When it comes to taking a vacation on the powdery slopes, bringing the right gear can go a long way in making your ski trip a success.
For booking the perfect resort and planning your itinerary, it is easy to just pick a renowned tour company (like Ski Famille) and set things in motion. However, knowing your ski gear and packing the right stuff is integral and has to be done by you.
So plan and start early as you wouldn’t want to miss anything important and ruin your holiday plans.
Ski Gear Guide – What to Pack for the Slopes
This ski gear guide will ensure you leave nothing to chance and have everything on you for the ultimate ski holiday.
A helmet forms one of the most important part of your ski gear, as not only it keeps the skier safe but warm also in testing conditions. The helmet selected should be durable, lightweight, and hybrid in construction. There should be a proper venting system for enhanced control of airflow and temperature. Get a professional to fit you a proper one with.
Gortex ski gloves will keep the fingers warm and dry. They should hold heat in even wet conditions, be made from thin polyester fiber with very high insulating capacity. The design should follow the natural curve of the hand to provide a comfortable grip. If it is really cold, put some merino wool inners to solve the problem. Couple them with a solid ski mask for full protection.
A good pair of ski goggles, built around airflow lens technology, will help lessen fog in the worst of conditions and make for a great day on the hill.
A waterproof ski jacket or snowboard jacket, internal cuffs, and thumb loops to keep the snow out. Waterproof ski trousers, salopettes, or snowboard trousers.
Base layers and ski socks
Invest in a good pair of socks made of merino wool, which will provide warmth without any sweat. The thermal base layers should not be of cotton but moisture wick instead. Pack light fleeces or turtlenecks to don over the base layers or under the ski jacket.
Good hydration system
Since most of the ski resorts are at high altitude, keeping hydrated is the key to overcome altitude sickness. A good hydration system will provide enough water for the whole family for 1-2 hours of activity.
Any ski gear guide is incomplete without a mention of warm waterproof snow boots – they are an essential part of the ski kit, from the walk on the slopes to the drink at the bar after a hard day on the slopes. Keep an eye on the soles for a sturdy grip.
Some skiers just carry the basic layers from home and hire everything else at the resorts. This can become quite an expensive proposition in the long run. While some buy the ski poles or snowboards, others hire all the gear. A matter of personal choice in the end.
Pack a small backpack to carry your sunglasses, sunblock, medication, and extra warmers. It will be easy to carry and save you from stuffing everything in your coat and pant pocket.
Do not underestimate the rays of the sun at high altitudes, especially late in the season. Carry a high SPF sunblock or sunscreen to protect the face and neck if you want to avoid a nasty tan.
Evening apres-ski wear
While your resort may be nice and warm, holding a glass of wine on the apres-ski bar outside may be an entirely different story altogether. So pack a warm hat, waterproof gloves, jeans, jumpers, and socks.
Best Ski Vacation Resorts
Now that you are prepared for your well-deserved vacation, it is time to choose the best place to flaunt your skills. Even though I have only tried skiing in Auli, India, vacationing in a proper ski resort is on the list.
Perfectly groomed slopes, Michelin quality restaurants, and impeccable service are the hallmarks of a good resort, and ultimately a swanky ski vacation. For those wanting to reward themselves with privacy, comfort, and luxury after a hard day on the pistes, look no further than these established resorts of France.
Located on one corner of the extensive 600 km + Portea du Soleil circuit, Les Gets has enough variety to keep ski lovers happy for days and days. This quaint village with a quintessential French atmosphere is ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers, which not surprisingly attracts many families.
Les Gets is also home to the oldest merry go round in France and the Museum of Mechanical Music which has over 750 exhibits in store. Accessible by a short one hour fifteen minutes drive from Geneva airport, skiers have an excellent range of accommodation like Chalet Money and Chalet Mouflon among others, to choose from.
Reberty is relatively a new resort situated at an altitude of 1950 m, just below Val Thorens in the Three Valley region. Good for early and late season skiers, Reberty is best for skiing from the doorstep. While nightlife is nonexistent, there are many good spots for families to unwind without having to shell out a hefty premium as compared to Coucrchevel or Meribel.
The beautifully styled chalets in Reberty exude a charm of their own, unlike those of Val Thorens or Les Menuires. Some stand apart properties include Chalet Eva and Chalet Katie 1&2. In a nutshell, one can ski the Three Valley area at a much better pace and cost than the resorts elsewhere.
This small French village has access to nearly 160 km of downhill pistes skiing and is connected by a total of 40 ski lifts which can enable one to ski till Reberty. Skiing and snowboarding are more or less assured here throughout the season as the highest point of the ski lift is 2700 m.
Les Bruyeres has plenty of self-catered ski Chalets to allow the skier to have the best possible experience. Names like Chalet Faucon, Chalet Aigle, and Chalet Le Corbeau have carved a name for themselves on the Three Valley map.
Made up of no less than eleven different villages spread all over a gentle plateau, La Plagne forms a part of the famous giant Paradiski area. With 225 km of marked pistes, the area is extremely intermediate friendly. Since La Plagne is spread out, it lacks an identity of its own.
The options to stay in La Plagne are limited to traditional villages with modern and in-style accommodation available at Chalet Delphine and Chalet Nicole. Both these well-located chalets offer family suites, spa rooms, and a well-equipped play area for the kids.
While packing for a ski holiday requires inbuilt skills, getting all the essential equipment in one suitcase is considered to be the ultimate work of art. By keeping it simple and armed with the fact that most of the days will be spent in one outfit, especially in chalets or self-catered apartments, you kick off your ski trip in the best way possible. So, keep this ski gear guide handy and have fun on the slopes.