Packing for a standard holiday is often tricky, but carrying all the right stuff for a skiing holiday can be even more challenging, and that is why knowing the essentials to carry can save you from a lot of hassle. Even though the ski essentials are the same for seasoned skiers as for novices, an experienced skier knows exactly what they cannot afford to leave out of their bag. Here are some essentials you should have when planning a ski holiday.
Cold feet will be your biggest concern on a ski vacation. If you don’t plan things properly, you may end up having sore feet, and even cut off circulation to your toes resulting in frostbite. You need to be wearing the correct footwear, that fits properly and is of a good quality to keep you warm and protected in extremely low temperatures.
When buying your ski boots, be sure to try them on with your socks and ensure you have enough space to wiggle your toes. Not being able to wiggle your toes means your feet will eventually become very cold. Just keep in mind that the boots should not offer so much space they let you turn your foot side-to-side or else you will have a hard time controlling your skis.
It may be difficult to find something that fits perfectly, but in this case, you should find a pair of boots that may let you wiggle your toes even if it requires some effort, and if the pair you end with allows some side-to-side movement, ensure that it is not too much.
If you’ve already invested in a right pair of ski boots, you will feel quite warm already, so there is no real need to go for very thick socks. Some beginners make the mistake of wearing more than one pair to keep them warm, but that can affect circulation and end up making your feet feel even colder. You may feel better in specialist skiing socks, but your well-fitting everyday socks will work just fine as long as you’re wearing them with a right pair of ski boots. Be sure to pack a few pairs so you are never forced to have wet feet out in the cold.
3. A Pair of Gloves
Don’t forget to keep a pair of gloves in your bags before you’re off to your next ski destination. Take your time when selecting the right gloves for skiing. Under no circumstances make any compromises over quality because a pair of substandard gloves will cost you big time. Ensure your gloves fit properly and provide warmth, dexterity, and comfort. Buy gloves that fit snugly but still allow some room at the end of your outstretched fingers.
4. A Nice Beanie
When you’re all set to have fun on a ski holiday, don’t underestimate the importance of carrying a decent wooly hat with you. Yes, you’ll be skiing with a ski helmet, which is one of the most important ski essentials, but a nice, warm beanie style hat will keep you comfortable in the evenings. Thankfully, you will have thousands of options to choose from, but be sure to test yours before the trip, some are going to be much less warm than others. You will be better off going for beanies made of merino wool or fleece material even if they cost you a bit extra.
5. Ski Helmet
It would be a mistake to go skiing without first investing in a right type of ski helmet. Ski helmets can be of many types, so you need to consider a number of things to make the right purchase. First, ensure that the helmet fits perfectly when ordering online, don’t guess your size but measure your head first with a soft measuring tape.
It is important not to make a mistake with the size of the helmet, so it wouldn’t hurt to actually try it on before you finalize your buying decision. A properly fitting ski helmet is the one that fits snugly and has little movement, but does not create any pain or pressure points.
It is also a good idea to consider the fit system before buying a ski helmet. Helmets are now available with adjustable fit systems, such as adjustable wheel systems. You will also find ones in form fit system, pad systems, and air fit. Be sure to pick the one that suits your experience level and style.
6. Ski Jacket
Keeping yourself warm should be your top priority on a skiing trip, and along with boots, gloves, and hats, you should also invest in a good quality ski jacket. You will not feel comfortable when skiing without suitable outerwear, and a jacket is an absolute essential here. Be sure to opt for a waterproof jacket made from a breathable fabric. You will sweat a lot while skiing and it will make you feel uncomfortable if the moisture cannot escape. In fact, you will feel chilled quickly if your jacket is not breathable.
It is also a good idea to invest in a ski jacket that comes with an elasticated snowskirt along with adjustable cuff tabs because these features will ensure that no snow could make its way inside your jacket after each tumble you have. Similarly, it makes sense to buy a jacket with a built-in hood. Jackets with enough pockets are also good because they help you carry winter essentials, such as lip balm, tissues, sunscreen, and so on. If you’re on a ski holiday with your kids, be sure to invest in right type of jackets for children or opt for a child all in one snowsuit.
