Nine years of skiing at least once a year means I’ve got my ski packing list down to a fine art. It can be a challenge knowing what to pack for a ski trip but it’s crucial you get it right. The last thing you’ll want to be thinking about when ripping through the powder is numb fingers or worrying about getting a sunburned nose. Not a good look. To get the most from any ski tip you’ll need to have the right ski equipment and gear to be protected from the elements and any tumbles you might take. Whether it’s spring skiing in the sunshine or winter white-outs here are my top tips for what to pack for a ski trip. And as I like you, I’m including a free downloadable ski trip packing list.
Ski Trip Packing List: Ski and Snowboard Equipment
What you take in terms of ski equipment will depend on the way you’re travelling. If you’re flying, the additional luggage costs may mean you won’t want to take your own equipment. It could be cheaper to hire your skis or snowboard when you reach the ski resort. It’s worth checking the hire shops on the internet for deals before you leave. You may even find some discount vouchers.
We travel to Avoriaz in the French Alps by car on our annual ski trip and there’s plenty of room to pack all our ski gear. We’ve got a lockable ski rack so skis go on the roof. If I’m flying out then I’ll just take my Head boots. After a really painful experience with hired boots I always take my Heads which are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn.
- Ski Poles
- Snowboard and bindings
- Ski or Snowboard Boots
- Ski or Board Bag
Let’s start at the bottom – literally! Pants, well thermal leggings and long-sleeved thermal vest base layers. Scientifically designed synthetic fabrics cling to the body and keep you warm, retain heat and wick moisture away from the skin. Wool makes for a good base-layer too. Having a good insulated base-layer is crucial for keeping warm in the cold. Make sure the tops are a good length so you can tuck them in. A high neck with half-zip will keep you extra toasty. Pack one for every 2 days.
Thick, warm thermal ski socks (four pairs) – I prefer them long, up to the knee, without seams otherwise they’ll rub in tight ski-boots.
Micro fleeces make great mid-layers and I take two thin and two thicker fleeces. I like fleeces which have a high neck and half-zip with sleeves which tuck over the wrists with a thumb-hole. It’s good not to have any gaps where the cold can creep in.
Snowboard or a ski jacket with hood. (I’ll be skiing) The hood on my jacket can zip right the way up to my nose – useful when it’s snowing hard as it protects my face. There are also loads of pockets (phone, money, tissues) and a lift-pass pocket in the arm which makes for easy scanning when going through the ski-lift gates. Ski pants or board pants – I’ll be taking two pairs one black, one pink! Can you see a theme yet?
Gloves – 3 pairs. A pair of glove liners, and pair of ski gloves and an old pair of gloves that will be left in the car in case I get to the mountain and find I’ve forgotten my gloves. This happened once and I had to buy more – proved costly! I’ll also be taking a snug fleece hat that covers my ears and a neck warmer. Goggles – absolutely essential when it’s snowing. Sunglasses are essential because the sun is really intense when it reflects off the snow.
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I have ski-boots, skis and poles now – I used to hire (had one horrendous day on the slopes with ski-boots half a size too small and as a result three even more horrendous days not being able to walk properly) ski boots were acquired the following Christmas. Boots, skis and poles are all packed!
Grippy, waterproof snow boots for wearing to and from the slopes and in the evenings. Great with jeans and a sloppy jumper for après-ski. Thermal leggings can be worn under jeans for extra warmth and a few jumpers and tops should see me through the evenings – again layering is key. I’ll be taking Insulated Waterproof Snow Bootswhich keep my feet dry and warm.
I’ve wear a Salomon ski helmet which has cosy ear pads to keep my ears warm – if it’s really cold I’ll wear an ear-warmer underneath as well. Salomon Icon C. Air 2015 Womens Ski and Snowboard Helmet In Black.
That’s it as far as clothing goes but there are other ski essentials that shouldn’t be forgotten. Sunscreen – UV radiation is stronger in alpine areas and when it’s reflected by the snow it’s even more severe. I take a factor 50 sunscreen and a protective lip balm.
I’ll take a mini-rucksack for sunscreen, Snickers bar, tissues and camera. My ‘Little Hotties’ hand warmers will also go in the rucksack just in case. The mobile phone is definitely coming – useful for GPS and contacting the rest of our ski group and this year I’ve got a new app; Ski Track which shows where you’ve skied while tracking distance, speed, altitude and duration – all running on minimal battery life. We’ll see…
Apart from the usual holiday essentials; travel documents, toiletries, chargers etc I think that’s it.
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Suzanne Jones is creator, writer and photographer at The Travelbunny. When she’s not indulging her wanderlust you’ll most likely find her enjoying coastal walks in her home county of East Sussex, UK.
Suzanne co-writes Sussex Bloggers which showcases the best of East & West Sussex.