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.
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 enjoy your vacation. This isn’t a list of new jackets and gear (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). Check out my printable packing checklist for skiing vacations!
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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 your hands, your butt, your back should ideally be covered with waterproof gear.
Basic gloves or mittens from a department store might night cut it. As soon as you touch the snow by clearing a boot off, or picking your phone up out of the snow, your gloves may be wet and cold. Save yourself the pain and spend the money on warm, waterproof gloves or mittens.
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. Your socks should fit, a small size may restrict blood flow.
Quality, 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 may leave you with sore feet and holes from all the hot spots that were rubbed all day. Shorter ankle socks will create a pinch point in your boot 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. Grab some Burton socks, they are super comfy: Up to 60% Off Women’s Clearance. You can get away with thinner socks during spring skiing, but it’s ultimately up to you.
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 sunscreen in your jacket pocket. Also, reapply at lunch (more often is better) so you don’t go home from vacation looking like a blistered tomato.
Again, protecting your eyes 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, I don’t need to protect my eyes!”
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 sunnies so your dehydrated body looks a little cooler out on the patio.
In any case, you are probably going to pack a beanie, but you 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 head to the bar/dinner 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.
Always Wear Gear That Fits
Finally, the last few things on your skiing checklist are 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.
For the same reason, knowing your gear is essential. What I mean is this: Learn how to put your gear on. Take your pants out of your boot (you only need your foot and long socks in there, people!). Learn to tie/buckle the boot properly. Practice in your hotel room or at the rental shop.
Tip: Choose ski jackets or pants with pockets so you can pack snacks. Yup, just like a squirrel. The amount of times a ski run has been saved by an extra boost of sugar from Sour Patch Kids is too large to count. So pack snacks and give yourself plenty of time to try on gear so you can have a better experience.
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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