Dressing a Little Nord (age 6 -10)


First the under layer.  Buy synthetic.  No cotton.  You want something sport/ski specific that wicks.  Get a top with a collar.  I like the ones with a neck zipper.

Add thin fleece pants and top if it is a cold day.

Next a fleece jacket. On the bottom, put on thin wind-resistant pants (not baggy) or synthetic warm-up pants like soccer pants with zips on the ankles. The latter are about 1/8th inch thick and standard issue for soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, etc.  Use water-resistant pants if it’s raining or you expect a lot of snow burrowing by your child. You can find all this online or at thrift shops. You can find it at outdoor shops like REI too, but it is not necessary to buy nordic specific gear at this age.

Next a coat.  Should be water-resistant but not too hot.  This one is a gortex shell.  Add mitts or gloves and a hat.  I recommend thicker gloves for Little Nords as cold hands make young kids very unhappy. However, if you kid routinely removes their thick gloves and skis gloveless (some do), then get them thin gloves to use instead. Once they are Freeheelers (age 11+), switch to the thinner nordic gloves except for cold days. If it’s sunny, add shades.  You’re done.

A thin neck gaitor for cold days. The thick fleece one's are usually too thick for nordic skiing. You can get thin polyestor/micro-fiber ones for about $10 which work better for nordic skiing.

Little Nords who are skiing over lunch on Cold Creek or up top will need a small backpack. Big backpacks are not needed; a small hydration pack works especially well. You can get a decent hydration pack online for about $20 (sometimes cheaper). Camelback will charge 2-3x times that, but you don't need that brand. These are great for summer hiking and biking too.


A look inside a Little Nord ski bag.  I keep everything I need for dressing my Little Nord for 2 days of skiing in the red bag.

Top row:  wind-resistant pants, fleece pants, 2 pair of thin underlayer bottoms, gaitors.

Middle top row:  fleece jacket, fleece top, 2 thin underlayer tops, fleece vest

Middle bottom row: Gortex shell, sunglasses and googles, 2 pair of gloves

Bottom:  2 hats, neck fleece, 2 pairs of socks, sunscreen


Extras not shown:  chemical hot pads


Tricks of a seasoned ski parent:

  1. Always have spare mitts or gloves.  Kids will often get their gloves wet in the AM session and need to put on a spare pair in the afternoon.  Make sure to get a decent pair of mitts or gloves.  Kid’s don’t do well with cold hands.  A light spare pair is good for warm days.
  2. Keep a couple pairs of chemical hot pads (Hot Hands) in the ski bag.  On a bitter cold days, stick those in your kid’s gloves and boots.
  3. Tuck a treat into a pocket.  Working hard and cold weather means lots of calories get burned.
  4. Have a pair of googles in the bag.  On a bitter cold windy day, googles can really help little kids endure the weather.  By age 8 or 9 most kids who ski a lot are pretty good at enduring the cold, but younger kids are usually miserable when cold.
  5. If it’s pouring rain, consider leaving off the cotton underwear.  They are going to get wet, and wet cotton is simply cold and clammy.
  6. Is your kid a snow burrower?  Gaitors will really help keep the snow out of boots.