The Best Bet
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, a snowy start to the New Year is probably not in the cards. But sledding enthusiasts should prepare nonetheless (January and February are typically the snowiest months in the city). Snow tubes have replaced the plastic saucer as the preferred sledding vehicle for city dwellers—it’s zippy downhill, cushioned to prevent bone-rattling bumps, easy to repair (or cheap to replace), deflates for easy closet storage, and comes in a range of colors. Unlike traditional sleds with rails, tubes can slip over patchy snow coverage—a common city sledding condition—without getting stuck (36-inch round snow tube, $15.95 at Princeton Ski Shops, 21 E. 22nd St., nr. Broadway; 212-228-4400).
They’re waterproof, with no-slip leather palms to keep sleds in your grasp ($130 at Patagonia, 426 Columbus Ave., at 81st St.; 917-441-0011).
Don’t Get Soaked
Insulated snowpants with taped seams and double cuffs keep snow out and warmth in (Spyder Shock pants, $200 at Paragon, 867 Broadway, at 17th St.; 212-255-8036).
What Pros Ride
The Hammerhead sled by Cherrymax has an ultralight aluminum frame and meets the braking and controlling requirements of many ski areas ($289 at Eastern Mountain Sports, 591 Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-966-8730).
A Clear View
Anon’s Majestic goggles have a built-in ventilation system for viewing without fogging up ($100 at Burton Snowboard, 106 Spring St., at Mercer St.; 212-966-8068).
Gourmet Garage stocks beef, turkey, tuna, and salmon jerky, in resealable bags ($5.99; Gourmet Garage, 453 Broome St., nr. Mercer St.; 212-941-5850).
A 64-ounce thermos will hold plenty of hot chocolate for chilly sledders ($34.98 at Zabar’s, 2245 Broadway, at 80th St.; 212-787-2000).
A Soundtrack for Speed
Create a sledding playlist and blast it from the iSplash Waterproof boom box ($149.95 at the Sharper Image, 900 Madison Ave., nr. 72nd St.; 212-794-4974).
Extreme Home-Video Making
This rugged digital recorder has a head-mounted camera (Samsung Sports camcorder, $479.99 at Circuit City, 232 E. 86th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-734-1694).
If you. . .
Need More Snow
Go to Canada. Air Canada has up to ten nonstop flights daily to Montreal from $103 one way (888-247-2262).
Are Getting Frostbite
Hand warmers will keep you toasty for seven hours, wherever you stash them ($4.50 at Eastern Mountain Sports, 591 Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-966-8730).
Have Chapped Lips
Dermatone’s sunscreen and moisturizer has been used by Everest climbers for years ($3.99 at Scandinavian Ski Shop, 16 E. 55th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-757-8524).
Where to Go
The Best Slope
Manhattan’s greatest slope is in Central Park at Pilgrim Hill. Enter the park at 72nd Street on the East Side. Runner up: Cedar Hill, also in Central Park, between 76th and 79th Streets.
In Case of a Crash
Lenox Hill Hospital is the closest ER to Central Park’s Pilgrim Hill (100 E. 77th St., at Park Ave.).