Hitting the slopes this winter? One of the things we were most excited for when we moved to Vancouver was to go skiing loads. We’ve already been up a couple of times and I tried snow shoeing for the first time this past weekend and LOVED it! No matter how long you’re planning to spend skiing, boarding or snowshoeing this season, this guide on what to pack for a day of skiing should help you stay warm while on the slopes and trails!
What to pack for a day of skiing
Plenty of layers
If it’s your first time skiing you’ll probably be surprised at just how hot you can get in the freezing cold mountains. This means you’ll want to take lots of layers rather than just one super warm jumper and a coat.
I like to put some thermals on and recently picked up some The North Face thermals from Millets. They’ve been keeping me super warm during my dog walks as well as up on the slopes! I’ve also been finding that I don’t get too hot in these either. That’s the sign of a good thermal layer to me!
Depending on what the weather looks like I then tend to layer up with a long sleeved t-shirt, a fleecy jumper and maybe another thinner jumper if it’s looking very cold before putting on my ski jacket on top.
When it comes to the bottom half I tend to stick to just salopettes. But sometimes you need some extra warmth there too so I’ll wear some thermal bottoms too. This extra layer was definitely a must when we were skiing in Quebec earlier on this year!
A good backpack
I never used to ski with a backpack until I lived in Grenoble. When I lived there we’d go skiing most weekends and I’d have to carry my lunch, money, shoes for the bus etc.. so taking a backpack made far more sense than trying to cram everything into my coat pockets. Nowadays it almost feels weird if I don’t have a backpack on.
A lot of ski resorts have lockers so if you don’t want to ski with a backpack you can keep your stuff safe there.
Some backpacks are specifically made for skiing and have special straps that make it super easy to swing your backpack round onto your front when you’re catching a chairlift. I currently have this Jansport backpack in blue and whilst it doesn’t have those fancy straps it is super comfortable and has plenty of room for everything I need.
A ski jacket & salopettes
Unless you’re skiing towards the end of the season when you can sometimes get away without a ski jacket, then you’ll want to pack a jacket and salopettes for a day on the slopes too. They want to be big enough that you can fit all your layers on underneath but not so big that they’re draft-y and letting a load of cold air in!
This isn’t something I always take but I do like doing it. There’s something nice about being able to pull up on the side of a slope where there’s a great view, get out your thermos flask and stay warm with a hot chocolate (maybe with a shot of something harder in it), PLUS it’s guaranteed to be cheaper than expensive slope side drinks.
A packed lunch
When I go skiing I like to take a packed lunch; especially if I’m on a week’s ski trip. Food at ski restaurants tend to be pretty heavy on chips and not much else so it’s nice to eat a bit lighter at lunch time. Sometimes i’ll just take a sandwich and some snacks. This year I’m thinking I might go a little bit fancier and try out one of these thermos flasks to keep my food hot.
Fresh Off The Grid have some great ideas for camp and outdoors food that you can store in these flasks if you need some ideas!
Gloves or mittens
Make sure you take some gloves with you for your day on the slopes! I prefer mittens myself (they just feel cosier) and always take a thermal inner layer too since my hands get cold really easily. This season I’ve treated myself to these Burton mittens and they’re great so far!
One of the best things about the Burton gloves I’ve bought is that they have a little area where you can stick some hand warmers to keep you even cosier. If I know it’s likely to be super cold on the slopes I’ll take some hand warmers just to stop me feeling like my hands are ice cubes.
Please, please, please wear a helmet when you go skiing. Not only do they keep you feeling nice and cost but they can save your life. I’ve had a Roxy helmet for years and can’t imagine skiing without it. Look for one with ear covers as that’ll keep you super warm all day!
Suncream and a lip balm with SPF
Yeah it’s snowy and it doesn’t look hot but you’ll need suncream. The sun’s rays reflect off the snow and it means the sun is super powerful. If you don’t wear suncream you’ll definitely be looking rather burnt and feeling sore the next day!
Oh and protect those lips too with a lip balm with SPF in. The EOS grapefruit balm smells AMAZING and is small enough to put in your pocket.
Take a camera to capture those beautiful mountain views. Skiing is when a GoPro comes in super handy. Not only can you stick it to your helmet to capture your sick ski skills, but you can be sure that if you fall over it’s not going to break the lens.
Money for après ski
Everyone knows one of the most important parts of a good day on the slopes is the après ski! Make sure you pack a few pounds, euros or dollars for a mulled wine, Jägertee or hot chocolate after a good day’s skiing or boarding!