What to Pack for a Ski Trip

Ski Trip Packing List for the Perfect Getaway

If there's one type of vacation you don't want to be under-packed for, it's the ski trip. If you forget to bring a lightweight cotton sweater to your weekend in Bermuda, you'll be fine. But when your chosen activity involves standing on a mountain in the middle of winter, every layer counts. How do you know what to bring on a ski trip?

The best way to avoid such a fate is to make a list of travel clothes. You'll find ours below (it should still leave enough room for that fondue set you've resolved to make use of.) Here are our top things to pack for a ski trip.

A Wick Away Base Layer

We'll start at the base with long underwear. Fortunately, the long underwear of today isn't the thick, scratchy stuff of your grandparents' era. Modern long underwear is lightweight, flexible, and able to absorb moisture. You'll barely even feel it—but you will appreciate the extra warmth. In fact, you’ll probably love them so much, you’ll want multiple pairs. It’s great to have them too, for when days get really sweaty.

Mid-Layer Ski Sweaters

No ski trip list would be complete without a couple of sweaters. We like to make two piles while we pack: sweaters for the slopes and cozy sweaters for après ski. The former requires something warm yet quick-drying and able to be worn under a jacket. A good fleece tunic or quarter-zip will cover you on both accounts.

You can take some liberties with sweaters you plan to wear around the lodge. Think cozy and classic, like a roomy cardigan sweater or a fuzzy Fair Isle. But we'll admit to having a soft spot for cashmere. After all, there's nothing quite like slipping into a cashmere sweater after a long day of runs.

We like to bring along at least one crewneck cashmere sweater and one V-neck cashmere sweater. The crewneck is for popping over a tee, lying next to a lit fireplace, and cradling a mug of hot cocoa. The V-neck can be worn on top of a shirt for a more elevated look when we feel like going out on the town.

The Hero of the Slopes, Your Top Coat

It's a given that you'll need outerwear, and we recommend taking the warmest winter coat in your closet. No matter what the forecasted temperature is, you'll be glad that you did.

Bringing a warm winter coat may be a no-brainer, but warm pajamas are too often overlooked. Trust us: when the sun goes down and temps hit their lowest, you'll be glad to have a set of flannel pajamas between yourself and the sheets. You'll come to appreciate its warming powers at the breakfast table, too.

Optional But Highly Suggested Items for a Day Trip

There are so many great things you can keep in a ski bag to be better prepared for the unexpected. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ibuprofen and a small first aid kit (for soreness and any scrapes you might get)
  • A change of casual clothes (in case you get stuck at the resort)
  • Goggle lenses (that you can change, on your goggles, for different weather)
  • A fuzzy blanket to be used after an active day of skiing

What to Pack for a Ski Weekend

If you’re doing an overnight trip to a resort, you’ll need a few more items. Some of these are optional, but nice to have. For example, extra ski gear isn’t required, but it is nice to have if yours isn’t dried from the day before. Here are a few other things you might find handy.

  • Several changes of clothes (depending on how long you’ll be at the resort)
  • A quarter-zip fleece
  • Cozy Pajamas
  • At least one change of ski socks
  • An extra ski jacket (in case yours isn’t dry for skiing the day before)
  • An extra base layer (things can get a bit sweaty)
  • Toiletries items
  • Boot dryers  (if you have them)
  • Laundry detergent (in case you need to wash your stinky ski gear)
  • Bathing suit, (for the jacuzzi after a hard day of skiing)
  • Pack everything away in a cute roller bag

Pack Like a Pro

While the roller bag mentioned above can be great for overnight items, you’ll probably need a separate bigger bag for all of your ski gear. Coats, helmets, goggles, gloves, hats, and ski pants, take up so much space. They’re all super bulky but, as mentioned above, necessary. It’s also good to keep a designated ski bag that you keep all of your gear in, once your gear dries. This way, you know where everything is, at all times,  and there’s one central location for everything. 

Another way to keep your bags organized (overnight and ski bags) and less bulky is to use packing cubes or stuff sacks. These will help you organize and compress items down. Also, don’t forget to put items like shampoo, lotion, etc in plastic bags in case they decide to unexpectedly break open.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, this winter, or just a few single-day trips to your favorite ski resort, having your essentials is so important. Most ski resorts are not located next to big stores. So, if you forget something, you’ll have to buy it from an expensive resort or hotel store. If not, you might be out of luck. Take the lists above and use them as jumping-off points for your personal ski lists, and try not to forget anything. Being prepared and warm will help you have a much more fun trip!

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