Best ski chalet home bakes

What’s the highlight of a catered chalet ski trip? It’s got to be the afternoon tea, with a different, freshly-baked cake every afternoon to tuck into post-piste. Delicious and well-deserved after a day sweating the slopes.

Booked a self-catering chalet or apartment and want to recreate that sumptuous après ski afternoon-tea vibe? You’re in luck! Here at WhoSki.com, cakes are among our specialist subjects.

And we think your best ski chalet home bake options are:

  • Visit the local patisserie and buy one of those spectacular, to-die-for cakes.
  • Order from French Alps catering specialist Huski, who can deliver a selection of cakes ranging from flapjacks to chocolate gateau. (Remember to use our discount code WhoSki5 when ordering.)
  • DIY if you’re driving: bake in advance and pack a couple of home bakes for your trip.

As a keen home baker, I take the DIY route and always lob a couple of homemade cakes into the boot of the car. I make them in advance, freeze, then grab them as we go. It’s pretty low-effort and saves you LOADS of money.

My best ski chalet bakes are batch cakes or loaf cakes, which freeze well and are highly portable. Going with friends or other families? If everyone donates a bake, you’ll have a full week of afternoon teas covered.

a selection of home bake loaf cakes for a ski chalet tea
Loaf cakes work well as ski chalet home bakes

My Top 5 Ski Bakes

Chocolate brownies. I like Nigella’s ‘Domestic Goddess’ recipe, and usually knock up a batch the day before we head off so no need to freeze. Swap nuts for chopped up milk chocolate for an uber sugar hit. Perfect snacking after a day on the blacks.

Lemon syrup loaf cake. Loaf cakes freeze and travel well if you make them in a paper liner (Lakeland offers a good selection). Try the ‘Domestic Goddess’ again, for a fail-safe lemon syrup cake recipe.

ski chalet home bakes: snickerdoodle cheesecake bars and flapjacks
Tray bakes are perfect for a ski tea table

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars. (see above: left and middle) Easy to make, robust and with a hint of cinnamon. A delicious flat bake that would pack well in your cold bag. Recipe from Edd Kimber’s great ‘Small Batch Bakes’ cookbook.

Flapjacks. I tend to use Delia Smith’s basic recipe, supplemented with whatever dried fruit I have in the cupboard. Chopped dried apricots, dates or raisins help liven things up, along with a spoonful of chia seeds for added benefits.

Fruitcakes and ginger loaf cakes also travel well – with the added bonus that you don’t need to freeze them in advance. A chocolate loaf cake could also double up as a pudding when heated up in the microwave and served with cream or ice cream.

Got a fave ski chalet home bake you always take for your ski trip? I’d love to know!

The ‘skiing when you wear glasses’ problem SOLVED

When you can’t even spot your co-skiers on the piste sans specs, it’s time to solve the ‘skiing when you wear glasses’ problem.

WhoSki.com co-founder Sally has been wearing glasses for years. She used to ski without her ‘long distance’ specs (and just carry a pair for piste map reading). That is, until the trip when she found it so hard to identify her group on the slopes that she kept skiing up to the wrong families. Which is when wearing glasses on the piste became her norm.

Sally’s two top tips to solve the ‘skiing when you wear glasses’ problem:

TOP TIP 1

When buying ski goggles, good brands will let you know if they are ‘glasses friendly’. The goggles are larger but it’s a more affordable option than buying prescription ski goggles.

“This has been really effective. I have problems with both long and short distances and this means as my prescription changes, I don’t need to change my ski goggles,” says Sally.

TOP TIP 2

Carry varifocal prescription sunglasses while skiing, for reading the menu and enjoying your surroundings when you take a break from the piste. Sally says: “This is my go-to look when it’s sunny, and means I can enjoy ‘slope watching’ at the same time as eating my lunch.”

WhoSki's Sally wearing specs and ski goggles when skiing
Sally: aceing the ‘skiing when you wear specs’ problem

more solutions for specs-wearing skiers

Glasses don’t fit under goggles but you don’t want to wear contact lenses:
Choose a helmet with integral visor: glasses fit underneath. Good ventilation means they are less likely to steam up.

Specs don’t fit in pocket and I’m scared of breaking them:
Buy a couple of cheap pairs of low-profile glasses. Or foldable ones that come in a hard case. Tiny, but useful when you sit down for lunch and need to read the menu / check the bill.

Can’t read the piste map without glasses on:
Take a picture on your phone, then zoom in when you need it. Saves getting your reading glasses out. Or use the resort piste map app. Beware of phone dying in the cold – keep it tucked away in an inside pocket to maximise battery life.

