Plan your trip > Gear > Other things to pack
Other Things to Pack
Andrew Strong December 2019
So you covered the basics of what to pack! Here are some small/light additions to your bag that will help put your mind at ease, prevent a familial WWIII from breaking out and/or add some comfort to your trip on and off the mountain.
ON THE SLOPES
Sun glaring on the snow can be very bright. It's important to have protection when you are not wearing goggles. They are great to have at lunch and essential for après on bluebird days. Also quite handy for driving to the mountain in the morning.
Performance tracking is growing in popularity. Track your vertical feet, speed and make sure you've covered the whole mountain! The Apple watch has built in ski functionality. Many Garmin models also have built in programs, which are great if you are a Strava fanatic (like me) and want to share your performance/map with your fitness friends. Slopes is another popular tracking app (currently iOS only) and Ski Tracks is a reliable favorite.
I had a pair of rentals wander off a few years back on a college trip and had to cover the cost (they later turned up). Pro tip is to separate your skis, especially at the base, but it can't hurt to take this easy, extra pre-caution and get a ski lock.
We like to travel with a pocket Leatherman. Anything with a Phillips screwdriver for binding/boot problems until you can get to the base will do. Also, bottle openers tend to come in handy.
Disposable boot and/or glove warmers are great for little ones in ski school or for rental boots that have lost their insulation. These are small, easy to pick and keep in a side pocket for a moment of need.
Cheap and available at any rental shop, velcro ski straps make sure you don’t stick out in the village as your skis slip apart when carrying!
Depending on how late into the season you are skiing, they keep you cool under ski pants or as your primary leg covering. Late spring skiing almost invites skiing in shorts, just watch out for that nasty lower thigh sunburn from chair lift rides
ACCESSORIES FOR APRÈS SKI
If your forehead is especially susceptible to cold temperatures at the base village, a toboggan hat is necessary. I also believe it is against federal law to not be wearing one in pre-posed Instagram pictures taken by reluctant boyfriends.
Comfortable and practical, a good pair of boots is perfect (and fashionable) to wear around the base village and into most ski towns (which tend to be slushy). Save your other shoes - Uggs and Sorels are our go-to's and come in a variety of colors and styles.
Wearing ski boots, I slipped and fell twice on concrete sidewalks in one season before SkiTrax were recommended.
We find it helpful to have a pair of thin glove liners handy. They provide added warmth on on cold days under gloves/mittens and are key to being warm and having dexterity while enjoying après or exploring the base village.
AROUND HOME BASE
Hydration should start on the way to the mountain (whether driving or flying). Staying hydrated will help with acclimatization to higher altitude. We like to bring a Swell bottle and are shameless in asking flight attendants to refill. A water bottle is also useful during après ski (and easy to store in locker for the day). It's environmentally friendly too!
There's nothing like reading by the fire. E-Readers are particularly important for ski travel, given all of the other gear to keep track off. The kindle has never been easier to use.
Verify someone knows how to connect a Google Chromecast to WiFi before heading to your resort of choice. Enjoy seamless relaxation while streaming your favorite shows, just don't forget to take it with you when you leave.
Good card games help ensures that even on vacation, your group can enjoy a nice fight without having to haul the full version of Risk. We like Uno Cards and standard gaming cards are great for games like gin and hearts. Citadels has a short-learning curve and you can drink while you play.
Packing cubes are helpful for keeping things organized between ski gear and condo wear.