Packing for any trip is a daunting task, but packing for a full day on the slopes? You best be sure you’ve got everything you need because there’s a lot to remember and once you’re on the ski lift it's too late!
Here are our go-to’s to help make sure your next trip to the mountain goes smoothly:
Trust us, what you decide to wear will dictate how comfortable you are for the entire day. The last thing you want is to be underdressed, shivering cold, and rethinking your life choices as you ride up the chairlift in single digit temperatures. But, also, there’s not much worse than feeling like you’re dripping sweat because you overdressed.
Facemask: We know, they’re ugly but grab a facemask. Whipping down the mountain without one will leave you at risk for frostbite or that sort of weird not-quite-sunburnt but a little fried wind burn on your face. We recommend getting one like this, which you can pull up or pull down depending on the temperature. Avoid one hundred percent cotton facemasks, as they are prone to retaining moisture and can sometimes even freeze.
Goggles: You’ll want to pack a couple lenses that you can switch out depending on the conditions that day. Each color lens will filter light differently and offer specific advantages depending on what Mother Nature decides to throw at you. Consider these lens choices for a sunny day, partly cloudy, overcast, or night riding.
Gloves: Our favorite gloves to wear for ultimate comfort are waterproof mittens. What you sacrifice in dexterity you more than make up by allowing your fingers to huddle together to stay warm.
Snow Jacket: Unless it’s late Spring, you’re definitely going to need to ride with a snow jacket. Wearing a jacket will keep your body heat in, and keep wind and moisture out. Take a look at options with layers or removable shells for varying conditions.
Fleece or Sweater: Layers are crucial. You're better off being over prepared because you can always layer down if you become too warm. We reccomend checking out Smartwool for all your stay warm needs.
Snow Pants: We prefer to go old school and rock suspenders just like these ones - they prevent you from having to worry about your pants sliding down. Having plenty of pockets is also a plus because you can easily store your phone, keys, and wallet.
Wool Socks: Having cold feet when the rest of you is comfortable feels like forgetting your toothbrush at summer camp. At least with cold fingers you can blow into your hands and rub them together as a mediocre solution, but that’s not an option for your feet. Do yourself a favor; wear warm socks and you’ll be so much better off.
Photo Credit: Smart Wool
Baselayer Compression: Perfect for a cold day, wearing baselayer compression gear will be really helpful for trapping in body heat. It has also shown to measurably reduce swelling, inflammation and increased blood flow to prevent muscle strain, stiffness, and soreness.
Change of Clothes: There’s something truly satisfying about changing into comfy dry clothes after a long day on the ski mountain. Having a pair of loose-fittings and comfortable footwear will make lounging at the lodge or driving home that much better.
Ski Boots/Snowboard Boots: You can’t ride without them. Get a pair that suits your riding style and are the proper fit because often times they’re not super comfortable to begin with. Use this guide to pick the right one (Ski, Snowboard).
Ski/Snowboard: With several styles of skis and snowboards to choose from, it’s important to pick one based on your height, weight, and riding style. Use this helpful guide (Ski, Snowboard) to help decide on the equipment best for you!
FOOD AND HYDRATION
Although you can buy food and beverage at the mountain, it’s always overpriced and often lacking in nutritional value. We recommend bringing your own lunch and saving that money for a post-ride brew at the bar. Take a look at a couple of our favorite snacks that will offer carbohydrates, electrolytes, and protein to hold you over through out the day.
Sandwiches: Everyone loves sandwiches! Peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, chicken salad, make something of the sorts and pack it for the road. These are easy to make, will satisfy and fill you up enough to keep you riding for a while. You can even throw a sandwich in a small bag and store in your pocket for a mid-run break.
Trail Mix: A bag of assorted fruits, nuts, seeds, pretzels, and chocolate is a perfect combo to keep your energy high and your performance sharp when taking your lines down the mountain.
Hydration: This is non-negotiable but often forgotten since you’re surrounded by water and ice. Remember that it’s just as easy to become dehydrated when you’re in the cold and burning calories than as on a hot day. Being dehydrated on the mountain can lead to headaches, dizziness and decreased mental clarity. Altitude is known for suppressing the sensation of thirst, so be sure to be drinking water throughout the day. Aim to drink between runs and while you’re riding up the lift!
Last but not least a few items that are not a requirement, but we recommend bringing just in case.
Hand/Toe Warmers: Some people are more prone to feeling cold than others. If this sounds like you, than these hand and toe warmers will be your best friend.
Lip Balm: An unfortunate drawback to an exciting day on the mountain - chapped lips.. Bring some lip balm with you. Bonus points if it has SPF.
Sunscreen: Consider the altitude and that you’ll be thousands of feet closer to the sun while on the mountain. The summer months may be over but the snow reflects UV rays just like water; don’t be fooled by cloudy days, you can still get a sunburn in the snow.
Investing in protection for your body is much less expensive than paying for an emergency room visit. Getting injured even one time may mean forfeiting your ski pass for the rest of the season, which would be the biggest bummer of all.
G-Form’s claim to fame is body protection so lightweight and comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing it.
Protection Where You Need It:
Pro-X Compression Shirt: Perfect to wear as a first layer underneath your snow jacket; this shirt offers impact protection for the shoulders, ribs, clavicle, and sternum.
Pro-G Compression Shorts: These easily fit under any pair of snow pants and offers impact protection for the hips and tailbone.
Pro-X Elbow Pads: Our lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking elbow pads are designed for full articulation without the bulk.
Pro-X Knee Pads: These knee pads are seriously comfortable - offering flexible coverage across the entire kneecap without hindering mobility.
If you haven’t already, be sure to peep our “Where To Ride: Our Top 5 US Winter Sport Destinations” guide.