PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP TO THE MOUNTAIN
Nothing's better than looking forward to a ski or snowboard trip. Here's a great checklist to make sure you've covered all the bases. For a more detailed checklist, you can search "ski trip checklist" on the internet for a variety of printable lists offered by resorts and retailers across the country.
You'll definitely need to pack this in a ski/snowboard bag. Many of them are sized to fit your entire setup, outerwear, goggles and even your under (base) layers, gloves and socks. If you're traveling via air, we recommend getting a case recommended for air travel – it'll be more reinforced, and have wheels. Lugging your gear with no wheels through the airport is never fun!
You might be surprised to know while most airlines consider your gear a "special item" – you might have to drop it at a special place at the airport and pick it up at a different baggage area – it will not cost more than a standard piece of luggage. Depending on your flyer status and how much other luggage you have, this could cost from $0 to $150! A great option to avoid bringing it with you altogether is our Ship Your Gear program. FedEx offers a 16% discount for snow sports travelers. Read all about it here.
This is almost as important as your gear. Depending on the length of your trip and the varying weather, you might have two to three pairs of pants or even a jacket.
Layer It Up!
You need to stay dry so you don't get chilled on the lift or on the hill. Many manufacturers offer "Base Layers" – made 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.
After your base layer, don't bulk up. The temperature and your activity can change as the day goes on, and wearing layers not only keep your insulation level flexible, they keep you comfortable. Here's a guide to layering:
First Layer – A light shirt or first layer to wear over the base layer (you can skip this layer)
Mid Layer – Turtleneck, thin sweater or wool shirt
Fleece/Soft-Shell Layer – In spring months you can even end the layering here!
Outer Layer – Jacket and pants. The outer layer comes with breathability, waterproof and windproof layers of different levels. Choose what will best protect you from weather and temps where you are headed.
No one wants to have to shell out the cash for a second pair of something they left behind. Check to make sure you have your helmet, goggles, gloves or mittens, heat packs if you'd like, beanies, neck warmer, face mask – also called a "balaclava." One thing people often forget is sunscreen for the face. Make sure you bring it! Make sure to bring a pair of sunglasses. Light reflecting off the snow all over town makes for squinty eyes when they're out of goggles and unprotected.
We recommend investing in a couple pairs of ski/snowboard socks, or at least some outdoor socks – preferably wool. These socks are engineered not only to keep your feet dry, but to maintain proper circulation, keep your feet and ankles comfortable in your boots and keep your feet warm!
In addition to your regular stuff, make sure to bring that high SPF sunblock, protective lip balm and body lotion. Your face is apt to get chapped in the wind and sun, and the air will dry your skin.
Like any regular, cold winter day, resort towns are obviously going to be chilly. Packed restaurants and bars can get warm. Bring boots/shoes that can handle the snow, hats, gloves, and your regular clothes. Aprés Ski, your post-session happy hour, can be uncomfortable if you're all wet or too hot. Make sure you have a backpack or other bag big enough to bring a change of clothes into the lodge. If you plan on hot-tubbing it (don't underestimate the sensation of sitting in an outdoor hot tub post-ski as snowflakes melt on your face), bring a swimsuit! And don't forget that iconic snowflake sweater!
Pre-Season Ski & Snowboard checklist
Inspect and prep your gear, outerwear and accessories for the upcoming season!
Before the first snowflakes start flying, smart skiers and snowboarders take the time to go through their closets and garages to make sure their first day is stress-free. Doing a little prep early in the season can go a long way when you’re itching to get on the hill. So, that’s why SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has put together a handy pre-season check-list that can help get everyone on the hill a little faster the day after an epic snowfall.
When’s the last time you had your skis/snowboard tuned? If the answer is “I can’t remember” then it’s time to get your equipment in for a tune. A general rule of thumb: if you've ridden five times on your boards, it’s time for a tune-up. Plus, an expert wax and sharpening makes skis/snowboards last longer and provide more control for turns and stopping.
If your hands are blocks of ice, you’re not going to enjoy any winter activity and your dexterity and performance is also affected. Make sure the whole family has a pair that fits properly.
Does your jacket still fit? Have your kids outgrown their outerwear? Are they up to the demands of winter activities? Some kids Prejackets and pants have hems that can be let out to get one more year of wear. However, if you/your kids are heading out on the slopes in varying weather conditions, it’s worth it to invest in well-made, quality outerwear.
Fall is the time to take advantage of discounts on travel packages, lessons and lift tickets/passes. Check with your local resort and retailer or a destination resort you’ve been planning to visit to see if they’re offering any “early bird specials”.
Do you have one – does your kid need the next size up? For all ages of skiers/snowboarder, helmets are becoming the norm on the slopes. Not only do they protect against head injuries, but also provide warmth since up to 60% of your body's heat can escape from an uncovered head.
If you can’t see where you’re headed on a mountain, you’re in big trouble. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on a mountain when glare, snow and flat light aren’t holding you back so make sure your goggles still fit properly. Check to make sure your goggles still fit and didn’t suffer too many scratches last season.
Hit the slopes!
Now that your gear is all up to date and you’re ready to go to the snow, we’ve put together a suggested packing list for you to reference. Download Here