It can be a challenge knowing what to pack for a ski trip, but you must 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. 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 our top tips for the ultimate ski trip packing list.
Ski Essentials and Equipment
If you’re a beginner, you may prefer renting skis and ski poles from the resort or a rental shop, rather than purchasing them. The same may go for ski boots if you can find something comfortable. Otherwise, even as a beginner, you should consider going to a specialized shop and buying a very comfortable pair of ski boots. For the ski helmet, we would personally recommend purchasing rather than renting it. Buying a ski helmet may often be not a lot more than renting it for a week.
However, if you get your essential skiing gear, be sure you account for the following items. Without these, you won’t be able to hit the slopes.
- Skis / Snowboard
- Ski poles
- Ski boots
- Ski helmet
- Ski goggles
Ski Socks and Base Layers
Multiple pairs of socks made for skiing are a must. Invest in a few pairs of SmartWool ski socks or Stance ski socks made of merino wool. Warm but not sweaty feet will keep you happy. Comfy thermal base and mid-layers or long underwear should be a moisture-wicking fabric, not cotton. Of course, a waterproof ski jacket and waterproof ski pants are ski essentials. A down jacket will add warmth.
Non-Ski Regular Clothing & Accessories
While skiing is a specialized activity, it’s always still a vacation. You still need to pack for a vacation, on top of the skiing equipment and gear you need. With all the focus on your skiing attire, it can be easy to forget some of your beloved and trusted clothing and accessories. After a long day on the slopes, the last thing you want to do is go to relax in the warmth of your apartment or cabin, only to find you’ve forgotten your pajamas or comfy socks. Use this section to pack your non-skiing clothing and accessories, and remember to double up on some items.
- Packing cubes
- Swimsuit (for the hot tub)
Miscellaneous Ski Gear
Ski resorts are located at high altitudes, and drinking plenty of water is key to preventing altitude sickness. So, you may want to bring a Camelbak hydration system or whatever it is that gets you to drink water. Cold drains cell phone batteries, so you will want to pack a pocket charger to make sure that you can stay connected while on the mountain. Hand warmers next to your cell phone can also help.
Don’t forget candy to carry in your pockets to provide a sugar boost. The best ski resorts offer slopeside heated pools and hot tubs that are really fun in the winter. Soaking in warm water with snowflakes falling after an exhilarating day on the slopes is the perfect way to end the day! So be sure to pack a bathing suit!
- Neck Gaiter
- Moisture-wicking thermal base layers
- Hand/ foot warmers
- Hydration pack (Camelbak)
- Pocket cell phone charger
- Pocket candy/ treats
When packing toiletries, it can be easy to forget essentials. Your toiletries need to cover items both for hygiene and personal use, and things you’ll need out on the slope, such as sunscreen and moisturizer. Use our list, along with a spacious, sturdy bag, to make sure nothing important is left in the bathroom cabinet before you head out on the road, or to the airport.
- Chapstick/lip balm
- Hand cream
- Face wash & moisturizer
- Body lotion
- Body wash
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Solid shampoo and conditioner
- Aftersun lotion
There are plenty of great techs to pack not only for personal use but also to capture the skiing experience. Make sure both your slope time and downtime are accounted for with these great gadgets, cameras, and accessories to take on your travels.
- Portable battery pack
- Multi-charging cable
- GoPro Hero (for all the action shots)
Extra Items for Ski Season
COVID-19 is still a thing, and winter means flu season too. Masks or face coverings may be required in some places. And, if you’re eating outdoors, you’ll need to bundle up, more than usual. So, there are a few additional items that you may want to be sure to pack this winter.
- A backpack for one of the adults to carry packed lunches and snacks
- Masks, neck gaiter, balaclavas, or another type of face covering
- Extra Clorox wipes for additional sanitation
- Pocket hand sanitizer
- Extra snacks
- Extra hand warmers
- Small bottles of hand sanitizer everyone can keep in a pocket
Ski Trip Packing List Summary
Never leave your ski trip packing to the last minute. Skiing holidays are fun, but forgetting even a couple of key essentials of winter clothing can be the difference between a memorable vacation or days spent desperately searching in nearby shops and supermarkets for core items.
Don’t take that risk. Particularly as many slopes are in mountainous areas, ski resorts, and smaller villages, the chances of finding large malls and particular items are slim. Plan, and pack with confidence. Cover all your bases, take more clothes than you think you need, and that way you can ski and enjoy your vacation safely and comfortably. Your ski trip packing list should cover as many bases as possible, and then some.