By Helen Olsson
There’s nothing worse than arriving at a ski resort, having schlepped all the requisite gear for the day and a gaggle of kids clomping around in ski boots, only to realize your ski pass is hanging on a hook in your mud room at home.
Now, most resorts will issue you a day ticket if you forget your pass, but if it’s snowboard boots you neglected to put in the car, you’re not catching first chair, powder day or no.
Don’t forget your brain bucket, goggles, and neck gaiter.
My husband and I ski and snowboard every weekend of the season with our kids, so you would think we would have the pack-up dialed, but I’m telling you, three times already this season we had to turn around and drive back to the ski house to retrieve a critical item.
Skis, boots, helmets, medicine, backpacks with lunches. Amazingly, my husband once arrived at the ski resort base with no ski pants. Pants!
I’m a big list person. I have lists of my lists. Post a gear checklist at the door or in the garage or in the car, and you’ll head for the hills prepared.
Tips for Packing Gear
What follows is a basic gear checklist of what you need for a day of skiing or snowboarding.
If you want to get to the resort early and you have kids, it’s a huge help to do as much packing up and organizing the night before.
Our kids lay out their ski clothes on the floor in their room the night before.
Then we’re not looking for socks in the middle of the mad morning dash.
We also pack up each kid’s neck gator, mittens, and goggles inside their helmets and put all the helmets in a big duffel bag.
Skis, poles, and snowboards go in our car-top rocketbox the night before.
Boots you cannot do without.
- Ski boots
- Ski poles
- Snowboard boots
- Boot heaters (batteries charged up!)
- Ski/snowboard lock
- Sunglasses (for après ski)
Poles are so often left behind. Bring them to the hill–and home.
- Warm hat
- Neck gaiter/balaclava
- Snow jacket
- Snow pants
- Ski socks
- Next-to-skin layer bottoms
- Next to skin layer tops
- Fleece top
- Fleece or down vest
Gear up at the car. If you’re wearing boots, mittens, and goggles, it’s hard to forget them.
- Ski pass
- Apres snow boots (to and from the mountain)
- Boot bag/pack
- Hydration pack
- Ski- or snowboard–carrying pack (if you plan to hike to ski)
- Medicine (inhalers, epi-pens, Benadryl…)
- Snacks or picnic lunch
- Disposable hand warmers
Skis, tele skis, and snowboard for the whole family.
- Cell phone
- Altimeter watch
- GoPro camera
- Packable screwdriver (for adjusting snowboard bindings)