Bi-focal prescription goggles:
Pricey option, but effective.

Magnifying glass in your pocket:
Low-tech option that will have the younger members of your party dying of shame when you whip it out on the chair lift.

Join a guided ski tour group:
Never worry about directions again. Many chalet hotels, like Club Med, offer a group ski itinerary – or try SkiClub of GB, who have skiing volunteers based in a number of resorts. It’s a great way to make friends, too

Get a credit card sized magnifying lens:
Hang it on a cord round your neck or clip into a pocket – quick to access, problem solved!

Follow someone who knows where they are going:
Provided you trust them not to lead you down a gnarly black…

Finally, you could always take the familiarity option: ski in the same resort every year (but beware year on year changes to your favourite pistes…).

Lead image by Freepik

Fresh tracks at WhoSki.com in 2023

Happy New Year to all! Here’s a round-up of some of the ‘fresh tracks’ we made at WhoSki.com in 2023:

fresh tracks: Growth

  • Registered WhoSki.com users rose month-on-month, with increasing quantities of good-as-new kit finding a second life in every corner of the UK, Ireland & Europe. Thanks to you all.
  • We rank No1 in Google organic search for secondhand ski wear. That makes it easier for even more people to find our preloved ski clothing shop online: good news for sustainability and the circular economy.
  • We expanded WhoSki.com beyond winter sports wear to include all kinds of outdoor clothing and equipment. By buying and selling your secondhand outdoor kit you are helping keep even more durable, hard-to-recycle materials in active usage, reducing their carbon footprint and helping ease pressure on the world’s resources.
Boots, backpack and more: the kit you need for an outdoor adventure
Boots, backpack and more: all outdoor kit now available via WhoSki.com

Fresh tracks: events

  • WhoSki.com co-founders Nicola and Sally hosted two live workshop sessions about ‘Easy ways to ski green’ at the NEC Birmingham and London’s ExCel for National Snow Week. Many thanks to guest eco experts Iain Martin, Sarisher Mann and Matthew Sexton for joining us on stage to share their insights and expertise.
  • We attended the super-useful LISTEX – London International Snowsports Trade Exchange in London. It was inspiring to meet so many like-minded movers and shapers in the ski sector. Thanks to Mountain Trade Network for organising.
  • We enjoyed a fun couple of days at The Snow Centre , Hemel Hempstead, for ‘Get your kit out’ winter launch weekend, spreading the word about sustainable ski fashion and hearing about customers’ ski plans. Looking forward to similar later this year with a WhoSki.com stand at Chill Factore, Manchester, too.
Ski wear from the Alps with ZERO carbon footprint
One Tree at a Time ski wear from the Alps – with ZERO carbon footprint

Fresh tracks: support

  • We were delighted to see the WhoSki.com brand gain increased exposure, with press coverage in outlets including The Guardian, Evening Standard and Time & Leisure Magazine. WhoSki.com was a finalist for two business award categories in the fields of Best Sports Brand and Sustainability.
  • Thanks to Protect Our Winters UK for supporting our learning in all things eco via your Carbon Literacy course: we recommend. A big cheer too for the ongoing support and inspiration from our participation in the Re-Action Collective.
school ski trip packing tips
Skiers increasingly care about the environment

And finally… In a WhoSki.com survey, more than 95% of skiers said that making their ski trips more eco-friendly was ‘very’ or ‘quite’ important to them. Which is a good reason for us to feel positive about the year ahead, look forward to even bigger things in 2024, and embrace the host of opportunities ahead.

Thanks, of course, go to the many other individuals, organisations, businesses and customers who continue to back us in our mission to increase circularity and sustainability in the active outdoor sector. You’ve all helped us make fresh tracks at WhoSki.com in 2023. Don’t hesitate to get in touch throughout the year ahead with your ideas and opinions: we love to hear from you .

How often should you replace your ski helmet?

If you think about what you put inside it, maybe it’s worth remembering how long you’ve had your current ski helmet. How do you know when it’s time to replace your head protection?

Helmet specialist Giro recommends replacing your ski helmet every three to five years, depending on usage and handling:

“This is based on observation of the average user, and factors like wear over time, weather, handling, the potential for degradation from personal care products like sunscreen or bug spray, and the simple fact that helmets do improve over time.

“While helmets kept in good condition can provide protective capability beyond the 3-5 year recommended lifespan, it’s also true that they can degrade over time.”

get your ski helmet checked over

Most importantly, when your helmet suffers an impact, you must get it checked over or replaced immediately even if there is no visible damage.

