When preparing your ski check list, there are a lot of little details to remember. You’ve got your ski wear, general luggage, extra clothes, accessories and the usual travel extras. We’ve put together a snowboard / ski trip packing list so you leave nothing behind, and some tips.
Ski Trip Packing List
When choosing things to pack for a ski trip, there are many important items to consider, however here are the top 10 things that should be on your list.
- Skis / Snowboard and Poles – you won’t get much done without these.
- Helmet and Goggles – when dealing with extreme sports, it’s always safety first.
- Thermal Undergarments – these are an essential part of your ski trip outfits, whether you’re on the slopes, in the dining hall or in your cabin, you’ll be thankful for your thermals.
- Fleeces – Where there’s snow, there’s cold weather. Fleeces will keep you warm and make for great padding underneath a ski jacket.
- Ski Mask / Balaclava – ski masks are the epitome of what to take skiing. They’re named as such for a reason, and keeping your ears and nose warm will be the make or break regarding how long you can bear the cold.
- Sunscreen – UV indexes can run high when it’s clear and sunny out, especially since the snow reflects the sun quite strongly. It’s easy to get sunburnt on the few inches of skin you have exposed, so be sure not to forget your sunscreen.
- Winter / 0-degree sleeping Bag – while most ski lodges will have warm blankets and heated rooms, an extra thermal sleeping bag is a step up in comfort you won’t be sorry for when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep before the following day’s ascent.
- Water Bottle – it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re in the wet and cold, but essential – especially when taking part in high performance activities like skiing and snowboarding.
- Thick Ski Socks – these are both a safety measure for your extremities (which lose blood as you get colder) and a great ensurer of comfort when wearing clunky boots or snow shoes.
- Sunglasses – The sun’s rays are damaging enough to our eyes when we’re not surrounded by bright, white snow to reflect it even more intensely. Your eyes need to be looked after appropriately with a set of polarized lenses.
Packing For Ski Trip
What to Bring Skiing
When heading off on a skiing or snowboarding trip, you’ll need to take into account how long you’re staying for, how you’re getting there (car, flight, bus etc.) and where you’ll be staying. If you’re going for a short stay of a few days or weeks, you’ll probably end up renting a lot of gear. However, if you pre-plan and pack appropriately, you’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run on snow essentials.
For a shorter stay, you probably don’t want to have to rent more than your skis or snowboard, poles and a helmet. Also consider that the equipment available to rent may not be in the best condition, or the perfect size or feel to you (which is incredibly important when you’re doing high performance outdoor activities). It’s best to come prepared upon arrival.
Ski pants and jackets are the most obvious items you’ll want to bring yourself. You probably wouldn’t go running in a pair of rented shoes, and the same goes for skiing or snowboarding in rented clothes. Your mobility, comfort and movement will be greatly assisted by an outfit of ski gear you know fits you, and is comfortable to spend hours, days or weeks in. The same goes for goggles (a bad pair crushing your nose all day is not pleasant, especially if you’re going to be taking falls and needing to readjust constantly. Gloves are also an item you’d probably want your own pair of, for the same reasons.
In a longer stay at a resort, you might want your ski or snowboard packing list to include the snowboard / skis and poles and a helmet. If you’re going to be spending a few weeks or a whole season, it’s best to own your own equipment so that you can skip the hassle of checking it in and out, and learn to service and maintain your own gear.
Of course, you also need to prepare for the weather, and not just the cold (yes, there can be warm days even in places where the the snow is deep). A quality set of thermal undergarments to begin your layering with is essential in terms of body temperature control – both raising it and lowering it. The same goes for a good jersey or fleece, and a comfortable ski mask. For an insightful summary on the best materials for snow, see our “What to Wear Skiing” guide.
Skiing Equipment List
In terms of equipment for skiing / snowboarding, it’s a pretty simple set of things to remember. Take note of these, and decide ahead of time which you will be renting, and which you won’t.
- A Snowboard or Skis
- Ski Poles
- A Snow Jacket and Pants
- A Helmet
Remember: these are your bare minimum, and while they’re all you need to ski / snowboard in a literal sense, they won’t ensure your comfort. You want be able to spend as much time as you feel like outdoors, not limited by a forgotten scarf or hand warmer.
How to Pack for a Ski Trip
When packing your snowboarding or skiing items to take on a flight, it’s important to remember that large items like boards, skis and poles are all treated as luggage, and as such, extra costs may appear. Phone your airlines ahead of time to find out what costs are involved, and if there are any packing methods you can use to cut those costs down.
If you’re bringing a large amount of luggage and equipment with you, it’s a good idea to try and pack it together as much as possible, in order to avoid delays and preventing it from going missing or getting lost. You can avoid this by packing all of your general luggage in a single rucksack, large enough to house everything. It’s helpful if this has waterproofing or waterproofed sections so that any wet gear won’t damage the rest of your luggage upon return.
It’s also a good idea to consider plastic-wrapping all of your ski / snowboarding equipment such as boards, poles and boots together so that it’s handled and processed as one item of luggage. To avoid issues, once again call your airline ahead of time for information on how to get this done appropriately.
With this checklist and information, you should have nothing left behind or left to want upon your departure. The final and most important two items to on your snowboard / ski trip packing list is an attitude ready for fun and adventure, as well as a childlike sense of wonderment at the beauty that every ski trip has in store.