Here is a handy little guide on the essential gear you need to pack before you go on your first ski trip.
Warm socks – don’t just take wooly ones, get down to a ski store or search online for a pair of ski socks, 2-3 pairs will easily last a week, or 1 if your canny!
Don’t fall into the tarp or thinking 3 layers of normal socks will work – they wont.
Snow boots – it’s rare that resorts have really deep snow in town, but it’s worth checking forecasts in advance because walking around in resort with only trainers or high heels with snow up to your knees is no fun!
Skis and boots – it’s unlikely you will buy skis or boots for your first ski trip, so hiring is the way to go. But our advice is book in advance, get on the net or talk to your agent or tour operator to get this sorted, it can save you quite a few hours in a shop queue only to find its grand slalom skis left ONLY! However ever resort has at least one and often many hire shops, so if you don’t manage to book, then get yourself into the shops when you get there to hire some skis and boots.
Thermals – having a set of thermal baselayers is vital – and depending on your perspiration levels, 1 bottom and 2 tops should be fine for the week.
Mid layers – a sports mid layer, micro fleece or small hoody is very handy for the real cold days, having that in a small backpack can mean your layer up in the cold and pack away when you warm up.
Gloves – you can’t hire gloves in resort so get yourself some ski gloves you don’t need to break the bank but they do need to be waterproof.
Ski Jacket and pants – it’s vital that you are warm on the slopes, because we all know shivering to the bone is miserable. Equally remember you will be working hard so you will warm up. Having your own ski jacket and pants or borrowing from pals is an absolute must.
Goggles – you can’t rent goggles although of course there will be copious amounts to buy in resort, but if you want to watch the pennies then buying an inexpensive pair of goggles before you go in the UK is well advised.
Helmet – we highly recommend a helmet, and yes you can hire them, but if you are fussy about putting your head where many other peoples head have been then do buy your own, even a cheap one is better than no helmet.
Wooly Hat – when you stop skiing and your helmet comes off you can get cold pretty fast so a wooly hat is very handy, especially beanie style as that easily slips into a pocket without being too bulky.
Back pack – a small backpack can be handy for sun cream, a sugary snack and possibly some water, all handy when you are out on the slopes for the first time.
Passport and Money – this goes without saying but check out the various currency cards available now that mean you cna pay for everything on card and no need to carry around cash.
Other clothes – depending on who you go with you will be amazed how much time you can spend in your ski clothes. With a group of pals it wouldn’t be uncommon to come off the slopes to a bar for a few beers then into a restaurant for a spag bol and back to the hotel or chalet at midnight and you’re still in your ski boots. But still remember if there is a pool or spa you will need appropriate wear there and if you aren’t there to party straight from skiing then having regular clothes for the evenings will be beneficial.
Sun Cream – you will be amazed if you hot on a sunny day or 2, how sun burned you can get, so taking a decent quality sun cream is really important. A small tube is fine as its likely only your face that will catch it, but the altitude and the reflection from the snow can easily end up burning you in just a few hours.