From hand warmers to boot dryers, here are tricks for making your ski or snowboard outing easier and more comfortable.

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Outdoors gear |

Heading up for some skiing or snowboarding? These tricks won’t make you the king of the terrain park or a future Olympian, but they can make your day on the slopes a little more enjoyable:

1. Hand/foot warmers: It’s cold out there, and at some point, nearly everyone has a case of cold hands. Break open a hand warmer and throw it in your pocket. They last for hours and are a lot more effective than blowing on your fingers.

If you constantly have cold feet, there are also disposable, chemically heated insoles. Experiment with them before you hit the slopes. They can be hot enough to be uncomfortable.

2. Quality base layer: That’s a fancy term for long underwear. If you’re too cold or too hot on the slopes, the problem might be your long underwear rather than your parka or ski bibs.

A good base layer keeps you warm by insulating and keeping you dry. Look for fabrics such as merino wool or synthetics like polypropylene or Capilene. Match the thickness to your body type. If you easily sweat, go with a lighter weight. If you’re more coldblooded, go with a mid-weight or even heavy weight. Ski jackets go out of style every few years, but good long johns never do.

3. Gift cards: Your favorite ski area probably has them (Crystal Mountain and the Summit at Snoqualmie do). Look for one that’s on a plastic card like a debit card. Keep it in your ski jacket for the season. It’s great for lunches, drinks and snacks. You don’t have to carry cash (which always gets soggy) or worry about losing your wallet or credit card.

4. Cellphone apps: These are fairly new on the scene, but there are some cool ones for skiers and boarders. You can get trail maps for ski areas, weather reports (powder alerts!) and even a video app that gives you ski lessons through your cellphone.

5. Rub-on wax: It’s always a good idea to stop by the ski shop to get skis or boards checked over and waxed. But if you forget, and notice lagging performance on the slopes, a few swipes of rub-on wax can make your boards slide a little faster and more smoothly.

6. Anti fog: A pair of fogged-up goggles are basically useless, so anti-fog wipes can keep them clear. There are different types on the market, including sprays, wipes and cloths. Keep them in the pocket of your ski jacket so they are always there when you need a swipe.

7. Goggle protectors: Plastic goggle lenses can easily get scratched, but a cloth pouch with a drawstring keeps the lens protected when your goggles are stashed in your gear bag. Keeping those lenses unscratched means better visibility, and you will get more seasons out of your goggles.

8. Slip-on shoes: It seems silly, but they make it easier to get in and out of your ski or snowboard boots. Slip-ons designed for snow sports became popular several years ago and show no sign of waning. They’re warm, comfortable and waterproof so you don’t start your day with wet feet.

9. Cellphones/radios: Nothing is more annoying than some guy blabbing on the lift or in the lift line. Don’t be him (or her). But it’s easy to get separated from your friends and family on the slopes, and a quick call on a phone or two-way radio will get you back together.

10. Boot dryers: Cold feet are often caused by damp boots, which can take a long time to dry. Boot dryers let you start each day with dry boots and toasty toes.