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Nordic Skiing Is the Best Beginner-Friendly Winter Sport

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Cross-country skiing is one of the most accessible ways to slide around on snow. It’s significantly cheaper than alpine skiing—both the gear itself and the day passes to nordic ski areas, which typically cost under $40. Plus, you can do it anywhere it snows, from groomed trails to flat hiking trails, fire roads, golf courses, or your local park. But figuring out what gear to use can prove challenging: there are many different kinds of skis, poles, and boots, not to mention a host of sport-specific apparel. Here, senior gear editor Ariella Gintzler walks you through her kit and explains what you should and shouldn’t spend money on.