15 Things to Pack for a Ski Trip (Don’t Forget These!)

Ski trips are something that many people look forward to, but like any outing, things can quickly go awry if you forget to pack everything that you’ll need!

Skiers should pack all their basic necessities for living and skiing, including day clothes, ski clothes, and bathroom accessories. A ski trip is only as good as what you put into it, so you want to make sure not to disregard the ever-important packing list!

Forgetting something, anything really, can be a disaster when you’re at a ski resort – especially since prices often get jacked up at tourist attractions. You don’t want to be caught without a pair of snow pants and have to pay double!

This article will give you a comprehensive list of the necessities to bring on your next ski trip.

Category 1: Ski Gear

Just remember to put these few items on your checklist, so you don’t have to buy brand new ones from the overpriced store at the resort!

Ski Poles

Skis and boots are the big items and therefore rarely forgotten, but ski poles – not so much…They’re a little easier to leave behind!

Where would we be without our ski poles?

They keep us going, save us from falling, and look really cool. Or at least, we think they do. I don’t know about the rest of humanity. 

Ski Goggles

Keeping the sun out of your eyes is absolutely imperative. Glare can keep you from seeing obstacles in your path and distract you when you should be paying attention to the slopes. 

You haven’t felt pain until you’ve run into your buddy face-first with the sun blaring in your unprotected eyes. 

Like many items, these will often be available for purchase at the resort but with a hefty markup. Do yourself a favor and double check that you’re packed your googles!

Helmet

Helmets aren’t required at most ski resorts across America, and to be honest it kind of still surprises me. Irregardless of your ski level, head injuries are one of the most potential dangerous risks on the mountain.

Even if you’re not going as fast as others or tackling the double blacks, concussions aren’t something to mess around with!

Protect your noggin’ and your wallet by remembering to pack your helmet!

Multitool

Here’s something you probably hadn’t thought of. It may seem unlikely that you’d ever have to be your own pit crew on the slopes, but that fact is that things loosen up, bindings wobble, and you might need to make adjustments on the fly. 

Bringing a multitool can keep you going throughout the day, no matter what fate throws at you!

Category 2: Ski Clothes

Ski clothes will be your most important consideration, by far.

Being caught on the slopes without a pair of snow pants or heavy gloves can put a serious damper on your trip and even cost you time on the slopes. 

Base Layers

For your base layers, you’re going to want to pack warm but maneuverable clothing. What we mean by this is- clothing you’ll be able to move in while keeping yourself above freezing. Your coat or upper layer will do most of the work for warmth. You just need something substantial underneath. 

When I go skiing, I like to take a nice Under Armour shirt. It keeps my nipples from freezing off while wicking unneeded moisture away. 

You’ll most likely be able to find these for sale at a resort gift shop, but you’ll save money by packing ahead. 

And don’t forget your socks and pants. While you could just wear your jeans, you might find they get a little bunched up as you move. I like a non-absorbant pair of sweatpants beneath my snow pants.

That way, I can move and keep adventurous snow off my legs. 

For a really freeze-proof solution to the old snow-up-the-pants problem, try tucking your base layer pants into your socks.

This brings us to our last base layer consideration- socks. Bring lots of socks.

I’d recommend bringing two-to-three pairs of socks per day- two for the slopes and one for the hotel. 

Middle Layer

Middle-layer clothes are a bit warmer but not too warm. I like to think of them as my second line of defense against the cold, just in case my coat starts doing too good a job.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve sluffed off my coat mid-day to avoid overheating. 

I find that the best middle layer for extended ski trips with whole-day outings is a nice, soft sweatshirt.

I cannot, with a good conscience, recommend a wool sweater to the good people of the skiing world. My neck is still recovering from that innocent mistake!

Outer Layer

Finally, we come to the outer layer- this can make or break your skiing experience. Forget a pair of boots, and bam- a hundred dollars down the drain. You want to make sure you have all your outerwear in line, so the gift shop salesmen can’t catch you lacking!

