Wool or Polyester. If you do not currently have a good base layer it is worth noting that these can be great to pair with other activities such as cold-weather jogging, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, road/mountain biking, or any other land-based outdoor sport. Keep this in mind when determining whether a base layer is worth investing in.

The Second Layer you will want to bring is an Insulative Layer


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Some of the best insulative layers have synthetic or animal-based (such as duck or goose) down insulation. If you do not have any down layers a good polyester coat and pants will do as long as you have a good waterproof layer to cover them.

The Third Layer you will want is a Waterproof Layer or Shell

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A good waterproof layer should have a waterproof rating on it. If you are at our hill, a 10,000 mm waterproof shell should do the trick for a few minutes of precipitation, but a waterproof rating of 15,000 mm or more is best. Anything with the black labeled Gore-Tex tag is a great option. There’s nothing worse than having to cut your trip short because you didn’t bring a more waterproof outer layer. Other important features you will want in your outer shell are leg and arm gators to keep the snow away from your hands and feet and vents to let the hot air out and prevent overheating. 

Accessories: Often the accessories that you bring are just as important as your layers.

a person with collar shirt


Sunglasses or Goggles are important to bring as the sun is not only more intense at higher altitudes but it bounces off the snow hitting you from multiple angles. Hand Warmers can be a good option for those extra cold days and are vital for anyone with poor circulation. If there is any chance of the sun coming out make sure to keep Sunblock on you to keep yourself from burning (in Tahoe SPF 30 or higher is best). Even when the temps are super low you are still vulnerable to a sunburn. A Facemask can be a good additional piece of clothing. This is particularly important when it’s windy or when you will be going fast out in the cold. Gloves are another important part of your protection from the elements. You do not necessarily have to layer up your gloves, though it’s a good idea. The first layer of gloves you will find is a liner. This is often a synthetic light glove that is more designed for comfort and sometimes cell phone compatibility. But you will want to combine this with a waterproof shell. If you do not have a waterproof shell, there are waterproofing materials such as Nikwax that can turn a leather glove waterproof for a few days of use. Last but not least you will want some waterproof Boots as the snow may melt throughout the day. Ideally snow boots as they will come with some added insulation. But rain boots may do if teamed up with a good insulated sock. High tops are preferable and it’s always great to team them up with a gator to keep out the snow.