Words: Heather Hansman
(Editor’s note: Junk in the Truck is our new gear section. This is the stuff we actually use, love, and stand by.)
Spring means late freezes and meltwater running under the snowpack. It means that by the end of the day, everything will be soggy: the tails of your pants, your back after slush trickles in when you blow landings, your palms.
It shouldn’t be the season for $12 work gloves, but it is.
My gloves have my name scratched into the wrists in purple pen and a set of handlebars Sharpied inside the index finger, so I can participate in Mustache March. I shrunk them when I tried to re-waterproof them in my oven, so the cuffs curl up and when they get wet they smell like burned hair. They are the best gloves.
When I was a ski patroller we mass ordered them, because people who mess with boundary ropes and blasting caps every day rarely wear anything else, but the best place to get them is a hardware store. Smaller, rural ones are more likely to have them. Your chain Ace probably doesn’t.
I wouldn’t call them warm and they’re definitely not waterproof, or seam sealed, or any of those things that actual glove companies tout, but they’re breathable, light, and basically indestructible. Although that doesn’t really matter, because you can go out and get another pair for less than the price of an on-hill hamburger.
And, most importantly, unless you have perpetually moist palms—which sounds like a personal problem—your hands will never get too hot. I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of redneck science/magic hybrid.
You don’t need the fancied-up version that ski brands make. Coat a pair of Kinco gloves in Sno Seal, throw them in the dryer for a couple of minutes, and wear them for the rest of your life. They’ll be just fine in the winter (plus or minus a pair of handwarmers), but they’ll really sparkle this time of year, when you’re skinning uphill in a t-shirt or snowlerblading mashed potatoes at Mammoth.