Hitting the slopes for some downhill adventures is the perfect activity for fall and winter. While the warm days of summer aren’t too far behind us, it’s the perfect time to start planning your next skiing and snowboarding trip. Making these vacation plans can get difficult as there are many aspects to consider. For instance, you must determine your destination, find housing, create a budget for both skiing/snowboarding and necessities (food, entertainment, drinks, etc.), and find a mode of transportation to your desired location.
However, the most stressful process of planning a winter sport-specific trip is knowing exactly what to wear and what to pack. Packing isn’t simple for even the most seasoned traveler. You must determine which items are essential, how many of each item is enough for the duration of your stay, and which items are best for your planned activities. When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, there are specific and general clothing garments that you should absolutely have in your suitcase. Read on to learn our recommendations for your winter sports vacation packing list.
There are a few clothing items that are essential for any skiing and snowboarding trip, regardless of the duration of your stay or specific location. For instance, you should always have an appropriate amount of cold weather-specific undergarments and versatile base layers, such as pants, shirts, and socks. For undergarments, we recommend long underwear, especially when you’re participating in winter sports activities. These articles of clothing provide an ultra-comfortable layer of protection underneath your base items, helping keep you warm and increase your experience and performance.
Now let’s talk about base layers, potentially the hardest category of clothing you must pack when planning your trip. Base layers include shirts, pants or shorts, and socks. They’re garments that should fit comfortably underneath other items, provide breathability and moisture-wicking technology (which is essential when performing a physical activity), and work well for other situations like going around the ski resort. As for shirts, we recommend athletic wear, either long or short-sleeve (depending on your personal preference). Having one pair of jeans is a good idea for activities outside of skiing/snowboarding, like dinner or downtime. For skiing and snowboarding, your long underwear pants should be enough leg protection.
However, you can also bring along a pair or two of your favorite athletic pants, like yoga gear or sports sweats. Regardless, your snow pants will provide the most protection from the elements, so having less underneath is better for mobility and comfort. And don’t forget your socks! Purchase ski/snowboard-specific socks for ultimate foot protection. They’re often made with high-quality wool and feature certain technologies that reduce stress and skin irritation. Additionally, they help wick moisture, helping you avoid cold-weather foot injuries.
Once you have your base layers packed and ready, it’s time to start considering what cold-weather gear you’ll need for your trip. These items will comprise the mid and outer layers of your skiing/snowboarding outfit so they can be a bit bulkier than your basic garments. First and foremost, we definitely recommend including a light fleece or wool top to wear under your winter jacket. These items are great for a few reasons – fleece is a super comfortable, insulating, and cold-weather protective fabric that doesn’t cause you to overheat. Additionally, it works well as an outer layer in outfits for other unrelated activities.
Now it’s time to pick out your outer layers, such as your winter jacket, snow pants, and gloves. You want to invest in a high-quality skiing/snowboarding jacket because this is your main defense against moisture, frigid temperatures, and high-speed winds. Your jacket should absolutely feature waterproof or water-resistant technology, an insulated lining, plenty of packet space, and sturdy zipper/button systems. Having a hood and elongated collar also helps keep the cold off of your body. Check out our Arc’teryx outdoor wear collection for high-quality winter jacket options.
After you pick out the best winter jacket, you must determine which winter pants are making the trip with you. To keep it simple, we recommend ski/snowboarding-specific pants. Like your jacket, they should be insulated and either waterproof or water-resistant. Additionally, they should feature vents that allow better airflow, pockets for storage, and material that prevents snow from getting into the lining of your boots. If you need additional leg protection, consider bringing a pair of fleece pants for underneath your winter pants.
The last cold-weather item you must pack is a quality pair of gloves. As with all the other listed gear above, ensure your gloves are waterproof and insulated. Opt for thicker materials that provide enough protection without sacrificing mobility. Some specialized gloves feature helpful additions like goggle wipes and screen-capable fingertips.
Once you have all of your base, mid, and outer layers of clothing, you can start packing your winter activity equipment. You may choose to rent this gear upon arriving at your ski resort, but if not, here are the essentials that you’ll need. First and foremost, you always need a helmet when participating in winter sports. Not only does a helmet protect your head in the event of an accident, but it also provides warmth and insulation for your ears – wear a beanie underneath for added protection.
Aside from a sturdy helmet, you’ll want to include goggles for superior eye protection. These goggles should feature a comfortable yet sturdy fit and tinted shades to prevent glare from damaging your eyes. You can also purchase other protective gear like neck gaiters, balaclava, and skull caps. To save on space, we recommend renting your poles if possible, especially if you’re a first-timer.
You now know what to pack and wear on your next skiing and snowboarding trip. Hopefully, this guide can take the most stressful part of vacationing out of your trip, allowing you to get the most out of your experience. If you’re in need of any of these essential clothing items, check out our quality selection of outdoor clothing sold here at Escape Outdoors. Our items are manufactured by some of the very best outdoor wear brands, such as The North Face, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and more!
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