According to Giro: “This is because helmet liners are made to absorb energy from impacts and they do this through their own degradation or destruction – like an airbag in a car. If the liner is compromised from an impact or other factors, it may not offer the full protective capability it was designed to provide.”

Even if you don’t have an accident and bang your ski helmet directly, it can still suffer knocks from chairlift barriers etc while you are on the slopes. Bear in mind too that the protective core of your helmet experiences prolonged pressure from your head, minor bangs in transit and from being placed on hard surfaces etc.

Packing your helmet full of ski clothing during travel can also have an ongoing (albeit minimal) effect on its protective ability. The cumulative effects of pressure and impacts over time mean the cushioned core of your ski helmet will gradually lose volume, leaving it less effective if you fall or are involved in an accident.

Update for Comfort and safety

A ski helmet that has a few visible dings and dents, and is more than five years old, is one that probably needs replacing. In addition to the safety factor, technology and materials improve over time, as do comfort options – like detachable ear pads, Bluetooth®, visors and air vents.

We advise:

  1. Save money on ski clothing by buying and selling second hand, and divert your budget towards a good quality ski helmet to protect yourself on the piste.
  2. When buying preloved ski equipment, or after a prolonged period away from the ski slopes, always get it checked over by a professional before use. Make friends with your local ski shop – their expertise could prove vital.

Beginner ski tips

Apart from kitting yourself up with the right clothing and equipment, what else do you need to know as a novice on the ski slopes? These tips for a beginner skier may help…

beginner ski tips:

SKI BOOTS: They will feel tight but not so much they cause discomfort. Don’t be tempted to go up a size, but do head back to the hire shop for a refit if they really cause you grief. They should not cause you to wince (or worse) or cut off circulation.

ALCOHOL: Tempting as a boozy lunch may be, save your units for the après – once you are back in resort and off your skis. If you are involved in an accident, you are likely to be breathalysed by the piste police. All skiers should be aware: in Italy, is illegal to ski/snowboard under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ditto in France, also Colorado and other ski resorts in the US.

Glass of gin and tonic on window ledge in ski resort at evening
Save the G&T for post-ski relaxation

LESSONS: Your ski trip will be so much better if you get tuition in the basic techniques. YouTube is not a ski instructor – although watching some tutorials before you go is helpful. Try lessons on a local dry slope or indoor ski centre as your ski trip approaches. Beginner ski tip: book early as UK practice slopes are very popular, especially if you want lessons.in the run up to your ski trip.

THE LAST RUN OF THE DAY: Don’t be tempted (or talked into) finishing your day on the slopes with a tricky piste. Runs can get icy/slushy depending on temperatures, as well as busy towards the end of the day. Visibility deteriorates and fatigue sets in. Ending your ski day on a slope within your abilities will enable you to avoid terror, possible injuries and start the following morning feeling confident and raring to go.

NEVER SKI ALONE: Applies to all skiers but especially if you are a beginner, lack technique or confidence. You will feel much happier and be much safer if you have someone keeping an eye on you.

Pre-ski trip prep:

KNOW YOUR PISTE ETIQUETTE: Familiarise yourself with the Skiers’ Code of Conduct. Keep your speed down, always look uphill before you set off, stop at the side of the piste rather than in the middle, avoid stopping at bottleneck points, be aware of what’s going on around you.
Find out more: 5 ways to stay safe on the slopes

PRE-SKI FITNESS: Stamina and aerobic fitness will pay dividends. A lot of skiing consists of hiking around carrying heavy, awkward equipment like skis and ski boots. Then there is the stress on your legs, feet and ankles, shoulders and abs. Make squats and wall sits your new BFFs (best fitness friends).
Visit our Ski Fit partner My Life Tonic for tips and videos (plus a WhoSki.com discount code via our Partners page here).

Got any beginner skier tips? Share them with us on the WhoSki.com Facebook or Instagram pages.

School ski trip packing list tips

You’ve most likely been provided with a packing list, but what are the must-have warm wear essentials for your child’s school ski trip?

Also: what does that ski kit jargon mean? Is it all really necessary? And are some items ‘more essential’ than others?

Forget about skis and ski boots – trip organisers will sort those out. Your job is to make sure your child is warm, dry and comfortable on the slopes. Follow our expert school ski trip packing list tips to find out what ski wear your child simply cannot do without – and save time and money.

