Your Winter Tool-Kit

It’s shaping up to be a frigid, snow-packed season. To help you survive (and heck, maybe even enjoy) Philly’s wintry weather, we’ve put together a boots-to-mittens list of everything you need to scrape, shovel, sled and ski the cold stuff (including a no-fail way to win any snowball fight).




1. Your secret winter­ weapon: This thoroughly­ modern contraption lets you fire a snowball up to 60 feet, so you can save your arm (and your dignity). When it comes to building snowmen, though, you’re on your own. Crossbow Snow Launcher, $39.99 at Sharper Image.

2. The classic wood runner gets a high-tech upgrade with a lightweight nylon mesh seat, a metal alloy frame, and two pivoting skis for expert maneuverability. Wham-o Snow Boogie­ Fantom­ X sled, $99.95 at Buckman’s Ski Shop, multiple­ locations.

3. Waterproof Gore-tex lining and water-resistant­ leather make these the ultimate winter boots. They’re lighter than their rubber counterparts, and their exterior absorbs 60 percent less moisture than other leathers. Dubarry Galway boots, $479 at Trove General, 19 Paoli Shopping Center, Paoli, 484-320-8626.

4. This watch has a digital thermometer, a compass, a barometer with a storm alarm and weather trend indicator, and an altimeter (to track vertical feet and pressure). Don’t hit the slopes without it. Suunto Core All Black watch, $299 at Out There Outfitters,­ 123 North Wayne Avenue,­ Wayne, 610-688-6383.

5. One of the best examples of form and function we’ve seen: a cozy down-filled mitt with an attached ice scraper for early-morning windshield clearing. Plus, elastic banding at the wrist keeps snow out so hands stay dry. Down ice scraper mitt, $19.95 at Eddie Bauer, multiple­ locations.

6.  It takes a team 13 hours to make just one pair of these Gore-tex gloves. We love how they manage to be completely waterproof and insulated without hindering dexterity. Arc’teryx Alpha SV gloves in Blue Ray, $275 at Out There Outfitters,­ 123 North Wayne Avenue,­ Wayne, 610-688-6383.

7. This ergonomically designed 26-inch-wide shovel is a whopping 50 percent lighter than traditional sleigh models. The high-density plastic is super-durable­, and the two lower handles and footstep offer more leverage. Ames True Temper Snoboss shovel, $34.98 at Lowe’s, multiple locations.