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What to Pack For a Ski Trip

What to Pack For a Ski Trip

by Matt McKenney | November 22, 2019

Packing for a ski trip can be immensely stressful especially if you are new to skiing or snowboarding. In order to help you remember everything you need check off the items below. A full ski trip packing checklist is available at the bottom of this post.

Your Ski/Snowboarding Gear

When going on a ski trip, the first thing you have to remember is your gear! For skiers, you will need your skis, ski poles, and ski boots. Snowboarders have to remember their board and boots.

Helmet

More and more skiers and snowboarders are (wisely) wearing helmets and many ski resorts even make a helmet mandatory in order to get on the slopes. The best ski helmets have removable insulation which is designed to keep your head warm as you ski. Some even have vents which you can open or close to get more ventilation as you ski.

Base Layers

As the name implies, base layers are designed to be the clothing closest to your skin. A typical base layer includes a t-shirt or long sleeved shirt, thermal underwear, and leggings. If you're looking through your closet for ideal clothes to wear as your base layer, look for clothing made out of merino wool. This material will keep you warm while also wicking away sweat. Depending on the length of your trip, you may want to pack a few sets of base layers.

Mid Layer Clothes

Your mid layer clothing should be tailored to the weather conditions you are expecting and your ski jacket. If your ski jacket is just a shell, meaning it is waterproof but has minimal insulation, then you should bring more clothes to use as a mid-layer. Common mid layer items include sweatshirts, hoodies, or lightweight jackets. If your ski jacket has insulation built into it, you may still want to pack some hoodies or sweatshirts. These clothes are great to add on or take off during changing weather conditions.

Ski Socks

Always make sure you have multiple pairs of ski socks for your trip. Great ski socks help keep your feet warm and keep your feet comfortable in your ski or snowboard boots.

Ski Jacket

One of the most important items is a high-quality ski jacket. Ski jackets are waterproof and help keep you protected from the elements. The best ski jackets have two layers: the external layer or shell is waterproof and protects you from the elements, and the internal layer will help keep you warm. 

Ski Pants

The second most essential clothing item to pack for a ski trip is your ski pants. Ski pants go over top of your base layer. They are designed to be waterproof and help keep your lower body warm. For a ski trip, you normally only need 1 pair of ski pants.

Mittens/Gloves

You have to remember to protect your hands while you're out on the slopes. Some of the debate for gloves vs. mittens comes down to personal preference, but the best options for warmth is a pair of mittens. While they may seem limiting, mittens keep your hands much warmer than traditional gloves do because they keep your fingers together. 

Whatever you choose to take, make sure that they are waterproof. Your gloves will get wet when you fall so make sure they are waterproof. If you expect extremely cold conditions, pack a pair of glove liners as well. Glove liners are a lightweight glove that is designed to go inside of your gloves or mittens.

Ski Goggles

Depending on where you're going for your ski trip, you can decide whether to bring a pair of ski goggles or not. Ski goggles are great for keeping the wind out of your eyes and are a necessity if the ski resort is blowing snow. If you expect it to be especially snowy or cold outside, plan on bringing or renting a pair of ski goggles.

Neck Warmer

This is a commonly forgotten piece of equipment when packing for ski trips and it is quickly missed. While skiing or snowboarding, your neck is completely exposed between the top of your ski jacket, your goggles, and your helmet. On warmer days, this may be ok but during mid-winter you will want to make sure you have every inch of skin covered up. Neck warmers help keep your entire face warm.

Beanie/Ear Warmer

While your ski helmet should have insulation in it, you should always bring along an extra 1 or 2 beanies or ear warmers. In many cases, you can wear your beanie underneath your helmet keeping your head and ears warmer.

Miscellaneous

There are a couple of extra things you may want to consider packing for your ski trip if you have the space. Hand warmers are typically very small and lightweight and are invaluable if you're out on the slopes for a long day. Chapstick is also very helpful. While you're out skiing, your lips will be constantly exposed to the wind, and the sun reflecting off of the snow, often resulting in chapped lips. 

You may also want to bring some sunscreen for any exposed skin. If you’re at a higher elevation, you’ll be prone to a sunburn (yes, even in the winter!), especially if the sun is out and thus reflecting off of the snow. 

Additionally, a small goggle wiping fluid bottle can be a good thing to have. Your ski goggles will get dirtier as the day progresses so using some cleaning solution can keep you out on the slopes longer. If you don't want to carry a backpack, all of these items are small enough that they should be able to fit inside of a ski jacket or in the pockets of your ski pants.

Ski Trip Packing Checklist

Take a look at this while you're packing for your next ski trip to make sure you're not missing anything important!

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