Download your printable WhoSki.com school ski trip essentials checklist here

TWO top tips

School ski trip packing list tip No 1 :
Weather can change rapidly in the mountains. Conditions can change from clear blue skies and sunny slopes to falling snow and limited visibility within a matter of minutes. Ensuring your child is equipped for all eventualities is key for safety, fun and comfort: the makings of a successful ski trip.

School ski trip packing list tip No 2 :
Buy second hand where you can. Kids grow out of clothes quickly, so odds are you will be able to fit out your child with good-as-new, preloved ski wear at a fraction of the price for new kit. Register at WhoSki.com and you will receive regular email updates as new items are listed on site.

Must-have school ski trip clothes:

Ski jacket:
Your child’s essential ski outer layer, and usually the most costly item in your ski wardrobe. Choose a jacket that is large enough to fit multiple layers beneath ie a thin base layer, a thicker mid-layer and a microfleece to keep your child warm in the coldest conditions. They can add / remove these layers as necessary depending on weather, altitude and exertion levels.

The perfect ski jacket will be wind-resistant and waterproof, have multiple, zippable pockets, under-arm vents, a ski pass pocket on the sleeve and a powder skirt. A thinner jacket with layers beneath will make it easier to regulate temperatures. A hood is unnecessary as your child will be wearing a ski helmet while on the piste. Think safety: a bright-coloured ski jacket makes your child easier to spot on the slopes.

Preloved is the affordable option over new – and remember to sell it on after your child’s trip if that ski jacket won’t fit them again next year.

Ski pants / salopettes / trousers:
Whatever you call it, your child needs specialist ski legwear. A belt or braces will ensure ski pants don’t slip, vents will help regulate temperature, while reinforced knees and ankles will aid longevity and flexibility of movement. Comfort is key, so make sure ski trousers are roomy enough to fit thermal underwear beneath. Salopettes generally sit higher than ski pants and may include a bib front: handy to help keep out snow when your child takes a tumble on the piste.

Ski pants will flare towards the ankles to allow for ski boots. Many boast an inner ‘skirt’ around the ankle: this sits over the ski boot to help keep out snow. If you’re buying second hand, the ankle area may show some damage – this is perfectly normal as ski trousers often get caught on boot clips and ski bindings. Minor damage will not impair usage.

It’s all about layers

Base layers:
For a week-long school ski trip, you will ideally send your child away with a separate, long-sleeved, thermal base layer for every day of skiing. This item of ski wear will sit next to their skin, keep them warm and wick away sweat during a day of exertion on the slopes.

On warmer days, this may be the only layer required beneath your child’s outer ski jacket. In colder weather, they could wear up to two further layers. Namely…

Mid layers:
Two sets of mid layers will be ample for a one-week school ski trip. Simply put, a ski mid layer is the piece of clothing that goes between their thermal, sweat-wicking base layer and their waterproof ski jacket. It will keep your child warm, without weighing them down or preventing ease of movement.

A mid layer with a neck zip will help your child regulate their temperature by allowing in a bit of air as they heat up, or letting them zip up to their chin when they are standing around or on a chair lift.

Merino is the crème de la crème material for a mid layer but merino mid layers are expensive and need careful laundering. A synthetic, polyester mid-layer will be fine for school-age skiers. Keep man-made fibres out of landfill by purchasing second hand – and as ever, sell ski wear on afterwards.

ski clothing colourful cosy mid layers
Cosy mid layers: slip on under a ski jacket

Fleece:
A microfleece, thin puffer jacket or hoody plays a key role in your child’s ski wear layering system. They can slip it on as another heat-retaining layer beneath their ski jacket when temperatures are extremely low – and wear it around the hotel / hostel/ chalet when they get back from a day on the slopes. A padded gilet is another useful option to keep ski kids cosy.

Hands and feet…

Ski gloves:
Specialist ski gloves are essential. Longer, gauntlet style ski gloves that cover wrists are best as they keep out draughts. Integral elastic wrist leashes help prevent them from getting lost eg when you remove them to check your phone / piste map etc. A pair of thin glove liners is also recommended.

Mittens and fingered ski gloves are interchangeable, depending on personal preference. Mittens are generally warmer in lowest temperatures. Urge your child to put gloves to dry on a radiator at night so they will be cosy and comfy for the next day.

Ski socks:
Specialist ski socks are longer than normal socks with heat-retaining qualities and the right padding in the right places. Three pairs for a week-long school ski trip will be enough: one pair on, one pair in the drawer and a pair airing on the radiator. Or, more likely, screwed up on the floor. Oh well.

