Are you not sure which ski essentials you should to pack for your next trip? This ski trip packing list has got you covered, from helmet to boots (and head to toe).
I started skiing when I was 5 years old and it’s still one of my favourite sports of all time, but I still dread packing for it every time. What should I wear on the slopes? How many pairs of shoes will I need?
To aid the process I gathered all of my ski essentials and compiled them into a neat ski trip packing list. And because you’re wonderful (no, seriously – you are!) I decided to share it with you…
Before you scroll down, watch the following video in which I describe all the ski essentials I normally bring and show you what they look like. It’s a 13-minute clip of me sitting on the couch, but if you’re going skiing anytime soon I promise it will be well worth your time.
There is a free printout of all the things I mention in the video (aka my entire ski trip packing list) at the bottom of this post. Feel free to download that, print it, draw on it, fold it into a paper plane… it’s yours to use.
But if you’re still looking to buy your skiing gear read on – below are my suggestions and links to where you can buy all the ski essentials you need. I used many of these on my recent ski trip to Tignes with Mark Warner and can vouch for them!
Ski socks: Ski socks are super important. They will make sure your feet stay warm, cosy and dry all day on the slopes – and that’s no easy feat (pun alert!). If you’re looking for a good pair, check out Wigwam women’s ski socks ($15) or this adorable pink pair from Eurosocks ($20).
Ski gloves: Much like socks, I’d recommend investing in good ski gloves because if your hands get cold it will slowly but surely ruin your day. I have these Spyder mittens ($40) and they’re fantastic. If you’d like maximum warmth check out this Gore-Tex pair ($70).
Although thermals usually stay hidden, they’re usually quite cute and I often wear them around the room as well. The bottoms essentially look like yoga pants (and are just as comfy) so what’s not to love?
Thin fleece: Any fleece will do but I’d particularly recommend a Columbia zip fleece. They come in seventeen different colours, six sizes and will keep you toasty on the inside all day.
Jumper: If the day is really cold I’d recommend putting on another jumper over your fleece. The key is wearing lots of thin layers, so I’d definitely advise against a thick knitted jumper which will retain moisture and possibly freeze.
Ski jacket: Stylish ski jackets used to be hard to come by when I was a kid but a lot has changed since then. Nowadays you can find beautiful and affordable jackets pretty easily. My favourite sporty brands are Roxy and Dakine – they have lots of cute pieces like this snow jacket.
Salopettes (ski trousers): You can usually find a great matching set that includes a ski jacket and salopettes from one brand. My set is from Kjus but at approximately $1,000 for a jacket the brand is for avid snow bunnies only. You can literally pay a tenth of that price and still get good quality ski attire.
Buff or face mask: I cannot stress the importance of wearing a buff enuff (get it, get it?). And not just any buff – a high quality one. The one I wore this year just froze all the time and made my face hurt and feel numb at the same time.
While that’s quite an accomplishment it’s definitely not what I was going for. Instead, try this fleece neck warmer ($9.95) which has rave reviews, although I can’t vouch for it myself.
Ski goggles: I mistakenly thought I could rent ski goggles on the spot and didn’t pack a pair for my trip. Turns out you cannot! The different glass shades can be slightly overwhelming, but this guide should help when trying to choose a pair.
Sunglasses: The snow can be pretty blinding so pack a pair of sporty sunglasses to wear when you’re out and about.
Backpack: If you’d like to take something with you on the slopes – a thermos, spare pair of gloves, camera, tripod… – putting it in a backpack is probably the easiest way of transporting it. If you’re a beginner don’t bother though as you’d likely end up breaking your possessions.
Helmet: You can buy your own, but if you don’t ski very often I’d recommend renting instead. And yes, definitely wear one, no matter how skilled and advanced you may be. Better safe than sorry!
Skis and ski poles or snowboard + boots: Same as with helmets – if you don’t ski very often renting will probably be more convenient. If you’re an advanced skier make sure you mention that to the staff to get skis to suit your level instead of cheaper models for beginners.
As this section is a lot more self-explanatory I’ll just list the items you should bring without any further info. If you do have any questions about these, let me know in the comments below!
- Other trousers
- Tank tops & T-Shirts
- Warm shirt
Just a quick word on boots… I’d recommend a tough sturdy pair like my waterproof Gore-Tex winter boots, but I know they’re not the most stylish choice. Many people swear by Uggs or Moon Boots. Pack whatever you’re comfortable in but make sure it’s waterproof and the soles not slippery.
Moisturiser with SPF: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That’s the most important rule of winter skincare. A moisturiser is a must, especially one with SPF because the sun is really strong in the mountains. I use the Simple Moisture Cream SPF 30 ($13) which I’d totally recommend as it works for all skin types and budgets.
Night cream: To really minimise the damage bring along a night cream as well. I’m currently using the Garnier Ultra-Lift night cream($10) which is great and heavy enough to heal tired skin.
Hair conditioner: Even if the chalet where you’ll be staying is providing you with shampoo and body gel, odds are they won’t have hair conditioner. All that snow and wind will not be good for your locks, so pack a good conditioner to help them out.
Body lotion: Ditto for body lotion – or better yet body butter.
Lip balm: Put a lip balm in the pocket of your ski jacket and reapply it every chance you get – your lips will thank you. My favourite is plain ol’ Vaseline. If you’re feeling fancy pack a lip scrub as well, or just use sugar mixed with a bit of olive oil or Vaseline.
Hand cream: Hand cream is important because it will hydrate and moisturi-… I know, I know, I’m repeating myself. But dried cracked skin is something you really want to avoid – not just aesthetically speaking, but also because it hurts!
Muscle rub: This is by no means a must-have, but I do think muscle rub deserves a spot on this ski trip packing list. Skiing all day is tiring and your legs will thank you if you reward them with a little massage after a day’s work.
Paper tissues: Having a runny nose and no tissues is the worst! So pack some tissues and keep one packet in every jacket you’re bringing.
Heat packs: Heat packs are a nice little treat when it’s really damn cold outside. I have this polar bear one from Fatface but you can find plain ones in any sports shop.
Passport: Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s always good to have a little reminder!
Travel plug adaptor: Again, common sense, but if you’re going skiing abroad pack an adaptor to make sure your camera doesn’t run out of juice. If you don’t own one yet, check out this universal plug adaptor.
Travel insurance with winter sports cover: Standard travel insurance usually does not include skiing cover so look for one with winter sports cover – you can usually add this as an extra.
If you plan on skiing off-piste get travel insurance that will cover you for that as well. Yes, it’s slightly more expensive but definitely worth it. Better safe than sorry.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): If you have a European passport and are going skiing in Europe, pack your EHIC. I’m not saying you’ll get hurt but minor injuries are pretty frequent on skiing holidays.
What do you think of my ski essentials? Will you use this ski trip packing list on your next holiday? Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below!