Good news! You’ve booked yourself a mountain trip. Your next question is likely going to be, “what should I pack?” The not-so-good news is that you essentially need to pack for 2 vacations: both for on-slope and off-slope.
This ultimate ski trip packing list for on-slope items includes everything you need to stay warm, dry and comfortable on the beginner hills or the black diamonds. Same for the off-slope list, but with simplicity and ease in mind. When it comes to packing, be sure to have a ski or snowboard bag, a suitcase and a knapsack. Below are the essentials you need to pack before your next ski or snowboard trip!
- Skis/Snowboard – It’s tempting (and expensive) to rent skis so that you don’t have to lug them around with you. A word to the wise – don’t. Take your own skis or snowboard. It will take you most of the week to get used to rentals anyway, so bring your own gear in a travel bag.
- Poles – Tape your poles to your skis in your ski bag.
- Helmet – Stay safe and comfortable on the mountain by wearing a helmet.
- Goggles – Bring 2 pairs with multiple lenses (if you have them).
- Other accessories – hand/boot warmers, ski lock, sponge wax, etc.
- Ski jacket – A quality and versatile jacket will see you through all types of weather. A jacket with a powder skirt, hood, goggle pocket and ventilation zippers is ideal on any day or week-long trip.
- Neck Gaitor – Keep your face and nose from freezing and mountain sun at bay.
- Gloves/Mitts – Take 2 pairs to alternate between slope days – nobody likes wet gloves.
- Base Layer – Base layers help regulate your body temperature by moving perspiration away from your skin. “Long johns” (top and bottom) made from merino wool or similar will keep you comfortable.
- Mid-layer – A solid mid-layer is just as important as your base layer. A merino wool or fleece top will work perfectly as your mid-layer.
- Shell – If it’s super cold or snowing heavily, you’ll be glad to have an extra top layer to keep you warm and dry. If there’s warmer weather, the shell will replace your jacket.
- Ski pants – Again, bring 2 if you have them – insulated for colder days and uninsulated for warmer days (keep in mind that you’ll be wearing long johns).
- Ski Socks – 2 pairs of proper ski socks, at minimum. They’ll get wet and definitely smell after a long day. You’ll be glad you have a fresh pair on hand every morning.
- Swimsuit (for hot tub or pool, should your accommodations have one)
- Phone/tablet charger
- Hairdryer (for wet ski boots and hair)
- Small first aid kit
- Skin care products (lip balm, moisturizer, sunscreen)
When it comes to the odds and ends of the trip overall, be sure to pack an itinerary, and confirmation details for your accommodations. And if you travel outside your home province or Canada, don’t forget Travel Insurance. TuGo has plans that cover emergency medical care resulting from sports like skiing and snowboarding. Aim to stay safe, but if something happens, you’ll be very glad that you have proper medical coverage.
A multiday ski trip on a big mountain requires energy and stamina, so you may want to bring ibuprofen or acetaminophen to provide relief for your sore legs. Granola bars or similar pocket-sized snacks will save you from an energy crash, and low-sugar, caffeine-free sports drinks or hydration tablets will help replace electrolytes.
While it seems like you’re almost packing for 2 when you go on a ski vacation, you don’t want to forget anything, but you also want to keep your “off the slope” list on the light side whenever possible. You don’t want to forget the essentials – “it’s better to be looking at it than for it”.