Skiing and snowboarding have always been some of our favorite activities of the season. After all, the pursuit of powder inspired us to start Forsake and make versatile footwear that could handle life in the mountains. With social distancing protocols in place this year, we’re looking forward to our ski and snowboard trips more than ever.
Knowing what to pack for your ski trip is important, no matter if it’s your first outing or your 40th, and a weekend getaway or a weeklong vacation. We’ve outlined all the essentials you’ll need plus a few extras related to COVID-19.
Ski Trips in 2020 and 2021: What to Expect with COVID-19
First things first: Your ski or snowboard holiday will probably look a little different this year. Spontaneity may not work in your favor, as many resorts are implementing reservation systems to reduce crowding. Make sure you plan ahead and book your tickets on the ski resort’s website in advance. You may also want to consider going at off-peak times. The state of Colorado is encouraging resorts to use congestion-based pricing and other financial incentives to prevent crowding, so you could save a few bucks by heading out on a weekday rather than weekend.
Lodges are out, too. As Vermont’s Killington Resort explains, your car is your new base lodge. They suggest bringing extra socks and boot heaters, and keeping boots near the car’s heating vents on your way to the mountain.
Other changes? The National Ski Areas Association’s Ski Well Be Well guidelines suggest that lines for the lifts—like everywhere else these days—should be spaced out. You’ll need to wear a face covering anytime you’re not eating or drinking, especially when queueing up at the lift and other places around the resort. COVID-19-related policies vary from resort to resort, so it’s best to read up on your destination’s protocols and changes beforehand.
In terms of your ski trip packing list, there are a few new considerations related to COVID-19, plus all the standard gear needed for an awesome snow getaway.
On the Slopes: Clothes and Accessories to Pack for Skiing or Snowboarding
In addition to your core ski or snowboard equipment (which can be rented), you’ll want to pack cold weather clothing and a few important extras.Ski Pants and Jacket
Waterproof outerwear will protect you from the elements. For your jacket, you can opt for a shell (and pair it with a down or fleece jacket), or get one that includes an insulating mid-layer.Base Layer Tops and Bottoms
Being wet or cold can ruin a day on the slopes, so warmth and moisture-wicking ability are crucial for any clothes that come in contact with your skin. Both merino wool and synthetic base layers can tick these boxes and keep you comfortable for a long day of fun on the hill.Gloves or Mittens
Just like with your other outwear, waterproofing and insulation are important for keeping hands warm and dry. Look for a pair that has good dexterity and cinches securely at the wrist so snow doesn’t sneak in. Not sure whether to get mittens or gloves? Mittens are generally warmer, but it comes down to personal preference. Adding in hand warmers is a cheap and easy way to make sure your fingers stay toastyNeck Gaiter or Buff
Neck gaiters will do double duty this year. Use yours for its intended purpose—keeping your neck toasty—and pull it up over your mouth and nose as a face covering, too. Bringing some backup face coverings is also a good idea. Moisture from your breath will freeze and may make the face covering uncomfortable to wear. Plus, standard, non-buff coverings will be useful anytime you’re indoors.Helmet and Hat
It’s a no brainer to protect your head while on the slopes. If you’re a newbie, remember that you can rent your helmet from the resort. Otherwise, choose one that is breathable, lightweight, and comfortable. Don’t forget to pair your helmet with a thin beanie or balaclava for extra cold days.Goggles
Sun, glare, and wind can get in the way of your snowsports adventures if you don’t have protection for your eyes. Get a pair that fits well with your helmet (if you’re not renting it) so there are no gaps for air to get through to your skin. Pro tip: Look for a pair that comes with two interchangeable lenses. You'll want a dark tint (low VLT) for sunny days, and a lighter tint (high VLT) for storm days.Ski Day Accessories
Don’t forget sunblock and an SPF chapstick to protect your skin from the rays reflecting off the snow. Pack a few small snacks in your pockets, and consider bringing a portable phone charger as well as your goggle bag, which is especially handy when the sun guns are running. A travel pack of tissues is useful for the inevitable moment your nose or eyes start running. And this year, of course, you’ll also want to have a mask or other type of mouth and nose covering like a buff handy at all times (plus a backup).
Après Adventures: What to Pack for the Ski Resort
After a day of skiing or snowboarding, it’s fun to unwind with après activities, which can range from spa treatments to live music. Due to COVID-19, this year’s après action is likely to look a little different, with more outdoor and small group activities for your ski crew.
Ditch your clunky, heavy ski or board boots for something a bit more comfortable. Our waterproof sneakerboots for men and women are lightweight, stylish, and protect you from the elements as you enjoy the après offering.Warm, Casual Clothes
Think flannels, fleeces, and henleys. Your after-ski outfits should be comfortable and warm—especially this year. With COVID-19 restrictions, much of the après activity will take place outside, so layering up is a good idea. Bring all the chunky sweaters.Hats and Gloves
At the end of the day, you may want to trade your bulky ski gloves for something slimmer, like wool or fleece. An extra winter hat or two is a good idea, too.Spa Gear: Bathing Suit, Flip Flops, Slippers
The spa might be closed (or at least limited) this year, but if you’re lucky enough to have a private hot tub, then a bathing suit and flip flops are a must. Slippers are also nice to have for lounging around your hotel room or lodge.Games
There will be fewer resort activities this year, but you can always bring some entertainment with you. We’re partial to classic card and board games, so we say pack up Yahtzee, Uno, and Jenga for your après ski fun.
What else do you pack for your ski and snowboard trips? Hit us up with your best ideas @forsakeco.