Whether you’re headed on a family trip to the slopes or on a winter escape, it’s important to get your packing list right and include all the essentials. A week’s worth of skiing could be a big disappointment if you’re forced to ski in jeans because the ski pants didn’t make it into the bag. Beyond the basics of remembering your goggles, Skiis & Biikes founder (and frequent ski traveller) Paul Montgomery has a few tips and tricks to make your packing more streamlined, minimal, and efficient.
To begin, always think top–down, then rethink your packing from inside layers to outer shells, and you will never leave anything vital behind.
Here’s a minimalist list to get you started:
Top – Down:
Inside – Outside:
- Boot dryer (and power adapter if you are traveling abroad)
- Hand and toe warmers
- Footwear for getting to the hot tub
- Après ski clothing
Going on a ski trip for a week? How many base layers and long underwear should you take? You can avoid taking too much if you're able to do a bit of laundry on the road. While skiing, perspiration is absorbed into the long underwear and when it dries the salt is left in the fabric. Next time you wear it, you’re going to feel clammy and cold. For five days of skiing, do you take 5 or 6 sets of long underwear at $50 to $200 per set? No need, just take two. When you’re done skiing for the day, simply wash them in the sink. After a quick rinse, wring them out and hang them up.
Most base layers are either wool or made of quick drying synthetic material, so most of the time they'll be dry by morning. Just in case, have the second set ready for the day. Socks might take an extra 12 hours so take 6 pair of socks, 2 for each day.
You can pack a lot lighter now!
How to pack for the trip:
With all of the regulations around baggage size and up-charging for more bags, here are some tips and tricks for avoiding hassle and any extra cost to get your gear to your holiday destination.
As per the checklist, pack what you need, not what you think you might need. Most of the time, you'll find at the end of a vacation that you have not worn a third of what you brought.
Wear your ski jacket on the plane as it takes up a lot of space in your luggage.
Pack your skis and poles or board in a roller ski bag. Ideally, this is a wide, double ski bag with wheels and handles. Now, pack all your clothing in and around your skis in that same bag. Since the equipment is in the bag too, pack the smaller stuff in plastic grocery bags. Socks in one, base layers in another, and so on. This way when you get to your destination, you can pull out the bags and everything is separated, clean, and dry.
Strap your boots to the famous Skiis & Biikes boot-carrying backpack. Pack ski pants, helmet, goggles, gloves, a couple pairs of socks, and electronics into the main compartment. This is your carry-on. If your checked bag doesn't make it, you have everything you need on your back and can still ski with just the carry-on in the meantime.