Ski resort (230157)
Credit: Megan Pinckney photo

With a couple of four-day weekends quickly approaching, now is a great time to start planning a ski trip to the mountains. After all, ski trips are the type of trips that you want to be totally and completely prepared for before arriving. To help you, we have prepared a packing list so you do not forget a thing.

  1. Outer skiwear

This outfit is probably the most important because it’s the one you’ll spend most of your time in as you hit the slopes from early morning to late afternoon. Outer skiwear consists of a pair of pants, or a bib and a jacket. Simple enough! But not just any pair of pants or jacket will do. Ensure that your pants, bib and jacket are all water repellant, insulated and breathable. When choosing pants or a bib, it is truly all about personal preference. Bibs are great because they allow you to confidently move around without the fear of your pants coming undone. If you do choose pants, be sure you bring along a belt, as snap buttons and Velcro are not always enough to keep pants together during a fall. For a long weekend ski trip, I would take two pairs of bottoms (pants, bib or both), but just one ski jacket.

  1. Snow boots

Because there will probably be quite a bit of snow in town as well on the mountain, your snow boots should do three things: keep you warm, keep you comfortable and keep you dry. Other than the ski boots that you wear with your skis, snow boots should be the only shoes you wear outdoors. Uggs are great for lounging inside the lodge, but a shoe with a much better grip should be worn while walking on snow.

  1. Socks and gloves

Socks and gloves may sound like obvious items, but without the perfect versions you would be in for one miserable time (or one expensive trip to the local ski store). Not just any warm socks will do. Ensure that you have actual snow socks that are thermal and wick away moisture. Also, be sure to pack a new pair of socks for every day you plan to ski. Damp socks turn into wet socks very quickly. While skiing, I suggest ski mittens to keep your hands as warm as possible. However, under those mittens, I would recommend a thin pair of tech-friendly gloves. That way, when you remove your mitten to use your fingers, you can keep them warm. You may want a sleeker pair of gloves to use during Après ski.

  1. Goggles and sunglasses

Snow can be blinding on a clear, sunny day up in the mountains. Protecting your eyes from the glare is necessary to make your way down the mountain or to enjoy the beautiful day outside during lunch. Whereas sunglasses are mostly Après skiwear, goggles are more pressing because they do things like keep your face warm on super-cold days. Owning your own pair gives you a better chance at feeling comfortable with them on for hours at end.

  1. Hats

Keeping your head and ears warm is one of the secrets to keeping your entire body warm. Therefore, hats are incredibly necessary for any ski trip. I suggest having two hats: one thin ski cap that you can comfortably and easily wear under a helmet, and a thicker beanie you can use to cover your head whenever you aren’t on the slopes.

  1. Base layers

There is no way you could survive a full day in the snow without a base layer beneath your ski pants and jacket. A base layer is usually just two parts: a long-sleeved shirt and leggings. They should be very fitted, thermal and water resistant so they do not hold on to the sweat that naturally accumulates when you are active. Base layers keep your body temperature up by acting almost as another layer of skin. You should plan to have a fresh set of base layers for every day you plan to ski.

  1. Neck tube

Often, a turtleneck base layer shirt is not enough to keep your neck warm from the wind you will pick up while skiing down the mountain, and jackets are usually uncomfortable when zipped all the way up. To keep your neck warm you could use a scarf, but scarves can be bulky beneath jackets. Instead, I suggest using a neck tube. A neck tube is exactly what it sounds like: a fleece tube that goes over your head and around your neck. Neck tubes are great because they are not bulky and can be pulled up to protect your mouth and nose.

  1. Toiletries

There are a few little toiletries that are vital for a day on the slopes but can easily be overlooked. Every great skier has moisturizer for the face and body because the elements can be so rough on skin, sunscreen to protect the face from the blinding sun while on the slopes, something to keep the lips moisturized and hand (and feet) warmers for those days that are unbearably cold.

  1. Small backpack

Because most slopes close midafternoon, time is of the essence. Packing a small backpack to carry around with you while you ski is a great way to ensure you won’t have to return to your room all day and can maximize your time skiing. I suggest using one that you could take on your back while you ski. That bag should be light in weight, adjustable so it doesn’t move around as you ski and completely closeable with no holes or openings (because snow will get in it, and your things will get wet).

10. Après skiwear

Those times when you are socializing after a day of skiing are referred to as après ski. You can do anything from eat and drink to dance or lounge. What is consistent with all après ski activities is most everyone is dressed casually and comfortably. Most people begin après ski right after they get off the slopes, so they stay in their ski pants and just change boots. Others are in sweats, sweaters and the occasional fur. The only rule for dressing après ski is to stay warm and comfortable.

If you are someone who only plans to ski once, maybe twice a year, I suggest renting your skis, poles, ski boots and helmets at a skiwear store on the mountain. That way, you don’t have to travel back and forth with your gear or find a place to store it for the rest of the year.

Megan Pinckney (@shadesofpinck) is a retired beauty queen turned lifestyle blogger who loves exploring the world and writing about it.