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What to Pack for a Ski or Snowboard Trip

What to Pack for a Ski or Snowboard Trip

You can almost feel it — the fresh mountain air, icy wind on your cheeks, g-forces propelling you through a turn. Your ski/snowboard trip is almost here and you’re so ready! But first: Packing. As a family-run business, we're loaded up with tips for getting your crew packed up, put together and out the door for a mountain vacation.

If you tend to do things last-minute, packing for a ski or snowboard trip can feel really frantic — find everyone's gear, stuff it into bags, cram it all into the car, and hope you didn't forget anything. 


Before we get too specific on exactly what you need to bring, we've got a few general pointers.


You'll Need a Bag for Everyone

We're big fans of ski/snowboard boot bags. These make packing a snap as they're designed to carry everything you’ll need for a day on snow — no checklists necessary! The the simple act of packing everything into its dedicated compartment ensures that you won’t forget anything.


Bonus: most include a waterproof boot compartment. So if your boots are snowy when they go in the bag, they won't melt all over your car. When you get home, store your (clean, dry) gear in its bag, and it’ll be ready and waiting next for time you head to the mountain. 


If you don't have a specialty ski/snowboard bag for everyone, a sturdy duffel such as the waterproof 55L Patagonia Black Hole Duffel is a great alternative.


When in Doubt, Bring It!

Let's be real: There's no such thing as "packing light" for a day on snow. It’s better to pack something and not need it than to not pack it and wish you had it. 


Essential Ski/Snowboard Equipment

First things first: you’re going to need your ski/snowboard gear. Of course, there's a bag for that, too! If you use a ski bag or snowboard bag, it keeps your big-ticket equipment clean, dry and safe when we're not using it. These bags are also super helpful if you ever fly to mountain vacations, and they keeps everything together in one neat little package, so when you’re packing for a trip, simply check to confirm everything’s where it belongs and you’re ready to go. 


  1. Skis / Snowboard    
  2. Ski Boots / Snowboard Boots
  3. Ski Poles 
  4. Ski Bag / Snowboard Bag



Next in the bag? Your waterproof/breathable coat/jacket/parka, and ski/snowboard pants, which keep you warm and dry in cold, wet mountain conditions. 


Outerwear — Women


Outerwear — Men


Outerwear — Children


Head & Hand Protection

Like outerwear for your head, hands and face, your helmet and goggles and mittens/gloves are essential to staying warm, dry and safe on the mountain.  




You’ll want a hat or two for when you’re not skiing. Many mittens/gloves employ a shell-liner system — if yours do, we can think of a few reasons to pack extra glove liners. If it's snowing or blowing, a neck gaiter, face mask or balaclava will make your day so much happier. And don't forget your sunnies! Snow is white (a.k.a., bright!), and if you're headed out west, it's almost always sunny.



Ski/Snowboard Clothing

When dressing for a day on the slopes, you’ll want to think in layers — base, mid, outerwear. To keep your core warm, you’ll need a thin, synthetic (or wool/silk) baselayer top close to your skin, and at least one mid-layer, such as a fleece or sweater, between your base and your outerwear. 








Other Accessories 


  • Hand Warmers    
  • Snacks   
  • Water Bottle 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Ski Lock

Whew — you've made it to the end of the list and you're ready to go. Happy skiing!


Read More


Top Five Ski Bag Essentials


How to Get Your Gear Ready for Opening Day


The Best Way To Transport Skis and Snowboards


Browse All Skiing Articles


Looking for something else? Based in northeast PA, Ski Shack carries a full line of outdoor gear, clothing and accessories to help everyone in your family stay cozy, dry and safe in the great outdoors this season — no matter your experience or ability level.





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