Everything You NEED to Pack Skiing: List of Essentials

by Simon Naylor | Updated: February 2nd, 2023 |  Skiing Articles

If you're new to skiing, you might be wondering what you need to bring with you on the slopes.

It's harder enough to learn how to ski, so you'll want to make your day as comfortable and enjoyable as you can.

ski essentials

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Here Is A Breakdown Of Everything I Take With Me When I Go Skiing For The Day In More Depth:

1. Skis

Pretty essential right?

2. Ski Boots

This is what your feet go into and attach to your skis. Ski boots are tricky to walk in but keep your ankles protected.

3. Ski Poles

Ski poles help you move on the flat, support you on steep terrain and help you set up your turns. 

4. Ski Jacket

Waterproof jacket with a big hood, plenty of pockets, and a warm fleece lining. Keeps you dry and has a sleeve pocket for that all-important ski pass. Read the full guide.

5. Fleece Layer

Ski jackets are warm but most of the time you'll need an extra fleece to preserve body heat.

6. Ski Trousers

Waterproof trousers keep you dry. Special wide bottoms so you can fit over your ski boots

7. Base Layers

Base layers are thin undergarments like tight pajamas that preserve body heat in sub-zero temperatures.

8. Ski Gloves

Keep your hands warm. They'll need to be waterproof and fleece lined. My hands were always cold until I invested in a nice pair. Choose gore-tex if you can afford it - If you're looking for a quality pair I recommend Burton Men's Gore-Tex Glove. 

9. Ski Goggles

Check Price on OutdoorMaster.com

The sun is bright, and goggles protect your eyes from snow blindness (a real thing) and allow you to see everything much clearer. Especially the hidden dips in the white snow. Read the full guide.  

10. Ski Helmet

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Helps protect you from serious injury. Keeps you warm and has other great benefits...see why I recommend wearing a helmet.

11. Ski Socks

Ski socks are longer, warmer, and cozier than any other socks you've worn. Always try out new boots wearing your ski socks for the perfect fit. Brings multiple socks for a multi-day ski week. 

12. Backpack

A light and sturdy backpack to carry the day's essentials is a must-have. I've tried many backpacks over the years and they always let me down. I invested in a North Face Vault and it's by far my favorite.

What's in my Backpack?

1. Tasty Snacks

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer under CC BY 2.0

I always bring plenty of high-energy snacks to keep me fuelled (dates, fruit, chocolate..) and a normally packed lunch of home-cooked food (pasta, rice..). 

2. Water Bottle

I always bring my trusty Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle to quench my thirst throughout the day. It's easy to get dehydrated skiing all day and you don't want to have to head back to the station to buy a water bottle that's plastic/wasteful & expensive.

3. Suncream

This one's easy to forget. Always bring suncream. Every skier's best friend. Use generously on your nose and cheeks. Ski burn is real and can ruin your ski trip if you forget this one thing. 

4. Sunglasses

Whilst skiing I wear my ski goggles, but at lunchtime when I stop, I like to give my head a breather. The sun is fierce at high altitudes and wrap-around sunglasses are a must to enjoy your breaks comfortably.  

5. Balaclava

On a warm day, this stays in my backpack, on a cold day it never leaves me. A neck warmer / gaiter or balaclava is essential in cold weather. 

6. Lipbalm

Chapped lips are common in dry air. SPV lip balm will protect you from the elements. Any is better than none, but most agree that CARMEX is a  top-notch choice.

Luxuries I bring

1. Camera

iphone 7

I use my trusty iphone 7 to take all my photos and videos. 

(I also occasionally video chat friends and family from the slopes)

2. Video Stabilizer

I love taking videos when I'm up skiing. I recently got gifted an Osmo Mobile 2 which I attach to my iPhone to get silky smooth videos. I usually take it out for a few runs and then sling it in my backpack when not in use. 

The Locker Tip

At my local resort, they have handy lockers at the top station. I usually pay a couple of euros and store my lunch box, extra snacks, shoes, and anything I don't need at that moment. 

That way I don't have to weigh myself down with everything in my backpack all at once. Keeps me light and nimble. 

I used to leave it in the car, but that was a long walk away from the gondola. It took me a while to discover the lockers, (I would think that plenty of resorts have them. )

Now if I need anything, I can just ski down to the locker and swap things about. Easy peasy. 

Kitted Out

Here's me locked and loaded on the first run of the day. 

Why Do I Always Bring Trainers And A T-shirt? 

I usually bring my trainers up to the top ski station (where the gondola drops me off) and leave my trainers in the locker. That way at lunchtime or right after the day ends I can take off my boots and put my shoes on.

The relief when you get those boots off after a long day on the slopes is something else! 

While we're on the subject of tight ski boots; I'd highly recommend loosening a few straps at lunchtime to give your feet a break. It's worth the few minutes it takes.

Having a great t-shirt is also a great idea. After hours of wearing a tight base layer, it's nice to take it off when you're back in town or hitting the apres. Saves having to go back to your hotel or car. 

Final Thoughts

Most of this will apply if you're going on a ski trip or holiday but doesn't cover what you'll need off the slopes.

There might be a few things you'll want to bring that aren't on my list, but hopefully, this has given you a rundown of the most important things you need for a day skiing.

Pack light, but pack for warmth, comfort, and safety.

Enjoy your time on the slopes.