We always joke at the airport that you can tell a newbie skier by the size of their luggage. No need to be embarrassed, I’ve been there myself. If you’ve only ever had to pack shorts and flip flops for your holiday, knowing what to take on a winter trip to the mountains can be difficult. This blog post is based on what I’d pack on a European ski trip. If you’re heading the Canada/USA, the temperature is much lower and you will certainly need some extra layers.

One thing to keep in mind is that most people don’t tend to make that much effort with appearance. You need to dress for warmth, comfort and functionality. If you’re outfit happens to look ‘on trend’, that’s a bonus. Hair and makeup goes out the window after about the 2nd day, there isn’t much point when you’re wearing goggles and a helmet. In the evening, you might change in to a pair of jeans, but you’ll probably keep you’re ski jacket on for warmth. There’s been many a drunken night when I’ve not even made it back to the room to change before going out (I always keep trainers in my rucksack for occasions like this).

So, what do you actually need for a week’s trip? Here’s what went in my bag for our recent trip to Les Arcs. I will link what I can however, most of my gear has been purchased in end of season sales so colours and styles my differ slightly.

If you’re new to winter sports the chances are you may not have all/ any of the equipment. Having said that, I had all the gear and no idea from the start.

If you have your own skis/ board, put some pipe insulation on you edges to protect them from any bumps during transit, especially if you have a soft shell ski bag. Helmet,boots, and goggles all go in my main holdall. Utilise the space in your boots and helmet and fill them with socks.

I’m a very lite traveller so if you’re the type of person who’s squeaky clean, this list might not suit you. I on the other hand, feel no guilt re-wearing my clothes so my packing list is as follows;

  • Ski jacket
  • Ski trousers
  • Ski gloves
  • Compression tights & long-sleeve top – a good quality pair really do help with muscle recovery along with providing an extra layer to keep you warm.
  • x3 old t-shirts for the slopes (I get 2 days wear out of each) – a breathable material would be ideal
  • x2 thin fleece jumpers – I normally wear a fleece in the morning and then chuck it in my rucksack once I’ve warmed up
  • Buff – this is MUST have item. You can wear it as a neck warmer, balaclava, headband or numerous other ways
  • x3 nicer t-shirts/tops for the evenings
  • Jeans
  • Knitted jumper and cardigan for the evenings
  • Old trainers – I personally don’t think snowboots are needed but it’s personal preference
  • Rucksack – to ski with and also my carry on
  • Sunglasses
  • Beanie Hat 
  • Gloves
  • Underwear and socks to last the week

This packing list is just a rough guide, keep in mine that your tolerance to the weather may differ to mine. I’m hot blooded and on a sunny day can happily ski in just a t-shirt, whereas others may still have a fleece and jacket on. Mountains also create their own weather and it’s amazing how quickly it can change, always be prepared. Take a rucksack with you on the slopes, that way you can add or remove a layer as necessary..

What do you take with you on your winter holidays? Is there anything I’ve forgotten?

Have you read my other  Winter Sports posts?


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