Essential Ski Gear:
have put together this useful checklist to ensure that you have not
forgotten anything before you leave. Having the correct gear and proper
kit will mean that you enjoy your holiday that little bit more…
1. Ski Jacket
Usually the biggest single expense when buying your ski gear, your
jacket is essential for keeping you insulated on the slopes. It’s also
your signature when skiing. Make sure you choose one that hits the spot
for comfort, warmth and style. They range from shells, designed to be
worn over multiple thinner layers, right through to thick puffers filled
2. Ski Pants/Salopettes
As important as your jacket, salopettes should be chosen with a
number of factors in mind. You want them hard-wearing, waterproof
(especially if you’re snowboarding) and well insulated. You’ll rarely
have as many layers on your legs as you will on your upper body, so
their ability to keep you warm is vital. You’ll also want a pair that go
together with your jacket for the best look on the slopes!
3. Thermal Base Layer
You should never be without a skin tight long-sleeve thermal. They
come in various fabrics and you can spend upwards of £100 on a top of
the range model in Merino wool for example. However it’s possible to get
a perfectly decent thermal for £20 or less.
4. Mid Layer/s
Worn over your thermal base layer. These can be adapted depending on
conditions. At minimum you’d want a T-shirt between your thermal and
your jacket, but in most conditions you’ll also want a sweater and in
extreme cold go with one thin sweater under another heavier one. Add or
remove layers if temperatures go extreme in either direction!
5. Ski Socks
You can save cash in many departments when kitting yourself out for
skiing, but you should always buy the best socks possible. A bad pair
can rub inside your boots and quickly turn your dream holiday to misery.
Frozen toes are also a very good way to spoil a day’s skiing, so find a
pair that will keep you warm,
6. Wicking Underwear
Most people can manage with their normal underwear when skiing, but
wicking layers are a nice luxury. They take sweat away from your skin,
keeping you dry and warm, and helping to prevent chafing. If you can
afford a decent set then this is a great addition to your kit bag.
Go out without a helmet and you’ll find yourself in an ever-shrinking
minority. You wouldn’t ride your bike around central London without
protecting your head, so why would you speed down a rocky mountain at
40+mph without doing so? Modern helmets are insulated, come with ear
warmers and you can get features like built in headphones and camera
mounts. It’s a no-brainer really…
8. Ski Goggles/Sunglasses
You can spend silly money on goggles if you want the perfect look,
interchangeable lenses and a flash brand name on the strap. But you can
also get a perfectly good pair that don’t fog and give you full
peripheral vision for under £50. No need to break the bank in this area.
If the weather is nice enough then you can ski in sunglasses, but they
won’t offer the same protection or peripheral vision as goggles.
Alongside ski socks, you should always buy the best gloves you can
afford. Cold, frozen fingers are a very good way to spoil an otherwise
superb day’s skiing. Look for something waterproof and insulated. If you
can stretch to a pair of heated gloves then all the better. NEVER go
out even for “one run” without gloves as a mistake can cost you digits!
10. Beanie/Neck Warmer
If you absolutely MUST go helmetless, then a thick, insulted beanie
is a must. So much body heat escapes through the head. Beanies can also
top off your on slope style nicely. For extreme cold add a buff or neck
warmer. Full face thermal protection will keep you warm although you’ll
look like Darth Vader!
11. Sun Cream
Although freezing cold, a ski resort is a very good place to get
sunburnt if you’re not protected. The sun’s rays are stronger at
altitude and they reflect off the white snow too, so you’re always
exposed. Factor 30 should be your minimum and keep it topped up. At
least you only have to worry about your face!
12. Lip Balm
A lot of people neglect their lips on the slopes. On the transfer
coach at the end of the week they’re easy to spot. The ones with red,
sore, cracked lips that can’t open their mouths without wincing in pain.
It’s very easy to prevent. Keep a factor 50 lip balm in your pocket and
reapply regularly. Buy before you leave the UK to avoid shelling out
€12 in resort!
13. First Aid Kit
For the very well-prepared, a small first aid kit in your rucksack
may come in handy for minor injuries. For any serious injuries though,
you must remember where you are. Notify the emergency services and wait
for a professional team to get you safely off the mountain.
A small pack can hold everything you need for a full day out on the
slopes. Spare under layers if the weather closes in, or a space to stash
surplus layers when it gets warm. A packed lunch, drinks, snacks,
cameras, spare hats, gloves and even shoes for those who don’t want to
do après ski in their boots!
15. Water Bottle
Skiing is a high intensity activity and is thirsty work. If you’re
out for the day then you’ll need a litre of water to keep hydrated. Also
a very good way to keep costs down as a short drinks break in a
mountain restaurant can set you back €15 for a family of 4. It’s worth
investing in a hard plastic or lightweight metal flask. If you fall and
your plastic bottle bursts, you won’t realise until it’s too late and
everything in your backpack is soaked.
16. Snacks/ High Energy Sport Drinks
Keeping your energy levels up is essential. A lot of skiing injuries
happen towards the of the day as people run out of fuel and their body
stops doing as it is told. Carry nuts, chocolate or cereal bars to give
you an extra kick just as you need it. If you want to bring along
Lucozade or similar then remember to decant it into your own bottle or
flask to avoid a sticky disaster if you fall! Specialist Ski Kit:
1. Ski Boots/Skis (if you are taking your own)
2. Ski/Board multi-tool
3. Avalanche gear - Transceiver, Probe and Shovel
Paperwork and Other Essentials:
2. Foreign Money
3. Visa (if applicable)
4. Tour Operators Holiday Invoice
5. Tickets (and any other holiday documentation received)
6. Ski Hire Details (if applicable)
7. Travel Insurance Details
8. European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
9. Drivers license (if travelling by car
or hiring a car)
10. Euro Plug/Adapter