What to Pack: Ski Weekend

Greetings from Keystone!

Vince and I are enjoying a wonderful long weekend with friends out on the slopes. It’s been a full year since we laced up our snowboard boots and waxed our boards. I know it’s been a full year because Facebook is reminding me that one year ago today Vince and I were doing this:

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Make sure you know what to pack for a ski weekend so you can have fun like these two!

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My family has been a fan of the ski trip getaway for years. Some of my fondest memories are at the Powder House or racing down runs at Purgatory, my family’s resort of choice growing up. Vince is much newer to the slopes, but he’s quickly picking up pace with me ;)

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Because my family went on so many ski trips growing up, I’ve got this packing thing down. Okay, to be perfectly honest my mom did the vast majority of packing my ski things when I was growing up, but I think I took some pretty good notes over the years. To this day I’ll repeat to myself “hat, gloves, gaiter, goggles” as I walk out the door before a day on the mountain. My family always used to repeat that to each other to make sure we didn’t forget any of this crucial gear. 

Hats, gloves, gaiter, goggles... Hats, gloves, gaiter, goggles...

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Since our band of skiers flew to Keystone for this particular weekend, we had to be thoughtful about what we packed. We managed to fit everything in the bags that we took to Iceland, which I’ll consider a feat because ski clothes take up so much space. We also saved on some luggage since a few of our ski crew drove out from Kansas City. They were kind enough to drive out our boards on their ski rack. Teamwork!

Here’s what I packed for a ski weekend (Vince stuff is basically the same, only less colorful):

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Make sure you know what to pack for a ski weekend! Base layers can make or break your weekend.

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Base Layers

The key here is to pack as many layers as possible! You never know how much the weather will change during your trip. With layers, you can manage a variety of temperatures and conditions to make sure you have a comfortable experience. I typically pack:

1. leggings & long underwear - make sure you get silk or moisture-wicking pairs. They’ll pull any sweat away from your legs so they don’t freeze in the cold air!

2. sports bras - snowboarding/skiing may be a vacation but they’re still sports. Dress accordingly!

3. thermal shirts - these SmartWool numbers from REI are super useful for just about anything! I bought them for Iceland, thinking I'd use them when skiing too. I'm so glad I did because I wear them a lot!

4. top shirts - since skiers are difficult to identify under all of those layers, use your top layer/shirt as an opportunity to express yourself on the mountain! I express myself with colors :)

5. ski/board socks - if you can get through a long weekend on the slopes with tube socks or regular, I’d like to shake your hand. In my book, ski socks are vital to foot comfort and warmth on the slopes.

6. dry fit base shirts - the original Under Amour shirts make great base layers. They’re warm, light, and moisture-wicking. Perfect for pulling away sweat and keeping your body heat contained.

7. undercoat - for especially cold days, you might need an undercoat to keep you warm. Pack one - or two - just in case!

8. thermal pullover - same policy as the overcoat(s).

9. sweatpants - us snowboarders spend a lot of time on our tushes between runs. Extra layers on the bottom can help keep your legs warm.

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Make sure you know what to pack for a ski weekend! Outer layers are key!

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Outer Layers

Make sure you have water-resistant and warm top layers! They'll help keep you dry and warm against the wind and snow.

1. goggles - some people prefer sunglasses on the slopes, but I definitely am a goggles person! A polarized pair is more expensive, but they are incredibly useful on snowy runs with a lot of sun.

2. snowboard boots - you can get some pretty good boot and board rentals these days, which is really helpful for the casual boarder. I decided to purchase a pair when I found my boots a few years ago on super sale (like $100?)! March and April are some of the best months to buy ski equipment since it's just out of season.

3. gloves - do NOT be stingy with your gloves. Cold hands from cheap gloves can ruin an awesome ski trip faster than anything! I recommend North Face.

4. outer coat - there are a huge variety of ski and board coats in the world. Just be sure to find one that fits you best and has the features (lots of pockets, hood, etc.) that you're looking for.

5. hat(s) - gotta keep that noggin warm! (You'll note that I don't wear a helmet. Yes, I probably should but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Vince has one, though.)

6. hand & foot warmers - for those of us with super cold appendages, these can be really helpful between runs or during long breaks.

7. gaiter - I don't think I've ever gone on a ski trip without a gaiter. They are lifesavers for keeping my neck and face warm. My skin thanks me, and it'll thank you if you wear a gaiter too :)

8. ski/board pants - take my rant about ski socks and insert it here. Waterproof ski / board pants are a MUST on the slopes! An absolute must. That is all.

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Make sure you know what to pack for a ski weekend - including camera gear!

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Electronics

I am 100% that person who packs way too much electronic equipment on just about any trip. For this one, I brought:

Our brand new GoPro Hero 4! I'm so pumped to try this little guy out for the first time! Accessory-wise we got a head strap and handle grip to try out. I'm thinking I'll use the handle grip most to try to be a bit more subtle. I refuse to use a selfie stick...

I also brought my trusty Canon camera and all of its lens buddies (200mm, 24-105mm and 10-18mm).

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Stay tuned for more photos (and hopefully GoPro videos!) from our weekend!

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Make sure you know what to pack for a ski weekend! Never forget your gloves or goggles again!