If you're planning a ski trip, it's likely you'll have thought about some essentials that you'll need to take with you like warm waterproof clothing, goggles, gloves and socks, but as well as these, the ‘to take’ list can be exhaustive and there’s only so much space in your suitcase!
We spoke to The Snow Centre’s Head of Snowsports, Pete Gillespie, to ask for his tips for what to take on your ski trip and the 5 items that should always make it onto the packing list when going on a trip to the mountains.
While most Snowsports clothing has a variety of pockets, these can fill up quickly or can make it difficult to move around freely, so having a rucksack can be really useful to carry everything you need for a day on the slopes. A roll top tube rucksack is ultra lightweight so you barely notice you’re wearing it and waterproof, ideal for those snowy days.
A small first aid kit is always handy to have with you in case you or one of your group cut their finger on the edge of a ski, or get a blister. These generally include plasters, a gauze or dressing and antiseptic wipes. They will also include a space blanket which can be really useful if you need to stop for an extended amount of time to keep the cold and the wind out. You can always add some ibuprofen or paracetamol if that’s something you might take when you have some aches and pains, or are a little hungover from too much après ski the day before!
An essential for those who wear glasses, but also really useful for cleaning your goggles and sun glasses to defog them when you’re hot or if you’ve wiped out in some fresh powder.
As the weather and the light changes, it’s really useful to have goggles with interchangeable lenses. There’s lots of options available, but Pete recommends those that have a magnetic change system for a quick change when you’re on a lift.
It’s really important to stay hydrated, particularly at altitude and when doing exercise, so Pete recommends taking water up the mountain with you. If you can, take a refillable bottle with you rather than buying plastic bottles, and you can fill these up at most mountain restaurants.
It’s unlikely you’ll lose your ski socks on a day on the mountain, so it may seem strange to take a spare pair of socks out with you for the day, but socks aren’t only useful for your feet! A pair of tube socks are a handy replacement for when one of your group (often the kids) drops a glove or mitten, often off a chairlift into a hard to ski area! Rather than having to end your day and head back to the hotel, a tube sock can be a great temporary replacement and prevents tears over cold fingers!
Wear several thin layers rather than 2 or 3 bulky layers. The weather can change quickly as you head up or down the mountain, and you can quickly find yourself too hot of too cold. If you’ve several thinner layers, you have the ability to add or remove them and continue to ski comfortably, and they can be easily packed away in your roll top rucksack.
Just be aware that if you’re the only person in your group with a backpack, you may end up carrying more than you bargained for!