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Packing and planning for a ski trip is no easy task, especially if you’re a beginner.
The last thing you want when arriving at a ski resort is to realize that you left behind an important item for your trip.
Winter in Colorado is here and the snowy mountains are ready for a new ski adventure.
If you’re ready to hit the winter slopes, use this ski trip packing list to pack like a pro. Read on to find out what ski essentials are the most important as a beginner.
A ski trip packing list of essentials
Before jumping into our ski trip packing list for beginners, please know that skiing can be a pretty expensive sport.
You do not have to buy everything on this list unless you are serious about getting into skiing or can ski often.
However, we do recommend purchasing some of the basics like quality base layers, protective eyewear, and a waterproof ski jacket.
Let’s dive into the ultimate list of must-have ski essentials for beginners that are easy to forget to pack.
We hope you find this ski trip packing checklist helpful as you begin packing for your upcoming ski trip.
1. Waterproof Ski Jacket
One of the most important things you should pack on a ski trip is a waterproof ski jacket. There’s nothing worse than being cold and wet on the slopes.
Plus, the weather in the mountains is always changing so you want something to keep you warm and dry even when it’s windy or snowing.
A good ski jacket should fit properly without being too tight so you can wear layers underneath.
And it should have lots of pockets with zippers to keep your items safe while on the trails!
We recommend looking for a waterproof ski coat that is hooded and has features like a raincoat.
Here are some of the best budget-friendly ski jackets that are warm and comfortable.
2. Ski Backpack or Ski Bag
When you’re out skiing or snowboarding on trails all day, you don’t want to think about making extra stops for snacks or drinks.
This is where investing in a good ski backpack or ski bag comes in very handy.
A ski backpack allows you to pack everything you need for the day without returning to the lodge or stopping at a shop on top of the mountain.
It gives you ample space to store your gear, snacks, extra warm clothes and to safely hold your phone.
3. Insulated Snow Pants
No ski trip packing list is complete without an excellent pair of waterproof ski pants. It’s the perfect winter clothing item to wear for cold, wet weather.
Gone are the days of uncomfortable and outdated snow pants. Today you can find really stylish and cute insulated snow pants to wear on the ski slopes.
Not only that, a good-fitting pair of snow pants can also be worn on cold and wet days while out shopping, tubing, or snowshoeing.
A nice multi-purpose pair of ski pants can be purchased on Amazon for less than $30. Here are some of our top picks.
Choose from styles with pockets and zippers, or cargo pants that are roomy and comfy.
Just make sure that your ski pants are the correct size so as not to be too tight. You want extra space so you can layer warmer clothes underneath if needed.
4. Waterproof Gloves
When you’re talking about snow, you’re also talking about water. And it’s easy to forget that you need waterproof gloves while skiing.
Traditional gloves will become wet and make your hands cold after spending time in the snow all day.
We recommend the Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves for both men and women. They aren’t too expensive and keep your hands warm and dry.
You can even use these gloves while scrolling on your phone.
5. Winter Boots
Another must-have to pack during a ski trip are waterproof winter boots. You want to look for boots that have enough grip for snowy, muddy, and sloshy winter days.
It’s a good idea to buy winter boots that are tall so they fully cover your ankle and calf to help avoid any moisture getting inside.
But you can also consider waterproof hiking boots, or snow boots. There are lots of great options available.
Look for faux fur-lined boots that are insulated, but the most important feature is that they are waterproof.
Don’t skimp on a good pair of quality winter boots. Having cold or wet feet is no fun when skiing.
6. Ski Goggles
High quality sunglasses or tinted ski goggles are a must for when the sun reflects off the snow on the mountains.
This is a vital ski essential to pack for your trip! Sunny days on the slopes are frequent in Colorado, and protecting your eyes should be a top priority.
Most ski goggles or sunglasses can cost a pretty penny, but thankfully there are some budget-friendly options available.
Some goggles even come with anti-wind features or interchangeable lenses.
It’s really about what you like and what is best eye protection for skiing.
7. Beanie or Earmuffs
Cold weather can cause damage to your hearing and can lead to infections, increased bone growth (known as surfer’s ear), and even hearing loss.
For these reasons it’s super important to keep your ears warm and covered when skiing.
To avoid internal ear pain, make sure that blood flow is able to easily circulate in your ears.
8. Scarf or Neck Warmer
Keep your face and neck warm with a wool scarf or thick neck gaiter. Warm air can escape through the top of your ski coat, but having a scarf or neck gaiter can help prevent this.
A scarf helps capture that heat and keep it close to your body. A neck warmer also makes it easy to layer on more clothing or take some off if you are getting too warm.
Versatile gaiters can be easily adjusted to fit snugly around your neck, and can also be pulled up over your mouth and nose for extra warmth and protection from the elements.
One great option for custom a neck gaiters is 4inbandana which offer variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to express your personal style while staying cozy on the slopes.
So don’t forget to pack your wool scarf or neck gaiter for your next winter adventure!
9. Thermal Base Layers
The key to staying warm and comfortable while skiing is dressing in layers. You never know what the weather will be like so you want to be prepared.
It is the mountains after all and there is likely to be vast changes in temperature.
Having a thermal layer of clothing underneath all of your warmer clothes will ensure you stay warm and dry all day.
We recommend the HEATTECH thermals from Uniqlo (a store is located on 16th Street Mall in Denver). Or these top picks from Amazon.
10. Warm Ski Socks
Having cold feet or wet socks is one of the worst experiences when skiing or snowboarding.
This is why it’s important to have high quality ski socks made from either wool or a synthetic material.