Snowboots:
A chunky pair of cosy, waterproof snowboots is an absolute must-have for your child’s school ski trip. They make for warm feet whether they are playing in the snow or tramping around resort, and help prevent tumbles on icy surfaces. Get your child to wear snowboots for the journey to cut down on luggage weight. Trainers really don’t work in ski resorts as outdoors wear.

Buff:
A buff is a thin, tubular neck scarf with multiple uses that will protect your child’s chin, neck, face, head and ears from the cold, including wind, snow and sleet. Much safer than a scarf (can’t get caught on anything or fly off) a buff is also easier to tuck into a pocket when not in use.

Must-have school ski trip accessories:

Goggles:
A pair of goggles is more protective than sunglasses, less easy to lose, warmer for the face on a cold day or when it is snowing. An adjustable strap means goggles can live on your child’s helmet even when not in use. Sunglasses are an optional extra.

ski goggles: a ski trip essential
Goggles: a ski trip packing list essential

Slippers/Crocs/Birkenstocks:
Outdoor footwear is banned in a lot of ski accommodation, so your child must take slip-ons to wear between boot room and chalet/hotel room. It’s good to give feet a break from restrictive ski boots, and without a robust pair of slippers that has a strong sole, your child’s socks will quickly get and stay soggy. Yuck.

Lip balm and high SPF sunscreen:
The sun can be incredibly strong on the slopes. A pocket-friendly tube of high-factor 30-50 SPF sun cream means your child will be able to top up on protection when they get back on the slopes after lunch. Make sure your child packs a couple of lip balms too, as they are easily lost.

A small daypack:
A light backpack where your child can stash a spare mid layer or fleece for days when the weather is variable, along with a water bottle, mobile phone and any other essentials, will be useful. Even if they don’t use it when skiing, it will be handy for après ski outings and activities.

Hat:
Not necessary for skiing, as your child will be wearing a helmet (provided as part of the ski hire package) while on the slopes, but a hat is essential for off-piste, in-resort activities. A woollen beanie or similar will do the trick.

Looking for kit for your child’s school ski trip? Visit the WhoSki.com shop for good condition, affordable, second hand ski wear.

Find out more:
What clothing is essential for a school ski trip
What to pack for a family ski trip

Header image: wavebreakmedia_micro on Freepik

Join us at Snow Show Week

‘Easy ways to ski green’ is the topic of two workshops WhoSki.com will be leading in the Snow Skills Cabin at this month’s National Snow Show Week events. Join us at the NEC Birmingham on Sunday October 15 at 12.30 and / or London ExCel on Sunday October 22 at 12.30.

We’ve got special guests including Sarisher Mann from SATI (Sustainable Alpine Tourism Initiative) who will be joining us after her Mountain Expedition raising awareness of climate change in the Alps this summer. Also on stage with us for National Snow Week 2023 will be sustainable travel expert Iain Martin from Ski Flight Free and Matt Sexton from Futerra, a leading international sustainable change agency. (Check our social media to see who’s joining us at which Snow Show event.)

We’ll be providing top tips on taking steps to help reduce your environmental impact on your winter sports holiday. Plus there’ll be the results of the WhoSki.com Ski Green survey (we’ve had some interesting responses…).

So please – join us at our National Snow Show Week workshops and find out what we’ve got to say about easy ways to ski green.

From how you dispose of your no longer needed second hand ski clothes, to how you travel: we look forward to hearing your ideas and views in our workshop sessions.

Ski wear from the Alps – with ZERO carbon footprint

Ski resort workers wear technical, branded ski clothing through the season – but what happens to it when the snow melts? This year, some of those ski clothes have been repaired, refreshed, refurbished and will be back in active usage – thanks to a zero carbon footprint collaboration between WhoSki.com and our Alpine eco-partner One Tree at a Time.

All logos have been obscured or removed, with the ski jackets, fleeces and tops – all little-used and good as new – washed and refurbished before making their way back to the UK from the Alps this summer with ZERO carbon footprint.

Aren’t they gorgeous? Bright, stylish, rescued and repaired. And now on sale at WhoSki.com.

a secondhand success story

A secondhand success story. But just a few months ago, they were end of season cast-offs from seasonal ski resort workers in the Alps.

You’ve probably never thought about what happens to the branded ski clothing used by saisonnaire staff when the snow melts. Barely used but no longer required, most corporate ski jackets, fleeces and mid-layers are probably headed for landfill or incineration.

