Ski essentials for beginners – What to pack?

by Simon Naylor | Updated: October 27th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

There is so much to remember when you are packing for a ski trip. Sure, you remembered the big items like your skis and boots, but it can be the little things like your gloves or goggles that can get left behind. While those items are small, they can make a huge difference in how well you ski and how much you enjoy your day.

To make sure that you don’t forget anything on your way up to the slopes, it is a good idea to make a checklist of items of both your basic ski necessities such as skis and boots. Forgetting other small items can also significantly impact your day if you leave them behind, such as gloves, goggles, or even snacks

ski view

We are reader supported. We may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

We’ve compiled a brief breakdown of all your skiing needs so you can quickly and efficiently pack your gear without any worry. We’ll cover your necessary equipment, clothing, snacks, and small extras that can help you make the most of your day on the slopes. 

Basic Gear

Essential gear includes anything you need to physically be able to ski. If you don’t have these items, you won’t be allowed onto the lifts. 

True, if you forget any of these items, you can always rent, but rentals can be expensive. The price of ski rentals can range from $25 to $50 a day, while boots will put you back another $20 to $25. And this is only for your gear.

Your lift ticket is another expense altogether. So if you have already invested in your skis, boots, and poles, then don’t take the chance of leaving them behind and having to pay extra. 

Additionally, if you have to enter the ski rental shop, you could spend much of your morning in a long line waiting to be helped. And let’s face it, if you’re an avid skier, you bought your own gear for a reason. In a pinch, rental equipment will work fine, but sharing boots with strangers is never the ideal way to start your day. 

Therefore, packing the following is absolutely necessary to avoid any delays in getting on the slopes or any hiccups with rental gear.

Your basic gear checklist:

  1. Skis. 
  2. Boots.
  3. Poles.

Pro tip:

Buy a carrying bag to keep your skis and poles together and more comfortable to transport. 

When you remember to pack all your basic ski gear, you will save time, money, and will be much more comfortable navigating the moguls. 

Clothing Essentials

Renting someone else’s clothing is also a big yuck. Skiing is a sweaty sport. There’s no getting around it. So even when gloves or helmets are washed or sanitized by the rental shop, there’s always the reminder that someone else’s sticky hands or greasy head preceded yours. When worse comes to worst, renting forgotten gear is convenient, but it is an unnecessary expense, and it is a little gross. 

What about buying clothing at the ski shop at the resort? Again, if that is your only option, you have to do what you have to do. However, clothing sold at resorts is often much more expensive than what you spent at the sports outlet. Not to mention the precious time you will spend shopping instead of getting the most out of your lift ticket. 

It is also essential to pack extras of things like thermals, hats, gloves, and socks. That way, if you get cold, you can quickly and easily switch out for a dry, warm pair and get on with your day. 

Your clothing checklist:

  1. Coat.
  2. Waterproof pants.
  3. Helmet.
  4. Thermals (tops and bottoms).
  5. Thin hat (2).
  6. Gloves (2 pairs). 
  7. Scarf or gaiter.
  8. Wool socks (2 pairs). 

Packing the right clothing for a day on the slopes won’t only keep you comfortable during the runs, but it also serves as a protection for you. Take, for example, helmets. Helmets have reduced head injuries caused by skiing accidents by 50%. 

Also, consider how extra packing items like socks and gloves could protect your fingers and toes from frostbite and other cold-related injuries. 

When you are prepared with the right items of clothing, your ski trip will not only be more enjoyable, but it will be much safer. Protect yourself from the elements as well as potential accidents, adding the above items to your skiing checklist. 

Food and Snacks

If you are on a budget this winter as most families are, then packing your own snacks and lunches is a great way to save money during lodge breaks. Most lodges allow you to enjoy your own food without any problems. 

True, that slice of pizza or bowl of chili might hit the spot, but not only will you end up spending a lot on the food, but the food that the lodge serves will also likely put you in a coma the rest of the afternoon. 

Instead of being overcharged for food that will make you feel lethargic, plan ahead, and make a list of delicious, affordable food that you can pack yourself. You want food that is high in calories to keep your energy up. When snacks include healthy fats and protein, the release of energy will slow down, and you will stay fuller, longer. 

Here is a list of suggested foods that are affordable as well as nutritious and easy to pack:

  1. Dried fruit and nuts.
  2. Protein bars. 
  3. Homemade energy balls
  4. Homemade soup or chili in a thermos. 
  5. Apple slices with peanut butter. 
  6. Cheese sticks. 
  7. Boiled eggs. 
  8. Jerky.
  9. Tuna salad with crackers.
  10. Hearty sandwich with whole-grain bread.
  11. Teabags or hot chocolate packets. 

True, most of these items will be available at the lodge for purchase. However, if you choose to wait until you get to the resort to buy food, you can expect to pay two to three times what you would at the grocery store. There is also no guarantee to the freshness and purity of the food you don’t prepare yourself. 

If you have the time to prepare and buy food ahead of time, the above list is an excellent place to start when considering what to pack for snacks on your ski trip. 

Other Essentials

Other small items can be easily forgotten or left behind in a rush to pack. While leaving these things behind won’t ruin your day, making sure you have them with you can improve the quality of the trip. 

When packing for your ski vacation, don’t forget the following:

  1. Cellphone and charger. 
  2. Earbuds.
  3. Goggle wipes.
  4. Hand and foot warmers. 
  5. Tissue.
  6. Lip balm.
  7. Sunscreen.
  8. Hand Lotion
  9. Small First Aid Kit that includes a few Band-Aids and pain killers. 
  10. Photo I.D. 
  11. Credit/Debit Card.
  12. Cash.
  13. Thin wallet to carry money and cards without the bulk.

Packing for your ski vacation doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. The best thing you can do is to break your packing list down into categories like our lists above. Using the general packing lists above will ensure that you don’t forget a thing. You can adapt them to your own skiing needs and adjust them as needed. Now you can focus on the fun you’re about to have on the slopes without the worry of leaving anything behind.