What to Pack for a Ski Trip
Updated: Feb 16
Got a winter trip planned in the future where you plan to hit the slopes and you're not sure what to pack? Below I have provided a packing guide for your winter vacation! I've lived in South Lake Tahoe for 4 years (including some pretty brutal winters) and I've traveled abroad with the intentions of skiing during my trip. Over the years I have become a packing pro when it comes to a ski trip and I hope this packing guide helps you this winter season!
Most importantly when you're going to be trekking through snow, is making sure you have proper snow shoes. You want to make sure your footwear can get a proper grip in the snow when you're walking around so you don't slip and fall and seriously hurt yourself.
One of my favorite footwear brands for the winter time is Sorel. They have great quality shoes and boots without lacking in style. The "Joan of Arctic" boot is my favorite because it's waterproof on the outside, warm on the inside, and tall in case the snow you're walking in is deep.
Inside your boots, you want to make sure you have proper socks. A great brand, especially for when you're wearing ski or boarding boots is Smartwool. These are my favorite brand of socks to wear inside my ski boot because they're thin enough to not take up too much room in my boot, but they still keep my feet warm. They have different patterns and styles for different uses. For packing purposes I usually stick with bringing just the ski socks inside my ski boots to save room.
Hi my name is Christina, and I have a legging addiction problem. Thankfully you can never have too many leggings when traveling for a ski trip. Wear them under your ski/boarding pants for extra warmth, relaxing by the fire after your day on the slopes, or out and about with your snow boots and a cute sweater. I'll usually bring 3 - 4 pairs depending on the duration of the ski trip. Fold in half hot-dog style then roll them into little burritos so they don't take up too much room in your suitcase.
Having the right pair of ski/boarding pants can make or break your day on the mountain. No one wants a cold bum when they're trying to have a fun time, so make sure you find a pair that stay dry and are thick enough to keep you warm in the cold weather. I love my Burton ski pants that my boyfriend got me on Amazon (pictured below, far left). They're form fitting but they have a little stretch to them so I don't feel constricted while I'm skiing, and I can easily wear a pair of leggings underneath for those extra cold days. Be sure to pack a comfortable belt too. Sometimes moving around and sitting up and down, you'll want to make sure your pants stay put. Another great option for ski pants is the ski bib (center). I used to wear something like this as a kid but I think the style is coming back!
This is were you can easily over pack for a ski trip. You want to dress in layers so you stay warm but there's only so much your suitcase can carry. Here's what I'll usually bring depending on the duration of the trip.
One to two tank tops
One thermal long sleeve
Two to three long sleeve tops or sweaters
One thick jacket for daily use
One ski jacket for the slopes
One sweater dress
For layering, pack items that you can easily use in multiple outfits. Sweaters and other long sleeves can get bulky and take up a lot of room when you're packing. So pack solid and neutral colors that can be used in multiple outfits and not take up a whole lot of room. My favorite items to bring are usually a gray turtleneck, a cream colored sweater, and a dusty pink sweater. I can easily match all these tops with any bottoms I bring as well as layering it with a simple tank top in white or black underneath for extra warmth.
For a jacket to wear daily I like to use a simple wool blend black pea coat or a fuzzy "teady bear" jacket. Both are different styles but are very versatile and useful when you're walking around in the snow. Just like when you're layering your other clothing, get solid and neutral colors so you can literally wear these coats with any outfit.
For my ski out fit I'll usually wear one of the simple tank tops underneath a thermal long sleeve with my ski jacket. If you're in the market for a ski jacket I recommend looking into the brand Columbia. You can find some great Columbia ski jackets on Amazon!
If you have room in your suitcase after packing the essentials, a sweater dress is a great addition. A sweater dress is a nice option to get dressed up a little while still dressing for the season. Lulus.com has stylish and comfortable sweater dresses. What's even better is a sweater dress will still look great with your snow boots!
There are a few key items you should have while you're spending the day on the slopes. I'm fortunate to have learned how to ski at a very young age so I've had years of skiing to know which items I cannot ski without.
Gloves / Mittens
It's very important to keep your hands warm and protected from the snow. I prefer gloves but I have plenty of friends who like wearing mittens while they're skiing or snow boarding.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have the right eye wear. I used to ski with my sunglasses because I didn't want to spend the money on a pair of expensive goggles. I don't know what I was thinking. First of all, there are plenty of brands of goggles out there that wont cost you an arm and a leg. Secondly, with the proper pair of goggles you'll be able to see so much more and you'll have so much more fun. There are bumps and grooves in the snow and you're not going to see them with the wrong eye wear and you're more likely to fall and hurt yourself.
My go-to beanie right now is by a company called C.C. which you can buy on Amazon. They're made from a chunky and soft wool fabric and they have a hole at the top which is perfect to fit my long hair in a ponytail or a bun.
Another thing I went years without using was a neck warmer. I now have two; one made of fleece for those extra cold days (pictured below in black), and one that's more synthetic (pictured below in pink) that acts more for UV protection. If you don't have a neck warmer an infinity scarf works great as well. I prefer an infinity scarf to a regular one because I won't run the risk of the scarf flying behind me as I ski down the mountain.
It is very important to stay hydrated especially when you're being active at high altitudes, and a Camelbak is great for that. Not only can you have water handy for the whole day, you can also fit some snacks in the other pockets if you need to.
I hope this packing guide is helpful for your upcoming ski trip!
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