It’s a story that our eco-partner One Tree at a Time is working tirelessly to re-tell. One Tree is a grassroots organisation based in the hamlet of Bozel in the French Alps, nestled between Courchevel and La Plagne. With their help, we are extending the life of these valuable textiles by enabling re-sale of their pre-loved and 100%-perfect ski clothing via our UK marketplace.

Like WhoSki.com, One Tree at a Time is among the sustainable outdoor activity organisations which belong to the Re-Action Collective, an international group of second handers, renters, repairers and individuals sharing ideas and resources to support and promote the messages of re-sale, re-purpose and re-use.

Here’s the story of how our range of One Tree at a Time refurbished eco ski wear made its way from the Alps to the WhoSki.com marketplace, where you can buy it now…

January 2023
In the Alps, One Tree starts sharing photos of the ex-ski company wear that is being donated for re-use. Good as new or unused items like ski jackets, fleeces, salopettes and woolly hats that are surplus to requirements and will never be used again.

February 2023
WhoSki.com co-founder Sally starts to wonder whether there is a sustainable way to extend the market for One Tree’s pre-loved and refurbished ski wear range to the UK. Selling it on via the WhoSki.com marketplace would help promote the re-use message, highlight the issue of winter sports sustainability and make top-quality ski clothing more affordable and accessible to a wider audience in the UK.

March 2023
Workers at One Tree are busy repairing and refreshing ski wear ready for re-sale. This entails removing all branding and logos, replacing travel company slogans with flashes of reclaimed fabric, making sure zips are in working order and that all items end up good as new.

One Tree workers repair and refresh the ski clothing
Image: Gwilym Thomas
One Tree seamstress in the Alps brings ski clothing back to life
Image: Gwilym Thomas

Manon, Justine and the rest of the talented One Tree at a Time repair team work at their sewing machines from home. A cottage industry of passionate, creative people working to provide circularity solutions. Their motivation? To keep textiles in active usage as long as possible.

The results are stunning: high quality, good as new ski and winter wear ready for re-use.

April 2023
Sally calls Gavin: “Any chance we can bring some of your ski gear to the UK? But we need to do it in as low-carbon a way as possible.” WhoSki.com and One Tree start working out how to transport the clothing back to the UK without generating emissions.

June 2023
Bingo! One of Gavin’s repairers will be driving back to the UK next month and has space in her car to bring over a batch of refurbished ski wear. It’s a journey that she will be taking anyway, so zero carbon footprint for our clothes.

July 2023
Justine arrives in Warrington with a couple of boxes of One Tree ski clothing. WhoSki.com co-founder Nicola’s sister lives nearby and is visiting the area anyway so agrees to collect the boxes and stash them at her home. So far: no extra miles.

Boxes of ski wear from the Alps - brought to the UK with zero carbon footprint
Boxes en route

August 2023
Arrival day! Nicola’s sister travels south for a family occasion, bringing with her the two boxes brimming with One Tree’s brightly coloured, expertly refurbished ski wear. It’s fabulous: unique, sustainable, perfect.
Next step: upload the pre-loved clothing – base layer fleeces, mid-layer puffers and ski jackets – to WhoSki.com ready for re-sale.

September 2023
Sustainable One Tree at a Time refurbished ski wear goes on sale at WhoSki.com. By buying one of these unique items of clothing, you are keeping an unrecyclable item in active usage, out of landfill and reducing its and your own carbon footprint. Ski wear from the Alps to the UK with zero carbon footprint: a circular economy success story.

If you live anywhere near SW London, visit the WhoSki.com stall in Wimbledon on Saturday September 16. We have a presence at the open-air Love Wimbledon Sustainable Market outside the Odeon in central SW19 – so you can get hands on with the refurbished clothing we are selling through our collaboration with One Tree. Please pop by for a chat and to find out more.

Are you a travel or sports business that would like to see end of season branded items refurbished and put to good use? Get in touch – we would love to help you normalise re-use for discarded winter sports wear. It’s good for sustainability and the environment, good for consumers, good for the industry and great for your corporate profile.

Check out the One Tree items for sale at WhoSki.com here.

“I spent £1k on kit – most will never get used”

How much does it cost to kit your kids out for an expedition? And what if that kit never gets used?

The 2023 World Scout Jamboree – oh dear! We feel so sorry for those Scouts who had worked so hard for so long to get to South Korea, only for a series of organisational and climactic mishaps to make it a trip to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Costly kit lists

Here at WhoSki.com we were also struck by the words of one parent, who told The Times, “You get a big kit list… I spent about £1,000 in Decathlon. Most of it will never get used.”