Wearing two pairs of socks will typically not be warm enough, and can cut off proper circulation to your feet.
Whereas a good pair of thick, high-quality ski socks will make sure your feet stay warm and comfortable all day.
We like the FoxRiver Telluride socks since they come in different lengths and are very warm while being lightweight. Plus, each pair is only about $10.
11. Ski Helmet
Protecting yourself while skiing for the first time is super important. When there’s snow there’s water, ice and things can get slippery.
And while skiing is super fun and often an exhilarating sport, sometimes accidents can happen.
Prepare yourself for any type of skiing terrain or weather with a high quality ski helmet.
Make sure your ski helmet fits properly and snug but comes with lots of ventilation for comfort.
The best ski helmets are the ones that have elastic straps, adjustable buckles, and can rotate to fit certain sizes. You don’t want to skimp on safety!
12. Pain Reliever
A good ski trip packing list is not complete without some sort of pain reliever or CBD lotion.
Whether you’re a beginner skier or more advanced, a day on the slopes means getting a few bumps and bruises.
And your body probably isn’t used to skiing all the time so it’s going to be sore.
Be sure to bring pain reliever medication or use a topical pain reliever treatment like CBD lotion.
We recommend the Serious Relief Targeted Topical balm from Receptra Naturals.
This local Colorado company formulates all-natural CBD hemp topical treatments that help minimize swelling and inflammation.
Head over to the Receptra Naturals website and use code “coloradolife” to save 20% on your entire order!
13. Small First Aid Kit
You never know what kind of cuts and bruises you can get while out skiing for a day.
Out in the elements it’s easy to get windburned, sunburned, and chapped skin.
This is why we recommend having a small first aid kit as part of your ski trip packing list. It can come in handy even for small cuts and scrapes while on the mountain.
Look for a first aid kit that is light and easily portable so it doesn’t get in the way of your skiing fun.
14. Extra Charger or Power Bank
If you plan on taking photos or video of your ski trip vacation, you will need to pack an extra charger or power bank.
It’s no secret that electronic devices and batteries do not like the cold weather.
Electronics are susceptible to having issues when it’s very cold and batteries can be depleted much faster.
For these reasons, we recommend adding an extra charger or power bank to your ski essentials for beginners list.
Winter UV rays are just as strong as the summer sun, if not more so.
Solar radiation increases with altitude, so you are more exposed to UV rays the higher up you go.
And when the sun reflects off the snowy landscape, you can easily get sunburned.
Having sunscreen on hand, that’s easy to re-apply, is a must when you are skiing.
16. Lip Balm
Between sunburn and windburn, your lips, cheeks, and face can become dry and flaky fast.
The cold air and high-speed winds will dry out your skin and make your lips very chapped.
Having a medicated lip balm or Chapstick in your bag will be a lifesaver!
And you don’t need anything fancy or expensive. Just a tub of Vaseline or Carmex will work wonders for keeping your lips and face moisturized.
We recommend trying to find a good lip balm or Chapstick with SPF in it. Protecting your lips from the sun is just as important as protecting your face.
17. Body Lotion or Cream
Skiing in the mountains is often very cold and very dry.
Being on the slopes all day means you aren’t drinking a lot of water and this can lead to hydration problems, especially with your skin.
In addition, a favorite off-the-slopes activity is getting into a warm sauna or hot tub, which can dry out your skin even more.
We recommend packing a high quality hand cream or body lotion for your trip. You will definitely need it!
Yes, swimwear is a ski trip packing list must have! In fact, swimwear is one of the main ski essentials that is often forgotten when going on a ski trip.
Most ski resorts have built-in spas, hot tubs, and saunas that are available to guests at the resort.
These are very common amenities in Colorado ski resorts as well.
And after a long day of skiing there is nothing more relaxing and warming than spending an hour in the spa.
If you have kids then you’re in luck too as a lot of ski resorts also feature heated pools and large spa centers for ultimate relaxation.
19. Healthy Snacks for Skiing
Skiing is typically an all-day event which means you burn through a lot of energy.
Having healthy snacks in a backpack or pocket is a must for any ski trip packing list.
Here are some top snack recommendations that are easy to grab and go:
- Energy bars
- Nuts and seeds
- Granola bars
- Fruit leathers
- Dark chocolate
20. Leak-proof Water Bottle
Skiing at high altitudes usually means being surrounded by dry air and a dry climate.
Even if there’s water and snow everywhere you will likely feel yourself getting thirsty a lot faster than usual.
Bring a good water bottle that’s leak-proof with you on your ski trip. It will save you money since it will be refillable and also come in handy when you’re thirsty.
21. Hydration Packs
We can’t say it enough, the mountains have very dry air which makes it really easy to get dehydrated throughout the day.
In addition to drinking lots of water and bringing a small water bottle with you to refill while out skiing, your body will need replenishing.
Which is why we also suggest bringing a few hydration packs that are full of electrolytes, or energy drink supplements, to keep your body hydrated.
One of our favorites is the Revival Energy packets that are convenient and easy to travel with.
Use code 25REVIVAL on Amazon to save 25% on your entire Revival Energy order!
The best ski trip packing list
Packing for a ski vacation is not the same as packing for a regular holiday trip. It requires a bit more preparation and planning ahead.
To make the most of your trip, there are lots of extra ski essentials that you don’t want to forget.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or experienced skier, these ski essentials should be on everyone’s list.
Be sure you bring the right equipment and pack the accessories you need to make your trip an epic experience.
Pack items that are high quality and keep you warm so you can have a comfortable and enjoyable ski trip.