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Glide into bliss

Nordic skiers should wear lightweight synthetic layers that allow for freedom of motion. Wear undergarments that wick moisture away from your body, an insulating layer, and a wind-resistant layer. Don't forget a hat, gloves, and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the snow.

Boots and bindings. These items should be bought together, since they must be compatible. Opt for a plastic boot cuff for extra support. Salomon Escape F-9 boots, $135; Salomon Profil Auto bindings, $40.

Skis. Choose midlength skis for easier turning and stopping; get ones with a waxless bottom so you won't have to wax them every time the temperature changes. Rossignol Evo Tour AR skis, $159.

Poles. Any lightweight, stiff, properly fitted nordic pole set will do. Swix ET031 Tour Pole, $30.