With ski season finally upon us, images of snowcapped summits and toasty log fires are no doubt floating through your mind. But before your escape to the mountains, one of the biggest conundrums you will be facing is how to beat that pesky 23kg (or even worse 15kg) baggage allowance.
With the idea of packing making most people break out in a cold sweat (even more so than skiing that black slope), I’ve put together my list of top ten tips for packing for any ski adventure. Although it sounds like mission impossible, I promise that if follow these simple rules, you will be a ski packing pro in no time!
1. || Wear your heaviest ski clothing on the plane
One of the main issues with ski clothing is its weight. Lets face it, after packing your basic ski outfit, there’s not a lot of space left for much else! There is however a solution. Keep your baggage weight down by wearing your ski jacket and snow boots on the plane. Not only will you save a ton of space in your case, you’ll also have the last laugh when you’re all set for the brisk alpine air and everyone else is frantically diving into their cases when they leave the airport.
2. || Hire your skis and ski boots
With a set of skis and ski boots setting you back around £1000 ($1400) and most airlines charging you an extra baggage fee just for bringing them; save yourself $$$ and space by hiring your skis and boots when you get to the slopes. In every resort there are dedicated hire shops that let you rent some of the best technical ski equipment at a fraction of the cost. Even better, most shops will let you store your equipment in specialist lock up rooms for a small fee so you don’t have to worry about lugging them around with you at the end of the day.
3. || Wear and air
When deciding on how many base layers and ski socks to pack, my rule of thumb is to take the equivalent of half the number of days you will be skiing and to wear them one day and air them the next. Bringing any more than this really is just a waste of space. The brisk alpine air will blast away any unwanted smells, leaving them fresh as a daisy and ready for your next day of skiing. If you’re really struggling for space, pack some travel wash and you can get away with taking just one set of each, although you’ll have to be willing to do a bit of scrubbing at the end of the day.
4. || Pack a small rucksack
One of my essential items when skiing is always my mini waterproof rucksack. When packing I can put any bottle I’m afraid might leak inside and when I’m on the slopes it’s the ideal place to carry my daytime essentials like my phone and camera in without worrying about breakages. Believe me, there’s nothing worse than navigating the slopes with overloaded pockets. Not only do you look ridiculous, you also the run the risk of losing all your photos to water damage. Not quite the ending you envisioned from a days skiing!
5. || Stuff your helmet with breakables
Utilise all the space you can and fill your helmet with those fragile items that you are worried could scratch in transit. Considering your helmet is literally built to protect it is the perfect place to store things like your GoPro, goggles and sunglasses. For extra protection and more space saving, pad the top with your ski socks to cushion any impacts. A word of warning though, carry your digital cameras in your hand luggage. Even with the added protection, the screens do have a tendency to crack in transit.
6. || Take travel sized sunscreen
Yes it’s winter and yes temperatures are around -11 in the mountains, but trust me, unless you want to end up redder than a beetroot, one item you simply cannot do without is a good quality high factor sunscreen. Don’t bother wasting precious space and baggage weight taking a full size version though, with only your face exposed in the chilly mountain air, a 50ml travel suncream will be more than enough.
7. || Pack less ‘ordinary clothes’
What’s the point in bringing a vast array of ‘normal clothes’ when in all honesty you’re only going to be spending a fraction of your time in them? With most people living in their ski gear from around 8pm to 4pm and hopefully even later if you find a great apres-ski bar; a spare pair of jeans, a couple of jumpers and a nice top will honestly suffice. Save yourself the space and leave your party gear at home. Lets face it, at the end of the day, a shirt and jeans is about as dressed up as it gets at a ski resort.
8. || Have a ski gear essentials checklist
There’s nothing worse than getting to your chalet and realising that in that last minute packing freak-out you had, you forgot to bring ski socks. The solution? Pre-prepare an essentials ski gear checklist the week before that you can tick off as you pack. Not only will it guarantee that you don’t forget anything, it also means you won’t waste space by adding in anything extra that you don’t need.
For some inspiration, here is mine:
Waterproof Ski Jacket,
x4 technical ski socks,
x4 base layer tops,
x4 base layer leggings,
x4 vest tops,
UV Polarised Sunglasses,
UV Ski Goggles,
Uvex Ski helmet,
Factor 50 travel sunscreen and lip balm.
9. || Roll don’t fold
An oldie but a goodie. One of the most efficient ways to save space is by rolling your clothes rather than folding them. Not only does this technique compress items so you can stack more in your case, it also means that your clothes are less creased so there is no need to pack that travel iron.
10. || Take a collapsible water bottle
I’m a massive fan of the Vapur collapsible water bottles and whenever I travel, I always make sure that I have one handy. Not only do they allow you to save money and reduce wastage, they can be rolled away once you’ve finished with them, saving you tons of space. They are perfect to have in your ski rucksack to ensure you’re hydrated all throughout the day as well as being ideal to have in your hand luggage where you can fill it up for free when you’ve gone through check-in. Bonus!
What are your top tips for ski packing? Drop me a comment below.
Until next time Travarellas…