10 Essential Items To Bring Skiing Or Snowboarding

Prepping up for your skiing or snowboarding trip is the key to contentment. You don’t want to fill up your bag with too expensive or awkward-to-carry equipment. Skiing or snowboarding is going to be extremely fun, that is if you have right gear.

We have put together this article so you don’t over-pack, under-pack or forget much-needed essentials.

Check out the following detailed packing list of Top 10 items to bring skiing or snowboarding and make sure you have everything you need to make the most out of awesome cold climate!


1. Ski/Snowboard Gear And Bindings

It's no brainer that you need to carry your snowboard or ski, ski poles and its respective bindings in a snowboard or ski bag.

  • If you are planning to pack more than one snowboard, then remove all the bindings and arrange some layers between these two boards. This way, each snowboard will be protected against scratches.
  • Ski or snowboard bag with transportation wheels will be much easier to maneuver around.
  • Choose ski that are fat enough so they float better (if the location has deep powder)
  • If you do not have a snowboard/ski and bindings, you can always rent it from resort. There are 3 main types of snowboards viz. Freeride, Freestyle and Alpine.
  • Use your discretion to choose any style you want. Newbies would certainly want to go for Freestyle snowboards, thanks to its short profile and easy-to-control features.
  • Resort will also rent bindings along with the snowboard
  • Some people don’t find it necessary to carry ski poles. If you ask me, ski poles are necessary for proper timing and balance, especially on very steep slopes.
  • Kids should not use ski poles till they learn the precise technique of turning

2. Snowboard/Ski Boots And Socks

Boots will be linking your feet snugly to the board, with the help of bindings. I would highly recommend not rent skiing/snowboarding boots, rather investing in them for your personalized comfort. Make sure the boots you select fit you snugly, not too tight nor too loose.

 As cold climate will be freezing your feet, a good pair of snowboard/ski socks will keep your feet warm and dry. Socks that are deliberately made to wick away moisture are much better. That’s because, boots will cause sweating and you don’t want your feet to be sweaty and irritated

  • Socks made from thin synthetic fabric or wool work great to keep you all warm and cozy.
  • Too thick socks will make your feet even more sweaty, so look for moderate thickness
  • Make sure the socks you choose are high enough to avoid excessive friction against your boots.

3. Safety Gear 

Wearing a helmet or a knit hat and other safety gear is a must, especially for beginners and children. Those of you who have not gained control over your board, are more likely to get injured.

  • Always pack your helmet, just in case if you happen to smash your head on hard iced surface
  • Choose the helmet that breathes well
  • Knee guards will be of high benefit whenever you knock your knees down
  • Back protector and Impact shorts are optional safety gear, it completely depends on whether you want to wear it or not
  • Both of these optional safety gear are supposed to be worn under your ski pants/jacket, so take heed that you may look bulky

4. Ski/Snowboard Clothing

A premium quality of snowboard/ski jacket is the one with waterproof and windproof outer shell. The fabric must be breathable as well as warm.

Just like Ski jacket, ski pants also need to be weather-proof and well-ventilated. If you ever happen to fall, the snow must not seep through your pants.

  • Ski/snowboard pants and jacket can be quite heavy. Roll them up and place them in a zippered lock bag for easy portability.
  • Make sure your jacket is not too thick or padded. You might get sweaty and hot while skiing/snowboarding. So, it is better to opt for a thin jacket and wear layers underneath, which you can shed later as you’d like.

5. Base/Mid Layers

Layers are intended to be worn underneath your ski/snowboard jacket and pants. Base and mid layers are very important to keep you warm, especially during chilly cold climates. Avoid cotton fabrics at all costs, they are not breathable, nor do they wick away moisture.

 For proper maintenance of your body temperature, look for layers made from wool or synthetic fabrics. These materials are highly effective in regulating your body temperature and resisting excess moisture
  • T-shirts, leggings, full-sleeved base layer top, long underwear (one that is moisture-wicking) - all of these fall under the category of base layers.
  • Base layers must be breathable, waterproof and not bulky. They must be capable of wicking out moisture so as to keep your body dry.
  • If you feel too cold, add a mid-layer over your base layer for extra warmth. Anything from sweaters, sweatshirts, jumpers to fleeces can be termed as mid layers.