If you’ve ever signed up a child for a Duke of Edinburgh expedition, an adventure trip or a Scout or Guide camp, you’ll sympathise.

Kitting out your kids with the necessary equipment for every eventuality – rain, wind, heat, insects, snow – is essential. The official kit list is lengthy. The cost is high.

But much of that expedition gear, which ranges from waterproof jackets to mosquito nets, Camelbak hydration carriers to gaiters, walking trousers to rucksack liners, barely gets used. Let’s face it, some of it never comes out of the bag.

Unused kit: perfect for re-sale

A lot of equipment is used only briefly because your teenage kids grow out of it before their next adventure. Which makes it perfect for secondhand re-sale. And WhoSki.com is the perfect place to sell it on.

We have expanded our categories beyond ski to include a wider range of pre-loved outdoor clothing and kit.

So rather than stuffing that outdoor gear in the loft, why not sell it on via our secondhand marketplace? It’s your chance to recoup some of your initial outlay and help make someone else’s DofE expedition a bit more affordable and sustainable.

Image by Freepik

What happens to old wellies?

I’ve lost count of the number of welly boots my family has churned through over the years. Which set me wondering: what happens to old wellies once you don’t want or need them any more?

We’ve all owned a pair of wellies. My current Hunter wellies have been going strong for about 15 years – and my daughter has inherited their predecessors.

Meanwhile, a cheapo Decathlon pair are doing sterling service as my rowing wellies, and shorty Joules wellies keep my feet dry while gardening.

Wellies are hard to recycle

Even when your wellies are made from certified eco-sourced rubber, mixing rubber with other materials during manufacture unfortunately makes them difficult to recycle when discarded.

It’s even worse for old wellies made from materials like PVC. Recycling of synthetics is still in its early days; they take hundreds of years to decompose in landfill and emit toxins when incinerated.

So choose carefully when you buy. Purchase pre-loved if you can, and never put old wellies in the bin: waste dumps are among the worst places they can end up. If there’s any life in them – no leaks, intact tread – try selling them via WhoSki.com or donate to a worthy cause.

Are your old wellies fit for re-sale?

If you are selling on or donating your unwanted old wellies, check that they are in good condition without cracks or damage that might leak. Make sure the soles are still in good shape, with tread robust enough to prevent slipping in mud or on wet surfaces.

Check welly tread is fit for purpose

When taking pics of your wellies for listing on WhoSki.com, photograph these details. If they are patterned, make sure the image is clear with no background clutter, to help bring your listing to life.

Eco-rubber boots

Remember: rubber comes from plants. Choosing wellies with FSC (Forest Stewardship Certification) means you can be certain the rubber comes from a sustainable source.

Wellington boot manufacturers which use FSC-certified natural rubber include Hunter Boots (which, sadly, went into administration earlier this year) and Lakeland.

Welly recycling options

If your wellies are too clapped-out to sell on, then check out local recycling point options. Try the recycle now site.

The French brand Aigle is a spendy option – warning, expensive! – but their boots are among the most sustainable you can buy and are guaranteed to last. Find out more.

Buy well to avoid welly waste

Keeping old wellies in active usage as long as they are fit for purpose is always the ‘greenest’ option. Recycling takes energy, and incineration produces toxic pollutants.

To reduce your environmental impact, consider investing in high-quality wellies that are made from sustainable materials and designed to last for many years. For kids, make sure their wellies are kept in active usage for as long as possible before they need to be thrown away. Sell them on via WhoSki.com or swap with friends and family to avoid buying new where possible.

Get creative with your old wellies

Once your wellies are really no longer wearable, perhaps you could repurpose them? Cut them down to use as shortie wellies, or transform them into planters.

Some schools and community groups use old wellies to plant up herbs and flowers, creating a fun and colourful display. It’s a good way for the kids to learn a bit about gardening as well as the impact of their wellies on the environment.

Got wellies you want to sell on? Visit the footwear section of the WhoSki.com marketplace to list your old wellies. Remember, we donate to charity on every sale.

Green up your watersports habit

Outdoors, on the water, in the fresh air – we love marine activities. Simple steps will help you keep on the right side of the environment, to green up your watersports habit this summer.

CHOOSE BIO-FRIENDLY SUN SCREEN

It was established in the early 2000s that the chemicals in some sun screens are harmful to coral reefs. Further research indicates that protective sun creams can also damage other marine organisms including wildlife.

