Skiing Checklist: How To Prepare For A Ski Trip


Packing for a ski trip can be quite intimidating. If you are not careful, you could end up leaving important ski gear behind.

Whether this is your first time skiing or you have been exploring ski tracks for years, this skiing checklist should come in handy. The ski trip checklist features everything you will need to have fun on the ski tracks.

The Skiing Equipment You Need to Pack

1. All Mountain Skis

It does not matter whether you intend to venture into the trees or your goal is to carve up corduroy – a nice pair of skis is necessary. Consider the type of terrain and your skill level when picking your downhill set up.

If you intend to explore the snow available on the East Coast, consider packing narrower all-mountain skis ideal for hardpack. If you will be exploring the west, invest in a pair of skis capable of floating on powder.

2. Downhill Ski Boots

Irrespective of how skilled you are as a skier, you will need to have comfortable boots in your ski boot bag. When buying your ski boots, ensure that the pair you decide to take home fits well and feels comfortable. An ill-fitting boot will not just feel uncomfortable – it will significantly lower your performance capabilities.

If necessary, visit a local ski shop and try the boots before paying for one. Be sure to invest in downhill-specific boots (not touring boots) so that they can transfer power more efficiently.


3. Downhill Bindings

Before getting in your car and driving off, ensure that you have not missed ski bindings on your skiing checklist. To get the right ski bindings, consider the DIN rating:

  • Casual and lightweight riders should get bindings featuring a DIN rating of approximately 8 to 11.
  • If you are a hard charger, pack bindings featuring a DIN rating exceeding 12.

4. Poles

While fairly simple, you should not miss poles on your ski trip checklist. They play a key role when it comes to setting the rhythm for turns. They will also propel you on flat ground.

Apart from considering the ski pole sizing, you should consider the pole design. The designs generally range from pricey and lightweight carbon models to the often-tough aluminum builds. Your preference and the amount of money you are willing to part with will determine the pole you end up investing in.

5. Helmet

For safety purposes, include a helmet in your skiing checklist. When skiing, you will have to keep in mind that numerous risks are involved, including out-of-control skiers, icy terrain, congested runs, etc. If you get involved in an accident, your ski helmet should keep your head safe.

6. Goggles

Ski goggles have two main functions. The functions are as outlined below:

  • They protect your eyes from a wide range of elements usually present in the skiing field.
  • They provide a clear view of the ice, bumps, and other hazards available on the slope.

To get value for your money, ensure that the goggles you invest in feature high-quality lenses. If possible, look for goggles that allow you to change the lenses – on sunny days, you can use dark lenses while you can use lighter lenses in overcast conditions.

The Ski Clothing You Should Carry

7. Base Layers

If you are wondering what to wear when skiing, you should understand that you are supposed to dress in layers. The first layer, which is supposed to be the closest to your skin, is called the base layer. Its main purpose is to keep you warm while getting rid of the sweat.

If you are not on a strict budget, you can invest in merino wool base layers – these feel comfortable, wick the moisture away, and resist body odors. If your budget is tight at the moment, you can invest in synthetics such as polyester – keep in mind that synthetics may hold stink.

When it comes to insulation, consider packing a midweight set – this should be ideal for most days. If the weather is warm, carry lightweight bottoms and tops.

8. Mid Layer

The mid-layer resides between your outer shell and the base layer. If you leave it out of your ski trip checklist, you could end up getting cold. The base layer is responsible for keeping your body insulated.

You may need to swap your mid-layers, depending on the current conditions. If it is cool and dry, use warm and lightweight mid-layers. In warm and slushy conditions, invest in a synthetic or fleece jacket featuring breathability and the ability to insulate when wet.

9. Ski Jacket

The best ski jacket should feature a comfortable design that fits ideally and offers high levels of waterproofness and durability. During the snowstorm and blustery days, your jacket should feature both water and wind resistance.

The options you can choose from, include an insulated jacket, a budget-friendly 3-in-1, and an insulated hardshell. These options are all viable.

10. Ski Pants

Similar to your skiing jacket, you should invest in a tough, wind, and waterproof pair of pants. If you will be skiing in frigid temperatures, consider investing in snow pants featuring an insulated design. If you love the flexibility, however, ski pants featuring a thick and non-insulated hardshell may be more ideal – you can ski in the pants season-long.

11. Mittens or Ski Gloves

At this point, every part of your body, except the hands is protected. If you forget ski gloves in your skiing checklist, your hands could end getting too cold, making skiing impossible. When investing in a ski glove, ensure that it features ample insulation and also fits well.

If you have poor circulation or chronically cold fingers, consider investing in mittens. It is worth noting that most skiers, whether skiing on resorts or exploring the backcountry with their skis, will invest in gloves. This is simply because the ski gloves usually offer more dexterity.

