Getting the Kids Outside this Winter

  • 5 min read

Written by Rachel Bertsch

Rachel has been taking her Burley D’Lite X all over the world as she cycled with her two kids from Spain to Italy, across Taiwan, and along the Gulf of Thailand recently. Her family splits their time living in Yukon, Canada, and on a sailboat along the BC Coast, where they plan to pedal, paddle, or ski as much as possible. Follow along in real-time at @meandertheworld.

Imagine this: it’s a cold winter day, there's snow on the ground, you want to get outside, and you have a child.

There is no stronger desire for a parent with young kids than that of trying to get outdoors. In the summer, it can often feel like the possibilities for outdoor play are endless. Yet in the winter, many parents feel like options are a little more limited, which is not the case. If you have a Burley Multisport Trailer, add a Ski Kit to open a world of outdoor fun all winter long.

The Burley Ski Kit conversion allows parents to take their young kids out into snowy landscapes while being protected from the elements in the weather-resistant Burley kid bike trailer.

Family with Burley Ski Kit

The Basics

More often than not, the ski kit is used to go cross-country skiing (but see further in the post for other ways to use it). Even as an absolute beginner, cross-country skiing with kids in tow is achievable.

First, choose an area with flat terrain, either at a tracked Nordic ski area or on a snow-covered road or path. Make sure you go on days when it is below freezing (rather than in slushy snow) so that the skis slide easily. Then dress the kids in appropriate winter wear by following the three-layer rule: wool or synthetic base, fleece mid-layer, and waterproof insulated outerwear, along with hats, gloves, and boots. For extra cold days, we add a hot water bottle and a blanket into the Burley trailer and keep the rain fly down to keep in as much warmth as possible.

As an adult pulling the trailer, it's important to dress for the occasion as well. Layers are best, as you might get warm from the exercise of towing the trailer. The harness that attaches to the adult on the Burley Ski Kit is adjustable and allows for quick adjustment between layers. I would also highly suggest poles for the skier which can increase speed and power, particularly if there is any incline. If you've never used poles, watch an online tutorial, and note they should never be used to slow down a skier.

Folded down, the Burley trailer with the ski kit should fit into the trunk of most cars, which makes it really accessible to choose trails that suit your family.

When Should you Start Cross-Country Skiing as a Family?

Unlike when you use the cycling attachment with trailers, there is more to consider when you want to start taking kids cross-country skiing with a trailer. First, babies can't regulate heat until they are around one year old. This means that you’ll have to pay extra attention and take many breaks to ensure your baby is not overheating or getting too cold. Keep in mind that while you might be hot from the exercise, your baby will not be exerting themselves at all.

Between one and two years old is a wonderful age to cross-country ski with kids, but you may need to take extra breaks to allow your child to stretch. We usually pack the cargo space of the trailer with a foam pad or extra picnic-style blanket to take breaks in the along with lots of snacks.

After two years old, we found this to be a good time to encourage them to start skiing as well, even if for a few feet at a time. Strap-on skis easily fit into the cargo hold, and the trailer’s handlebars act as a great balance bar for kids just learning to stand up on skis. Our daughter usually starts off her skiing by holding onto the handlebars for balance and then will ski independently for a short distance. When she is tired, or ready to be done, she hops back in the trailer to rest or escape the elements. This method has proved useful all the way to age five so far.

Not Just for Skiing

We use the Ski Kit on our Burley trailer often for winter walks as well. Particularly on flat terrain like frozen lakes with snow dusting on top or closed roads and bike paths. The Ski Kit can also be used with the bike attachment to allow for a smooth fat biking experience.

Family with Burley Ski Kit 2

For us, the trailer with ski conversion was the most effective way to know our kids were staying warm while transporting them around outside on a human-powered adventure. Wind and weather are never concerns for us, but making sure the ground is level and not too much powder is always an important consideration. We love having the cargo space, and therefore the ability to pack snacks, a full change of winter clothes for longer trips, diapers, a foam pad, water, and first aid kits/maps/toys. Cross-country skiing with the Burley trailer has created so many fun memories so far, and many more to come.


What safety precautions should be considered when using the Burley Ski Kit with children?

When using the Burley Ski Kit with children, it's crucial to ensure their safety by having them wear helmets, securely attaching the Ski Kit, increasing visibility with reflective materials, dressing them appropriately for the cold, choosing safe terrain, and being prepared for emergencies. Always use and properly secure the trailer's shoulder harness and lap belts. Child passengers must be, at a minimum, 6 months old.

What are the maximum weight and size capacities for the trailer when using the Ski Kit?

The Ski Kit's capacity supports 75-100 pounds, accommodating one or two children, depending on the trailer model. Weight should not exceed the capacity limits of your trailer model. Only tow a load you are comfortable pulling; this may be less than the maximum weights.

How should the Burley Ski Kit be maintained and stored to ensure it lasts a long time?

To maintain the Ski Kit, it should be cleaned of debris and salt after use, dried thoroughly, stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, regularly inspected for wear or damage. Skis should be waxed as needed. These practices will enhance safety, ensure the Ski Kit's longevity, and make outdoor adventures enjoyable for many seasons. Consult the Product Manual for more information.