Skiing at Monarch Mountain in Colorado
Lifestyle,  Skiing,  What to Pack

What Do I Wear Skiing? A Checklist That Will Save Your Mind

When you are getting ready for a day on the slopes, another ski lesson, or a family member’s first lesson, it can get overwhelming to figure out what to wear skiing (or snowboarding, if that’s your style). Your first day back is when you realize everything you forgot, like chapstick or your ski pass. While not ideal, the best way to figure out what you need is by going out there. 

Having grown up skiing, Laurel worked as a certified PSIA Ski Instructor for 6 years. During this time she was able to bring in new skiers to the best winter sport, claim the coveted 100+ day season and tried really hard to avoid that infamous goggle tan.  Although the multiple ski days aren’t as frequent, the training from her ski school allowed Laurel to share valuable information will all her clients.

Instead of staying up until 2 a.m. packing for your next ski trip, only to get into your hotel and realize that you forgot gloves, you can wear gear that fits your après ski style. This isn’t a list of new jackets and gear to help you be the best-looking skier on the mountain (and you are going to have a hard time beating Kylie Jenner). Rental gear (skis, poles, etc) will be easiest when traveling but this simple checklist for what you should wear skiing will save your mind while packing (or your partner’s).

Invest in Warm, Waterproof Gear

First, you’re going to want to make sure that the gear you are wearing while skiing is waterproof. This means that anything you are wearing that touches the snow (your hands, your butt, your back) is covered with waterproof gear. Don’t expect to wear your driving gloves here, as soon as you touch the snow by clearing a boot off or picking your phone up out of the snow, your gloves will be wet and cold. Save yourself the pain and spend the money on warm, waterproof gloves (mittens if you are one of those “always cold” people). 

Equally important as wearing waterproof gear is wearing warm gear while skiing. Everyone talks about layers (which is super helpful and important) but not everyone explains socks. Warm long socks will keep you happier longer on the mountain (leave the ankle socks for your hotel room). Your pack of 30 socks from the bulk store will leave you with sore feet and holes from all the hot spots that were rubbed all day. Long socks will go up out of the booth, whereas shorter ankle socks will create a pinch point in your booth that will make you wish you never agreed to try this sport again. So save yourself and get warm long socks and waterproof pants and gloves. Bonus: Pack a pair of socks to switch into for the drive to the resort and switch into your “ski socks” when you put on your boots. If your feet are wet from sweating on the way to the mountain, you will instantly be cold when you start skiing. Switch out your socks for a warmer time.

Skiing in Utah

Protect Your Money Maker

Next, you need to make sure you pack sunscreen and wear goggles or sunglasses skiing. We all know that experts agree we should always be wearing sunscreen, even on cloudy days (American Skin Association). The high elevation is going to wreck your face, so make sure to pack some in your jacket pocket and reapply at lunch (more often is better)so you don’t go home from vacation looking like a blistered tomato. 

Again, protecting your assets is important while skiing. So pack your goggles (or rent some) and bring some sunnies as well. You might be thinking, “but I won’t make it 50 yards!” The reason you need to protect your eyeballs is so you don’t get snow blindness from light bouncing off the bright snow into your face for hours. Just like welders, you need to protect your eyeballs (WebMd). So splurge on those Oakleys or Smiths so your dehydrated body looks a little cooler out on the patio.

In any case, you are probably going to be walking around wearing a beanie but should wear a helmet while skiing. Concussions are not fun and can have life-altering effects. So buy a helmet and save your mind. Then when you are tired at the end of the day, you can swap that out for a beanie without trying to fix your hair in a portable restroom at the base of the mountain.

Skiing in Utah

Always Wear Gear That Fits (so You Have Room for Snacks)

Finally, the last few things on your checklist for what to wear while skiing is something you probably already have or are renting. Your gear! Take the time to make sure your boots fit. If you lie to your rental tech about weight, or shoe size you are only hurting yourself. Boots that are too large will cause your foot to move so much that you won’t be able to properly control your ski/board.

Obviously, large pants will probably mean you’re mooning everyone, and pants that are too small will mean a nice long pant split when you bend over to tie your boot. It’s also highly recommended to choose ski jackets with inside pockets so you can pack snacks. Yup, just like a squirrel. The amount of times a ski run has been saved because of an extra boost of sugar from Sour Patch Kids or protein from some almonds too large to count. So pack snacks and give yourself plenty of time to try on gear so you can have a better experience. 

For the same reason, knowing your gear is essential. What is mean is this: Learn how to put your gear on. Take your pants out of your boot (you only need your foot and socks in there, people!) and tie/buckle the sucker properly. And if you don’t know how to actually get your boot into the ski, ask the rental tech so you can spend more time in your ski lesson learning how to ski better.

Naturally,  you are going to figure out what you want to wear while skiing after the first day. Since gear and style are always changing, you could buy something and hate it in 5 years, or stumble upon your grandparent’s gear and realize its suddenly in style. No matter the season, these basics should always be in your skiing bag so you can have a better day on the mountain.

Which items on this list do you always have? Let me know in the comments below.

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What to wear skiing

What to Wear Skiing Checklist from Bay Rosemary

Waterproof gloves/mittens
Warm long socks
Waterproof pants
Goggles/sunglasses
Beanie and Helmet
Sunscreen
Gear that’s the right size
Knowledge on how to put gear on properly
Candy / snacks

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