Oxybenzone and octinoxate are among the culprits, and sunscreen containing these chemicals is banned in certain sensitive marine environments and resorts. Check the ingredients in your sun cream: choose marine-friendly and biodegradable formulations.

Fresh water in lakes and rivers also suffer pollution by sunscreen, scientists now believe. Harmful side effects include the water surface ‘sun cream slick’ that can prevent aquatic insects from laying eggs, thus depriving other river and lake dwellers of food supply.

Chemicals in sunscreen can harm fish, mussels and algae too. Research continues, but in the meantime, opt for eco sun protection when you swim, surf, paddleboard – whatever your watersports habit.

LEAVE NO TRACE

Most of us are aware of the need to leave only footprints – but how about going one better, and heading home from the beach / riverbank / lakeside with MORE than you brought by doing a quick litter pick every trip?

Take a 10-minute walk up and down the waterside between paddleboard outings and gather whatever bits of rubbish or general manmade debris you find. Stick them in a bag and put them in the bin / recycling when you get home.

Look out for local clean-up initiatives while you are water-side and do your bit. Plastic Free North Devon, for example, runs a series of green action days to deal with the rubbish that is clogging our shores.

Surfers Against Sewage provides advice on organising a beach clean as well as listings for local beach clean up activities.

PASS IT ON

Look for secondhand watersports equipment before you buy new – and sell on any pre-loved outdoor activity items you no longer need.

For example, watersports kit like boogie or body boards, essentially a sheet of polystyrene wrapped in a thin layer of nylon decorated with a cartoon character or similar, are cheap to buy but an eco nightmare. Surfer Today calls them ‘a silent environmental disaster’.

Rather than buying a cheap single use board, bucket or spade for the kids that won’t even last the weekend, invest in quality equipment that you can use repeatedly, then pass it on to another family member or sell on via WhoSki.com.

Reducing consumption is key to reducing your carbon footprint, reducing air miles and preserving valuable resources.

RENT BEFORE YOU BUY

Not sure whether paddleboarding is really for you? Think you’ll only go surfing once a year? Maybe you don’t need to clutter up your shed / loft / garage with a large piece of watersports or outdoor activity equipment you’ll barely use.

However cheap it is to buy, it is much less costly to the environment to hire or rent your watersports gear where possible. Stuff like wetsuits, kayaks and canoes requires a lot in the way of (often unrecyclable) raw materials to create, and most are used very little.

Green up your watersports habit. Try hiring on the spot from local providers and check their eco credentials. Or take a look at our circular economy friends KitUp who are building a UK-wide network of outdoors equipment owners willing to rent out their equipment on demand.

Why new neoprene is a no-no: what happens to our unwanted wetsuits

3 ways to beat the weeds

A weed is of course just a plant in the wrong place. And when that ‘wrong place’ is stinging your legs while you’re on the trails, weeds are a pest. So how to stop the stings and beat the weeds next time you’re out biking, hiking or walking?

Our three tips on ways to beat the weeds:

1 LEGS UP!

Ouch! Cyclists, mountain bikers and trail bike commuters know. When weeds are right on your leg and ankle level, brambles and stinging nettles can be mighty uncomfortable. The solution? Sit down – legs up: freewheel through the worst and hope for the best.

2 ZIP-OFF TROUSERS

Convertible zip-off trousers may just be the spring hiker’s best friend. Legs on while you are thigh deep in skin-irritating weeds and nettles, then zip them off for comfort once you’re clear of the undergrowth.

Zip-offs have numerous benefits, and are perfect for DofE expeditions as they are so versatile.

Visit the WhoSki.com shop to buy and sell secondhand walking trousers in all styles.

3 LONG SOCKS

Warm enough to wear shorts at last? Walkers know, this wet spring has been boom-time for weeds with cow parsley growing higher than your head and super-strong nettles just waiting to do their worst. How can you beat the weeds when you’re staying cool in cut-offs?

Cover up is your best option. If you can’t face long trousers as above, opt for long socks and roll them down when you’re out of the weeds and into the meadows.

Long socks will also help prevent ticks jumping aboard if you’re in an area where infestations have been reported, or livestock have been grazing.

PS Don’t get us wrong: we LOVE weeds at WhoSki.com. In fact, we would say they probably aren’t weeds at all. Wild flowers and plants are essential for the bugs and birds that make the great outdoors even greater.

We are just not such a fan when weeds are causing us aggro on the trails (says WhoSki.com co-founder Nicola, who slipped on a muddy hike recently and landed in a patch of super-strong stinging nettles. Skin was still a-tingle THREE DAYS later. Ouch.)