What to pack for a ski trip

Growing up just an hour away from the beautiful Rocky Mountains, I know my way around a ski resort. But even with the dozens of trips I’ve taken throughout the years to chalets, ski-in/out hotels and even ski-yoga retreats, I always feel like I’m forgetting something when it comes time to load all of the necessary equipment into the car on the way out. And I know for a fact I’m not the only one: one of my friends once completely forgot to grab his suitcase en route to our New Year’s getaway, and was stuck in the same outfit for four days!

With that in mind, here are the essentials.




  • Helmet
  • Boots
  • Skis or snowboard
  • Goggles
  • Poles

Keep in mind that everything listed above can usually be rented at the hill, which is handy for those who don’t want to lug all of their equipment onto a plane.




  • Warm winter jacket
  • Snowpants
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Breathable base layer
  • Warm socks



Hand warmers
These bad boys can be a life-saver if you’re hitting the hill on a freezing day. Buy a bunch (they’re usually about $1 each) and stick them in your gloves and boots to keep your fingers and toes warm all day long.

Extra boots
The first thing I do after a long day on the ski hill is whip off those uncomfortable ski boots, so it’s handy to bring along a comfy pair of winter boots to change into.

Cell phone
It’s pretty much a given that you’ll lose your group during at least one run, and even agreeing on a meeting spot doesn’t guarantee everyone will be reunited. It helps to have a cell phone for such situations, and is also important in the event of an emergency in a secluded spot.

Some ski hills offer special discounts to area residents or people of a certain age, so make sure you bring your identification card along to prove your age and address. For the young bucks, it might also mean the difference between being served a cold beer and being forced to sip water!

While not mandatory, a GoPro is fun to bring along if you plan on doing crazy tricks on the hill and want to brag about it to your friends later. Make sure you have a Chesty, so you can record your shenanigans hands-free.



Ski resorts are notoriously expensive. Save a few bucks by bringing your own lunch, or at least a water bottle and some snacks you can nosh on the chairlift.

In my opinion, one of the best parts of a ski day is the après-ski. Yes, I’m talking about kicking back in the resort’s hot tub, preferably with a nice cocktail in my hand. Make sure you bring a swimsuit along so you’re allowed in!

Do you have anything to add to the list? Share them in the comments below.


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4 Responses

  1. Russell says:

    A couple other handy things: always get a couple different tinted lenses with your goggles for changing light conditions. Visibility can change drastically depending on snow conditions. And a whistle you can clip to your zipper is a good safety item especially on big pow days. It will help you notify others you are in trouble without wasting all your breath if your stuck in a tree well!

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