One of the greatest extreme sports out there is skiing. It’s a highly scalable activity that ranges from straight-up competitive sport to strolls down a gorgeous landscape. It’s as intense as you want it to be, and that kind of variable enjoyment is why people flock to it. But there’s one downside to skiing that everybody knows about, but nobody talks about: the gear is annoying. Yes, the gear makes the experience. There is no skiing without 20kg of metal and fiberglass on top of massive jackets you’ve to lug around from point A to point B just to go down the slopes. It’s something we all accept. But it doesn’t have to be such a hassle.
There are ways to keep things nice, compact, tight, and easily luggable. If you spend an inordinate amount of time packing up all your ski gear, this article is for you. Here’s how to make packing for a ski trip easy and hassle-free just by carrying these essential items.
The first thing you need to know is what you need to pack. For a lot of people—especially the guys out there, that’s always an easy, albeit unorganized thing. We throw things in a bag, estimate the weight, and make sure the boots and jacket are there. We pack it like we’re stuffing a turkey and move on with our day. The problem with that technique is that we end up losing a lot of stuff along the way. You know the person: always wondering where their charger, their keys, or their sunglasses are. They’re the ones who pack luggage with complete and total disregard for the nice pockets. The primary antidote to this wild style of packing is a dedicated bag for skiing.
If you get a special bag for it, you’re bound to stick to the pockets and the intended use. The perfect ski bag has everything that’s immediately necessary upfront. That is, they’re the easiest to access. Things that are less important on the slopes can be put elsewhere. On top of that, if you have a ski bag with wheels, you don’t have to carry around those awkward rods to the check-in counter. What if somebody might call your name, and you accidentally whack the person next to you? That’s happened to more people than ski aficionados care to admit. A special bag, though? A comedy of errors isn’t happening.
So what do you need to pack aside from the obvious skis? For one, a good pair of ski socks. It might not come as an immediate concern to the individual going on a skiing trip. But the avid goer knows how important it is. We have all seen the first-timers in their cotton tube socks have no idea how or why their feet are so soaking wet and freezing. A big part of it is the socks. Cotton keeps the moisture on your skin and does nothing to protect it from hypothermia. It’s the worst material to use. A good Merino wool or wool-polyester blend is the best you can do for your feet. You don’t want to have blue feet when you get back to the lodge.
In this instance, the simple investment of dedicated socks goes a long way. Keep them at the periphery of the bag when you pack them. They do not take up much space, so when you lay out the splayed open bag, have them line the sides to save more room down the middle.
Some people like to rent out goggles at the slopes. But in this day and age, it’s a good idea to just have your own. You know our germs are on your ski goggles. That’s perfectly fine. When you pack them into a bag, have them situated in the middle of some layers of clothes. Why? As much as the anti-fog tempered glass and the heavy construction of ski goggles lends a sense of durability, you do not know the conditions they’ll be in if you check in the bag with the skis. Because of this, it’s good to play it safe, much like how you would pack electronics or breakables. Always put it between layers of softness. If that seems a bit excessive, having to get a new pair of goggles when you just bought a fancy, interchangeable lense one is more of a pain than ensuring safety.
While accessories are important, the bulkiest thing you’re going to be bringing outside your actual skis is the ski jacket. If you’re an average-sized individual, you’re looking at an entire backpack full of warm, puffy material up to the brim. If you’re going to pack your ski jacket (wearing it in transit to the slopes is not the best fashion choice), do the best you can to flatten it out. If you’ve got a vacuum bag, you can use it, this would be the ideal situation. If not, turn your jacket inside out with the sleeves inside. From there, keep the sleeves inside the inside-out jacket and fold the hood inward, as well. Fold it in half and use that as a “floor” for your packing. The material will sink with weight on it, so the more you place on top of it, the more room you invariably get.
Much like the socks on the periphery, it’s about taking up as little space as you can in the most opportune way. Now that you’ve got the jacket floor and the sock border, you can put on your jeans and goggles and expensive action cam equipment.
There you have it: packing for a ski trip made easy. A lot of it is common sense. But without a dedicated ski bag, you’d have to do a lot more planning. The gear alone makes up a duffle bag and a half. So if you’re an avid skier, or you just don’t like lugging skis around, follow these tips. You’ll save time, money, effort, and exertion. You’ll get to the slopes in a better mood, unencumbered by the stress of transport and logistics.