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What to Pack for a Ski Trip

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I feel I’m still new to snow since I’ve gone only a few time with the kids. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned that what to pack for a snow trip is important. I wish someone had told me what the must-bring items are for a snow trip with kids. Here’s a list of my favorites and must-haves when we hit the slopes, especially for beginners

To be honest, I’m not much of a snow person…I’m more of a warm-sand-between-the-toes beach person. However, my husband enjoys the snow, and I have to drag him so much to the beach that it’s just fair I try my best to visit the snow here and there.

The first time I went to the snow with the kids I was so frustrated because of what I didn’t bring and I should have…and also for what I brought and shouldn’t have. Sound familiar?

I don’t want that to happen to you, so I am sharing what I’ve learned. So here’s the list of things you should bring, but first, let’s talk about planning. These are a few things you have to keep in mind  if you either go snowboarding, skiing, or just sledding down a snowy hill:

1. Check the Weather

When you start thinking about what to pack for a ski trip, this may sounds basic, but it is the first step you shouldn’t miss before you head to the snow. Weather can be sometimes unpredictable.  With the information you can decide what to bring and what not. Sometimes there are very warm snow days. Also sometimes you need snow chains for your car, or snow tires if your car can’t use chains. If you are heading into inclement weather, make sure that you have a full tank of gas and it’s not a bad idea to bring sleeping bags so you can stay warm in case you get stuck for a long time on a snowbound road!

2. Arrive Early

It’s usually better to plan on arriving early for many reasons, the first of which to take advantage of a whole day in the snow. If you’re renting, getting all the equipment for everyone can take a while. Also when snow is good it can be crowded and parking lots can get full, and you may end up parking far from the lodge.

3. What to Wear

Now let’s talk about what to wear. Staying dry is key to a successful snow day. It will make a big difference to have the right clothes. To accomplish this make, sure to stay away from cotton, because cotton tends to absorb moisture when wet.  I always try to borrow stuff from friends, and there’s always something a friend can lend you. Ask on social media, and you’ll find people are very happy to share.

Layers! In the snow, layers are a must have. Base layers, made of merino wool or polyester are recommended. The base layer is the first layer of your outfit. It should fit snugly to your skin, but not tight, so it can breath and keep you dry.

For the kids find option 1, option 2, option 3, option 4

For her, find it here.

For him, find it here.

The Insulating Layer is usually one the goes over the base layer and is either a sweater, vest or fleece. It should be loose enough for comfort but not too bulky.

For the kids, find it here.

For him, find options here.

For her, find options here.

Vests for her

Outer wear The most exterior layer is the protective one: winter jacket and snow pants. The exterior layer helps to protect you against the elements of winter such as snow and wind.

For a snow jacket, I recommend that you don’t get a puffy one. Instead, look for something that is weather-and wind-resistant – and that goes for pants too. I always prefer those that have some insulation. They both can be used for skiing or snowboarding.

For kids, here are some fun options:

For women, here are few options:

Here are different options for snowboarding and ski jackets for women, some of my favorite colors and brands but there are more to choose from.

Find some snow boarding and ski jackets for him here. Spyder and Burton are the best brand in quality that I know of.

You can wear a thin, non-insulated top layer if you wear ample base- and mid-layers. Or, any insulated coat and pants will work. Gore-Tex is typically best, but you can go with nylon, and you don’t have to spend a fortune.

Socks

Choose thin, non-ribbed socks and don’t get big, fluffy ones. You always need room since ski and snowboard boots are tight, so you want thin socks to ensure maximum comfort.

Gloves

Choose insulated gloves. This is one very important item and choosing the right one is critical. Cotton or knit gloves tend to get wet easily. I choose those that have an outside shell and inside liner.

Mittens:  

Make sure they are the right size and fit correctly. Losing one of these can ruin your whole snow day. You don’t want your kid to be losing them because they’re too big.  Snow-stopper has this great mitten with an extra long cut so water doesn’t go through the sleeves. Make sure you get the right size!

Goggles or sunglasses

These are crucial to protect your eyes because they aren’t just for looks! Snow is a reflective surface so even cloudy days can be bright on the slopes. If your kids are taking classes, these are not included in the package for ski or snowboarding. Check that they fit without gaps. Fortunately, goggles last longer than any other snow item. Smith has a great variety to choose from, and they’re decent quality.

For safety and comfort, the entire frame of the goggles should sit against the face and the helmet should come down low enough that there’s very little (preferably NO) gap between the frame of the goggles and the top of the helmet.

Head Gear

Helmets are always advisable because they can protect your head from falls, and keep you warm. You can rent them at a ski shop. Even if you aren’t skiing or skateboarding, you’ll still need to protect your head. Heat escapes from head fast so keep your head warm keep your body warm. Pack a hat and consider investing in a balaclava. Hats and headbands can be found almost anywhere.

Snow hat

 There are so many to choose from, but T-Wilker has so many great choices for kids from 5 to 14 years old

Kids neck tube.

These can really help you (and your kids) to stay comfortable when the wind blows or you’re just bombing down teh slopes.

Ear warmers  

OK, this may be overkill, but they will definitely provide comfort for your little ones in the cold, especially if it’s their first time in the cold.

Snow boots.

If you’re not going skiing or snowboarding, get good snow boots to go tubing or walk around the snow.  

Snow Bibs

I always prefer snow bibs rather than snow pants, even for my 10 year old. He once wore snow pants and ended up with his T-shirt wet and started complaining about being cold! My favorite is the snow bib from Columbia 

What Else to Bring

Now that you have everything you need to keep you warm and dry, there are some additional items that you should bring with you to the slopes.

Sunscreen

Snow reflects the sun more than you might think! Protect your faces with some good sunscreen.

Lip Balm:

The dry weather and wind can also affect your skins and lips as well.

Extra Clothes.

Since this is your first time, you might not have the “perfect” clothes for the slopes. A set of warm, dry, and cozy clothes will make all the difference on your ride home.

Essential:

Don’t forget the basic things like cash, credit cards and valid identification to rent ski equipment.

Small backpack carrier

For those little things like wallets, keys, water or extra stuff you don’t want to carry in your hands. For example if the weather gets warm and you need to take any of your layers off and not need to go back to the lockers.

Phone protection:

phones can get wet in snow so, a water prof case is not a bad idea

Hand warmer.

Okay, you can get those for a buck and then toss them in the garbage, but if you’re planning a longer trip, these are great and can be reused and are rechargeable.

Hand warmers and toe warmers

I’ll also link what we use. I hate that they aren’t reusable. If you know a non bulky brand that last for 8 hours that is reusable then let me know. I’ll do a story with these and tell you how to properly use them. 

Hand warmers and toe warmers are important. Unfortunately this one is bulky so if you want want that is not there are the non reusable ones.  

Cooler

If you’re going skiing or snowboarding and not planning to buy food at resort, don’t forget to bring a cooler with lunch in your car so you don’t need to spend your money on the ridiculous overpriced resort food!

Also, for your little stuff get the small waterproof backpack for those things you don’t need to leave in the locker.

I hope this is helpful and you and your family get to enjoy great time on the snow!

How to save money on ski equipment:

Check your closets. Seriously, go now. Pull out all the gear and have everyone pull out what they have. Make sure to pass the clothes from one kid to the other and also check your own clothes.

Be alert to sales and also leftovers from last year that can have huge discounts. And before the season gets going, be on the lookout for sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

I hope this is helpful, and enjoy the snow!

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