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Packing For A Snow Sports Vacation

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How to Pack for a Ski Trip

You only need to put in a little thought and time before you rush off to a winter sports vacation. Here are our suggestions based on many years of mountain resort travel:

Pack garments that protect your body, especially your fingers and toes, against cold, wind, and precipitation according to the climate you are visiting. Snow in the northeast, for example, is wetter than in the Rockies, and temps in Canada are colder than in California. A facemask is rarely needed in Colorado, but you may want it in Vermont. Check resorts’ websites for weather and snow reports.

Take clothes you can layer.

Underwear of polypropylene or other synthetic fibers that wick away perspiration. Don’t wear cotton next to your skin. When it absorbs perspiration, it stays wet. Then when you decrease activity (i.e. ride the lift), you get chilled. You can wash out long underwear at night, and it’ll usually be dry by morning, thanks to modern fabrics.

  • A light shirt or turtleneck to wear over the underwear. (Bring two or three.)
  • A wool sweater or fleece for insulation and warmth.
  • The outer layer – jacket and pants or a one-piece suit. Be sure they are wind- and water-resistant and that they “breathe,” allowing perspiration and excess heat to escape through the fabric.
  • One lightweight and one heavy parka to allow for changing weather. Pack the thinner one, wear the bulky one. Pack more than one outfit for a multi-day trip only if you have room.

Accessories: Hat or helmet (a helmet not only protects your head but keeps your body warm), goggles, sunglasses on a strap, neck warmer, gloves or mittens, a thin pair of “liner” gloves, heat packs for your hands and feet, face mask or balaclava and sunscreen with a high SPF number.

Socks. Bring several thin pairs that aren’t cotton.

Equipment. Check our article on airline baggage requirements. You may want to ship your gear ahead on sportsexpress.com or forget it entirely and rent ahead at rentskis.com.

Clothes to wear at night. Resort restaurants (and especially night clubs) can be very warm. Pack lightweight tops, then layer with fleece vests or sweaters and a fairly heavy parka for walking outside.

After-ski/snowboard shoes. If you’re planning a dogsled ride or snowshoe excursion, call ahead to see if the company provides heavy boots. If not, you’ll need them. You’ll also want warm shoes with good tread and a hat and gloves for village walking.

Toiletries. Pack them in a zip-lock bag. Don’t forget prescription meds and pain-relievers. Know the airline carry-on liquids rule. Check your lodge’s website to see if it has in-room hair dryers.

Cash, credit cards, ATM card, health insurance card, passport (check travel.state.gov for country requirements), car insurance card (for renting) cell phone and charger, and phone numbers for resort.

Optional items:

  • A bathing suit for the spa. Tuck in a pair of flip-flops for walking to and from your room.
  • Work-out clothes and shoes.
  • Camera/extra batteries
  • Knee or back brace.
  • Backpack
Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and snowlink.com.


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