Not sure what to pack for a skip trip? If you are still embracing winter and have a ski trip planned, I’ve got you covered with your necessary skiing essentials …
Buying everything on this list might get a little pricey, but most of it will last for YEARS! I’m not including skis, but even if you only ski once or twice a year, you might consider investing in a set – over a few years, it comes out much cheaper than renting.
Start with warm clothes
The most important rule is to stay warm.
If you aren’t cold when you are out there on the slopes, I guarantee you’ll have a much better time! So be sure your packing list for skiing includes plenty of warm clothes.
Start with a cozy base of long underwear, then add on layers as needed. I absolutely love the brand Cuddl Duds for skiing. They keep me warm and are so soft and comfortable. I start with a layer of pants and a long sleeve top, and then if it’s a really cold day will add a turtleneck on top of the long underwear top.
Related blog post: Not skiing? You can still use most of the items on this list for other fun ski resort activities – check out this post on what to do when you don’t ski and are heading on a ski vacation!
After your base, a good pair of ski pants and a ski jacket are next. My favorite brand for both affordability and comfort is Columbia. We typically hit the Columbia outlet in the summer if anything needs replaced, but unless you have growing kids, your ski jacket and pants will easily last you several years.
A terrific feature the newer Columbia jackets have is a zip-out liner. This helps if the weather is warmer and sunny one day but snowy and cold the next. Plus, you can just take one jacket and wear the liner alone apres ski!
Finally, you’ll want to keep those extremities warm. It’s well worth investing in a real pair of ski socks. The extra compression helps keep your feet and calves comfortable and warm in ski boots. I’ve been wearing these for years and have never felt the need to buy anything new.
Your hands and head are important too. Ski gloves are a must. They need to have enough traction on the palm/finger area to grip the poles and be hearty enough to keep your hands warm. A terrific option is a pair of ski mittens like these – keeping your fingers close together helps retain the warmth.
Most skiers wear helmets these days, so spend a little extra on a safe one that will keep your head safe and toasty too!
Important extra items to pack for a ski trip
Even when wearing a turtleneck, a gaiter is an important extra layer. Tucked into your jacket, it can be easily raised or lowered over your mouth and nose as needed. We often buy them at ski resorts as fun and inexpensive souvenirs, but you could also pick up an inexpensive set at Costco or on Amazon.
If it’s a sunny day and fairly warm, you could get by with sunglasses, but for most ski days, Googles are a lifesaver. Just like most ski gear essentials, they can get pretty pricey, but go ahead and buy a decent pair and you won’t need to replace them for years.
In fact, just this year, I had to buy a new pair – to replace my Smith Googles I’ve owned for TWENTY years. Money well spent.
Other skiing essentials to consider when packing
Although not necessary, it’s nice to have a pack of hand warmers handy. We typically each tuck a set into a pocket so that they can be pulled out if the day or our hands get cold. As they are lightweight and inexpensive, they are nice to have on hand.
Insider tip: Buy extra hand warmers and keep them in the car for early spring outdoor sporting events. They’ve saved my life during more than one March soccer tournament!
A good pair of snow boots is another great additional item to pack. If you are staying at a ski-in/ ski-out location you technically don’t need them, but if you are on a ski vacation, there is probably a LOT of snow, so it’s much safer to wear snow boots than tennis shoes when you aren’t skiing.
Plus, you might want to go tubing or snowshoeing – in which case snow boots will definitely be a necessity.
We also always pack a few granola bars (or candy bars) in our pockets for a mid-morning break. When the kids were little, we discovered that stopping for a candy bar (already a fun treat) would easily give us another hour or two on the slopes!
Insider tip: This list would also be perfect for any cold-weather vacation that included snowshoeing, tubing, or other outdoor sports.
What do you consider skiing essentials? Are there certain items you always pack for a ski trip?
Download this free printable ski trip packing list to help you prepare for your next ski trip!
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