12. Ski Socks

The ski socks you include in your ski trip checklist should feature the following qualities:

  • They should be a close fit. They shouldn’t be a restricting fit though.
  • They should be manufactured with soft-touch materials. The materials should not itch.
  • They should have enough cushioning. They should keep you feeling comfortable on the slopes all day.

Ski socks do differ from the socks you would wear on a regular day. The difference usually exists in their over-calf height and additional padding in the rub and the pressure-prone zones. The extra padding is extremely important when you are wearing stiff skiing boots.

Although wool socks are pricier, they feel more comfortable and are more resistant to stinking. If you are on a budget, investing in synthetic socks may be a good idea.

Optional Skiing Items


13. Hand Warmers

If you intend to ski on a frigid day, you may find that your gloves are not offering the protection you would want. In such a case, hand warmers can come in handy.

Hand warmers are incredibly affordable. You shouldn’t have to worry about breaking your bank account to acquire a pair.

14. Foot Warmers

You may decide to include foot warmers on your skiing checklist, especially if your goal is to ski on extremely cold days. The foot warmers range from battery-powered socks to heated insoles. The best thing you can do to ensure that you are comfortable, after mounting your ski bindings, is to invest in a boot that fits you perfectly.

Most of the modern ski boots feature impressively high insulation levels. This means that if you get a boot that fits well, you will not have to worry about feeling cold while exploring the slopes. Keep in mind that if you decide to use battery powered socks to enhance the warmth, you have to get a pair of socks thin enough to avoid cutting off the circulation in your feet.

15. Camera

If you find that you have limited pocket space after packing your backpack, you may opt to use your phone as the camera. If you have some storage space and you would like to capture what you see during your skiing trip, you may want to carry a camera – a professional camera will do a much better job when it comes to documenting your trip.

16. Neck Gaiter or Balaclava

Whether you include a balaclava or a neck gaiter on your ski trip checklist will depend on 2 main things:

  • The prevailing weather conditions
  • Your tolerance for snow and cold wind

If the weather is fairly warm, then you may not need a neck gaiter or a balaclava. Also, if you are quite tolerant of the snow and wind, you can leave the gaiter or balaclava at home.

Generally, most ski jackets will feature higher neck collars. The additional garments, in most instances, will extend up to the nose or even over it. This should provide an impressive amount of warmth and protection against the elements you may come across on the snow.

If you have never used a balaclava or neck gaiter before, you could be wondering what these items are. The balaclava provides full coverage – it covers even the head. The neck gaiter, on the other hand, will cover the neck, nose, and mouth.

17. Snacks

If you plan to spend the whole day exploring the snow, you have to ensure that you will have the energy to do this. Snacks can help you recharge your energy.

Chances are, you would want to avoid having to trek back to where you left the car just to have a snack. To avoid this, invest in snacks that you can fit in your pockets.

Personal Items and Extras

While the items we have already mentioned in this skiing checklist should have the ability to get you through any regular day, there are some additional items that you may want to carry. The smaller items may vary significantly from one person to the other. Below, we have some of these items.

  • Sunscreen – This can be considered to be a safety item, protecting your skin from the sun – which can be unforgiving even on snow. Learn how to apply sunscreen correctly. Obviously, carrying something you do not know how to use properly is never a good idea.
  • Sunglasses – Just like the name suggests, the sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun.
  • Lip balm – The purpose of the lip balm is to protect your lips.
  • Microfiber cloth for goggles – To keep seeing clearly, you have to ensure that your ski goggles are not fogging. A microfiber cloth should help you get rid of the fog.
  • Extra snacks and water – You will need the energy to enjoy exploring the slopes. Additionally, you will need to avoid getting dehydrated.

Tip: You Don’t Have to Buy All the Above Equipment

After going through this skiing checklist, you may have realized that you are yet to own some or most of the essential equipment. If you are not on a budget, you can buy the necessary gear. If you have to purchase the gear, work with an experienced individual – you wouldn’t want to take the gear home and then realize that it won’t fit.

If you are on a budget, you can rent the equipment. Compared to purchasing the gear, renting will be considerably cheaper. Additionally, if you have friends who enjoy skiing, you can always borrow their gear, as long as it will fit and won’t hinder your performance.

Globo Surf Overview

Skiing won’t be fun if you do not have all the necessary gear. To avoid leaving some of the crucial equipment behind, you should start preparing for your ski trip early enough. This skiing checklist has all the gear and items any regular skier would need when exploring the slopes.

Keep in mind that you can always tweak this ski trip checklist. You can leave out the less important items and also add the items or gear you consider to be important.

More Snow Reviews:


  1. How to Prepare for a Ski Trip (for the Occasional Skier),
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