Boots are your first and foremost consideration for packing. A good pair of boots will get you through the days with warm, dry feet and keep you skiing as long as your heart desires. 

Your winter jacket, too, will be incredibly important. While you can ski in a hoodie and snow pants, you won’t want to in the beginning. It takes a good long while for all that activity to warm you up, and you don’t want to freeze to death. 

Also, remember to bring a hat. While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how forgettable such a simple little object can be. I would recommend something a little light- those big furry things can get hot throughout the course of a day and won’t fit under the ever-important helmet. 

Gloves, too, will keep your extremities from freezing off!

I cannot recommend this enough- find a pair of gloves with elastic cuffs. Having snow down your fingers can put a damper on the rest of your day and even force you back into the hotel for fears of frostbite. 

Category 3: Casual Clothes

Lots of people forget that ski resorts are essentially amusement parks for skiers.

Ski resorts often have arcades, pools, hot tubs, and saunas, and you want to take advantage of all they have to offer- for the sake of your aching wallet. 

Swim Trunks

While winter wonderland fun may not have you thinking ‘swim trunks,’ you’ll be aching when you see a beautiful, warm pool filled with blue water- and you can’t take a dip.

The pool is also a great place to socialize with other skiers- don’t be shy!

Pajamas

I know, I sound like your mother here, but remember to pack something to sleep in too!

You’re going to want a pair of warm clothes to sleep in after a long day in the freezing cold, and unless you like sleeping in sweaty clothing, you’ll be grateful to your past self for packing flannels. 

Walking-Around Clothes

Never forget a good batch of walking-around clothes for your off-hours. Resorts often have bars, arcades, and other such attractions to entertain skiers when they’re not skiing.

Never doubt the power of a ski resort bar for bringing people together. You’ll want to meet your ski resort friends. 

Extra Socks

We’ve already emphasized the importance of socks, but we want to do it one more time.

Socks. Socks. Socks!

When your feet are happy, you’re happy, and you won’t want to go to bed freezing your toes off in wet socks. 

Your bedmate, if you have one, will also not appreciate a pair of soggy socks rubbing up on him in the middle of the night. 

Casual Shoes or Boots

Why track snow into your room and through the halls of your lovely hotel floor?

Change into a pair of casual shoes for a warm, dry place to put your aching feet, then go out and have some fun. 

Leave the heels and dress shoes at home, and focus on shoes that will make your feet feel good and give them a chance to recuperate for another day on the slopes!

Category 4: Toiletries

Never trust your resort when it comes to toiletries. They’ll give you enough shampoo for one shower, towels the size of tissues, and half-ply toilet paper if you let them.

Bring your own toiletries and get ahead of the game!

Moisturizer / Lotion

Even just a single day spent racing up and down the slopes is enough to dry out your skin! This is especially true for your face which can get extremely dry from the wind and sun.

Your best bet will to bring a moisturizer with some built-in sun protection. Not only is the sun much more intense at altitude on a ski slope, but your face will also get hit with a lot of glare from reflected light.

Applying some moisturizer in the morning and evening is the best way to keep your skin moisturized!

Chapstick

If you thought chapstick was only for the weak – I can assure you that is not the case!

Cracked, dry, bleeding lips do NOT make for a fun addition to any ski trip. Like your face, your lips can get extremely dry from cold mountain air.

A quick lip balm can prevent this from happening to ensure that you’re able to fully enjoy the slopes as well as any food and beverages consumed 🙂

Shampoo and Conditioner

You’ll want to keep your hair looking silky-smooth for all the good-looking lads and ladies in the bars, saunas, and pools.

If you’re not looking for new friends, though, it’s always good to look good. You’ll thank yourself. 

All in All

All in all, you’ll need to pack standard ski gear, warm clothes, day clothes, and toiletries for your ski trip. Forgetting one thing can cause a minor disaster as you have to purchase overpriced gift shop crap!

Think outside the box- bring items that you may need for unexpected activities, like swimming or going to a bar. 

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