6. Eyewear

Just as it is important to protect your head, it's also important to protect your eyes. During hot sunny days, sunglasses will keep you protected.

For cold or snowy climates, it’s wise to wear goggles. Goggles will protect your eyes from wind and snow. Plus, it can also get rid of undesirable glare

  • With radical growth in technologies, now you can find goggles with different types of lenses. Each is designed to adapt with varying climate conditions and light settings.
  • Make sure you choose precise fit of goggles, or else air might seep through loose-fitted goggles and create a layer of fog on the surface
  • Carry wipes in your pocket to clean the fog (just in case)

7. Key Accessories

Ski/snowboard gloves are necessary as your hands will touch the snow quite often. Pick well-insulated, waterproof and durable gloves to safeguard your hands.

  • Mittens: These work great in cold climates, while park gloves or lightweight gloves will work best for spring skiing.
  • Mittens/gloves must go high up your wrist, this way the snow won’t enter your jacket.
  • Headband: To cover your ears completely
  • Beanie: Beanie will keep you warm, not only while skiing but at evenings as well. Look for a beanie made from fleece or merino wool, they are pretty cozy and warm.
  • Neck scarf or Gaiter: When it's too cold, you are going to need a warm neck scarf or a gaiter. You might not feel the need, but it makes a huge difference in keeping you warm altogether as compared to turtlenecks. 
  • Backpack: To store all of your snacks, extra thermals, drinks, First-aid kit, etc.

8. Hydration Pack

One might think you don’t need to be hydrated or won’t feel thirsty on altitudes. That’s not true at all! In fact, staying hydrated is just equally important under all circumstances. If you don’t like to take frequent breaks, carry a hydration pack.

  • Make sure the hydration pack is lightweight and small to carry around. Small hydration pack can be handily stored under your ski jacket, so it won’t freeze up

9. Skin Care

Even when it's winter or cloudy, the mountains experience high temperature due to reflective power of the snow. I cannot stress this enough- using a sunscreen is very important. The cold climate, sunrays and the wind is altogether going to ruin your skin before you know it.

Moreover, dry mountain air tends to wreck your lips by making them too dry and choppy. That’s where a lip balm with SPF will save you.

  • Look for a pocket-sized bottle of sunscreen with at least SPF 50+ and a good quality lip balm with SPF as well
  • Store it in your ski jacket’s pocket and apply them frequently throughout the day, as and when needed

10. Ski/Snowboard Lock

We’ve heard of so many cases where the snowboards/ski being stolen. Use a cable lock to secure the board with the rack. You can also carry a Ski/Snowboard tool kit which generally includes:

  • A tool for edge tuning
  • Wax to make your rides much more smoother and easier to control
  • A metal scraper for scraping the edges
  • Screwdriver for adjusting the bindings

Optional Gear

Lastly, to make your skiing/snowboarding trip memorable, you would want to click some pictures, right? If there’s snow involved, everything else just naturally becomes beautiful. So, don’t forget to pack your camera and its charger.

  • If not camera, you could always click pictures on your mobile phones.
  • Charger for your mobile phones
  • Flask to carry hot drinks (if you don’t want to pay extra during skiing)
  • Glove liners (for extremely cold weather)
  • Probe, Shovel and Avalanche transceiver (for off-piste skiing)
  • Hand warmers and toe warmers
  • Ankle supports and wrist supports
  • Altimeter/GPS to map your skiing

Final Verdict

Packing all of these things can be a bit overwhelming, especially when it’s your first time. But, these Top 10 skiing/snowboarding essentials will certainly make your experience more enjoyable and fun.

Some of the gears mentioned above are extremely important, aimed to enhance your skiing/snowboarding experience. Whereas, others are just optional equipment that can be carried for added comfort and fun.

 If you don’t want to over-pack or make your trip too fussy, just keep it simple and pack only the essentials

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