The feel of the crisp cool air, the crunch of the snow beneath your boots, and the majestic silence that winter brings are almost yours to behold. Your hours, days, weeks away from that ski trip and escape from the every day grind and the anticipation is almost overwhelming. So close to overwhelming that when you pack for the trip you completely forget must have items and bring so much random junk that never leaves your bag. We’ve all been there, sometimes we get carried away with the thought of “being there” that we forget to plan properly for what we’ll need to make the most of your precious time on the slopes. Here we’re going to outline some of our tips to help you get ready for your next ski trip.
1. Pack for the Length of Trip you’re going on
Going to be on location a day or a week? Often times we just start throwing things in a bag until we think we’ve got “enough” to get us through the trip. Take out the guess work and plan for specific days. Also plan for the amount of days you’ll spend the majority on the slopes. Do you need 2 outfits for everyday, or will you be fine just bumming it in your ski gear the brief amount of time you’re indoors on day 2? Only pack the essentials, especially if flying… those baggage fees add up quick!
2. Double Down on Socks
Wet socks and sweaty socks are a definite no go. There’s nothing worse than being on the hill with cold damp socks, even the best socks for skiing might not make it through a day depending on your riding style. Pack extra socks, and see if the place you’re staying has laundry services available. Often times I find myself switching socks about midday after a much needed intermission before heading back out. A new set of socks makes me feel like an entirely new person!
3. Plan for the Ski Hill or the Mountain, not both.
One of the things I love about being a skier is all the awesome equipment I’ve accumulated over the years. Ropes, straps, cases, bags, waxing machines, helments, goggles, gloves, scales, backpacks, radios, and so much more. I love it, each piece is functional and serves a purpose but not all of it is necessary for every trip. You should never have a “ski trip bag” that you just grab and go. You’ll either be carrying too much or not enough. Only bring with you the essentials ( excluding safety gear). Make your trip less about “stuff” and more about the ski.
4. Don’t bring the lodge with you
That’s great if the Lodge you’re staying at has wifi, but do you really need your iPad, laptop, and cellphone… isn’t this supposed to be a “ski” trip? I’ve got a GoPro and love shooting with it and editing what shots I’ve taken when I get home, and it sounds tempting to do that “at night” or “during downtime.” But for most of us, that doesn’t happen, and if we do make it happen we’re probably missing out on something else that’s better. Put down the computer and hit the lounge with friends and family, socialize, hangout, do the things you’re supposed to do on a trip. The additional benefit of this is that you get hours of reliving the moments on the slopes after you go home and finally sit down to look at photos and videos.
5. If you’re flying, don’t get weighed down
I’m an expert packer, I strategically make use of every tiny cubic centimeter of space in the bags I pack, especially for long trips. I pride myself on packing in such a way that people often say it can’t be done. So it burst my bubble when I arrived at the airport with my carefully crafted luggage to have the attendant tell me they were overweight and would cost additional fees. You can’t just leave your stuff at that point, so you have to cough up the cash with a heavy heart. Since that dreadful mistake I’ve invested in a luggage scale, and have not regretted that purchase. These little guys are a lifesaver when planning for trips and wanting to avoid any unwanted headache.
6. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself
It should go without saying but the most important thing to bring with you on any ski trip is your good mood and your have a good time mindset. This isn’t just for the arrival at the lodge, this is for the entire trip. The entire process of packing, planning, getting to the airport, dealing with lay overs, and all the other nastiness of travel can get us into a negative mood that effects our trip. It might pass, but it could put you in a mindset of irritability that lingers and brings down the trip. I for one have fallen victim to this, and left my family to have a less than stellar time because of it. Keep all things in perspective and roll with the punches, because soon you will be feeling crisp cool air, the crunch of the snow beneath your boots, and hearing the majestic silence that winter brings.