A ski jacket will help you put up a fight against the cold temperature, but you may not need it when you’re riding on warm spring skiing days. That is exactly the time when you can go with a flannel shirt or special ski insulated shirts. The pure cotton flannel not only keeps you warm but makes you look sharp as well.
8. Ski Pants
Never make the mistake of wearing sweatpants or regular jeans when skiing or you will find yourself in trouble very soon. The snow may look and feel dry but it will stick to jeans and melt leaving you wet and at the risk of hypothermia.
You should be going for ski pants, especially when you’re a beginner. They come with right insulation, which you need. You’re likely to fall a lot when you’ve just started out as a skier. Thankfully, it isn’t an issue buying one, as they are available in many types. You can find insulated ski pants, softshell ski pants, and more. Be sure to buy a pair of waterproof ski pants. They are considered waterproof only when they have a hydrostatic head rating of no less than 1500mm.
Similarly, you need to ensure that the pants you buy come with leg gaiters because they work to keep snow out of your pants and help keep your legs and feet dry. They should have zipped pockets too, so you could carry important items safely and securely on the slopes. Also, pay attention to the fabric, and ensure that it stretches nicely, as it will help maximize freedom of movement. Mesh lined thigh venting is another feature to have in your ski pants because they allow for better ventilation and temperature control.
9. Ski Sunglasses
Buying skiing sunglasses is actually much more challenging than you might think at first. You need to ensure that you are buying sunglasses that fit you well and are compatible with your helmet. Another important thing is to select the right lens tint. You should be opting for the tint that offers a good combo of contrast, color definition, eye fatigue protection, and depth perception. You need to consider terrain, weather, and activity when selecting the right lens tint.
10. Thermal Base Layer
In order to keep you warm and comfortable, a thermal base layer will help keep moisture away and keep you more in control in plummeting temperatures. A good option is a base layer made of merino wool because is warm and highly breathable. You can also opt for synthetic base layers, and they do perform reasonably well, but you may find they become quite smelly quickly. With merino’s antibacterial threads, you don’t have to worry about smelling bad even when you wear one base layer for your entire trip.
When you’re interested in enjoying skiing all day long without having to worry about making frequent stops to get all the right stuff, you should be willing to invest in a good ski backpack. It will provide you with ample space to store all your gear, but of course, you have to select the one with several compartments and pockets for easy storage. Also, ensure that your backpack comes with a comfortable chest, shoulder, and waist straps.
12. A Ski Boot Bag
Many novice skiers don’t realize that carrying their ski boots while traveling can be extremely demanding, as they can be quite heavy and bulky. The solution is to carry a ski boot bag, which will make it easier to carry your boots around. You can now find high-quality boot bags that don’t just carry your ski boots but have extra compartments to carry your ski gloves, ski goggles, socks, and even your ski helmet.
When buying a bag, ensure that it is of right size, has reinforced backpack straps as well as foam padded back panel for maximum comfort. Some bags let you carry your helmet and boots outside, which may be a good idea if you want them to dry out while moving around. To be able to carry more kit, invest in a boot bag with a shock cord or daisy chain. You will be amazed to see how these chains improve the carrying capacity.
Few Additional Tips to Enjoy Skiing
- When you’re a beginner, it is important to make sure that you take all steps necessary to keep yourself warm. For instance:
- Consider starting out a little too warm because it will help you feel better in the cold. You don’t have to be sweating, but somewhere close should serve the purpose well.
- Be sure to keep moving when you start because the movement you make is the only way to keep you warm out on the mountain.
- Avoid being cold in spots by using specific strategies so wiggling your toes when waiting in line can make you feel better. You should also flex your wrists and fingers to feel comfortable.
Skiing is an amazing adventure but you need to prepare yourself in advance to maximize the fun and stay safe. So, be sure to buy all the right equipment to keep you warm, comfortable, and completely in control of your skiing trip.