Yoga Pant Hacks for Backcountry Skiers


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 8, 2014      

Well, it’s become apparent that my location in the Northwest U.S. will only ever have rain in the forecast for the rest of eternity. With minimal backcountry skiing to be done, idle minds turn to gear mods. My standard projects have been exhausted (how many threads can you cut out of a backpack?), so I’ve turned to the weird and wonderful. Namely: how many things can I make out of some old yoga pants?

Beef cut chart, or shoulder-season boredom? I outlined where you can get that tasty yoga pant fabric in this little chart.

Beef cut chart, or shoulder-season boredom? I outlined where you can get that tasty yoga pant fabric in this little chart.

It all began back when I was a wee kid embarking on my first backpacking trip. Lacking a pair of scree gaiters, Dad showed me how to quickly craft some from an old pair of “lycra” tights (now known by the ever more hip name “yoga pants”).

Besides being cheap or free, the invention had a number of advantages over conventional gaiters. They were a fraction of the weight, for one, and did an excellent job of keeping pant legs out of the way of stray crampon spikes. As for style, the colorful spats didn’t quite look as good as the yoga pants they had been made from, however the tight-leg and baggy rain pant combo had a certain charm hailing back to the golden age of mountaineering. If you make some, be careful, you might find yourself yelling “tally ho!” and using a hemp glacier cord. They also were about 100% more breathable than normal gaiters, at the cost of any significant water resistance.

What started it all: The yoga pant euro-gaiter.

What started it all: The yoga pant euro-gaiter.

Over the years I’ve used these hacker gaiters on numerous trips, and they’ve worked surprisingly well. Most recently, I stopped at good-will and picked up a $3 pair of stretch pants that I fashioned into some much-needed spats on the way to the trailhead.

The procedure is simple:

1. Cut off the bottom portion of each leg of the yoga pant. Length is at your discretion; I usually have them about 16 inches long, ensuring no possibility of snow creeping in through the top of the gaiter.
2. Flip them over, and cut two small holes on either side of the leg, about an inch up from the edge that you cut them off at.
3. Tie a cord through one hole on each gaiter, this will be used as the under-foot cord common on gaiters.
4. (optional). Bend a small piece of wire into a hook shape, and push it through the front of the gaiter, to form a hook to hook onto your shoe laces. I have used the gaiters many times without this, and they seem to work fine, but it could help keep snow out in post-holing situations.

After my improvised gaiters this summer, I got to thinking, what else can I make out of yoga pants? The $3 price at the local thrift store helped this train of thought significantly. Here’s what I came up with:

Goggle and sunglasses cases are a no-brainer. Two minutes with a scissors and you've saved your expensive gear from getting scratched. Obvious maybe, but still useful.

Goggle and sunglasses cases are a no-brainer. Two minutes with a scissors and you’ve saved your expensive gear from getting scratched. Obvious maybe, but still useful.

Cut off the entire bottom portion of the each leg, and you got some nifty stretchy climbing skin savers. Easier to use than a skin bag, especially if you have skins that are difficult to pull apart at the top of the run.

Cut off the entire bottom portion of the each leg, and you got some nifty stretchy skin savers. Easier to use than a climbing skin bag, especially if you have skins that are difficult to pull apart at the top of the run. Yes, you can get a commercial version of this, but these are lighter.

Tested. Yep, they work.

Tested. Yep, they work.

Ok, now we're getting a little weird. Stretch some over your ski boot liners, and you've got ultra-light hut booties. OMG! is right.

Ok, now we’re getting a little weird. Stretch some over your ski boot liners, and you’ve got ultra-light hut booties. OMG! is right.

(simulation) Hut life with the OMG! Kitty© boot covers.

(simulation) Hut life with the OMG! Kitty© boot liner covers.



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Comments

11 Responses to “Yoga Pant Hacks for Backcountry Skiers”

  1. Phil December 8th, 2014 9:02 am

    Use the top part of your Goodwill yoga pants for a neck gaiter? Edgy I know but you asked.

  2. Russ Cooper December 8th, 2014 2:53 pm

    Wild Snow cummerbund for formal ski events.

  3. Mike December 8th, 2014 5:23 pm

    You could easily make a tube top for your girlfriend. Xmas shopping done! You are welcome.

  4. ben December 9th, 2014 12:10 am

    Headband. ‘Cos 80’s hair metal is coming back ( even if the hair is long since gone ). Conceivably to keep the melon warm on the uptrack as well.

  5. Lou Dawson 2 December 9th, 2014 6:59 am

    Louie definitely forgot the Euro headband. I think he did that intentionally.

  6. Rachel Bellamy December 9th, 2014 12:54 pm

    HAHAHAHA Louie nice work. If you have anymore of the OMG kitty fabric left, I could use a new neck buff. hahah

  7. Louie III December 9th, 2014 9:05 pm

    Wow the OMG kitty fabric seems to be in high demand. New business opportunity?

  8. Lisa Dawson December 10th, 2014 3:18 pm

    Rachel,
    I have a pair of OMG POW Kitty tights reserved just for you! We want to see you stylin that neck gaiter.

  9. Jason Speer December 11th, 2014 4:21 pm

    Phil-
    I don’t think I’d want Goodwill yoga pants anywhere near my face…

    Louie-
    I’ve made similar skin sacks out of “party nylon”. I might have to adopt your yoga pants idea because some stretch would make things just a little easier.

  10. Nick Thomas January 17th, 2015 7:38 pm

    Just tried my new skin bags made from yoga pants for the first time. Worked great.

  11. Lou Dawson 2 January 17th, 2015 10:48 pm

    Nice!

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