Whether you’re a complete beginner skier or seasoned skier, one thing’s for sure, to have a good time, you have to keep warm. So if you’re wondering what to take with you, here’s a handy guide on what to pack.
Ski in comfort
It’s worth buying a quality top and leggings as these are key to keeping you warm on the slopes. The right base layers will encourage water or sweat away from your skin and into outer layers of clothing to keep you warm and dry. If you’re on a budget or it’s your first trip, have a look in places like TK Maxx or Decathalon in the UK – you might even find some good deals on eBay.
Ski jacket and trousers
A decent ski jacket is essential to protect you from the elements on the slopes. The right one should be breathable, cosy and warm. There are countless brands to choose from and if you buy the right one, its should last you years. You don’t have to buy the most expensive one you find, keep an eye out for good deals online and on the high street. The North Face, Columbia, Spyder Chambers and Helly Hansen, Arc’teryx all offer quality gear.
Despite the fact you’ll see some people skiing without one, a helmet is essential. You don’t need buy one if it’s your first trip and you’re a beginner, you can easily hire one from a local ski shop when you arrive.
Sunglasses or goggles
The deciding factor on sunglasses or goggles will depend on the conditions and it’s handy to have a pair of sunglasses so you can sit out on the slopes when the sun’s out. Goggles will however provide better coverage all round protecting your eyes from the wind, snow, white outs and the bright light. You can also clip them to your helmet so you don’t lose them. If your goggles get wet they may steam up but you can buy anti-fog spray or dry them under a hand dryer to prevent this from happening.
Ski gloves or mittens
A decent pair will protect your hands from the cold but make sure they are waterproof and breathable. Ski gloves wrap your fingers individually so provide excellent coverage however mittens generally tend to be warmer than gloves because fingers generate more heat when they’re not separated by fabric. You can’t hire these and it’s cheaper to buy a pair before you travel to the ski resort as they will cost double the price once there.
Not essential but handy to have for those really cold days when you’re on the chair lift and you just can’t seem to get your hands warm. These small packets come in different types – either disposable or reusable. Order online before you travel or buy them in the village ski shops when you arrive.
Balaclava or neck tube
You’ll be thankful for either of these on the really chilly days, they are great for protecting your face and cheeks from the elements. They are far less bulky than a scarf so are ideal for keeping in your pocket or pulled down around your neck until you feel the need to wear it.
Socks are one of the most important and understated parts of your ski or snowboard gear. A pair of uncomfortable or poor quality socks can easily ruin an otherwise perfect day on the slopes. You only need to wear one pair and there are lots of different types including wool socks, heated socks, liner socks, padded soles, and padded calf socks which can improve comfort on the slopes. Do some research before you travel and buy a couple of pairs to ensure you are comfortable on the slopes.
Sun cream / lip balm – it’s advisable to wear sun cream and take a lip balm with you, ensuring it’s a high factor
Water bottle / Camelbak – this will help you stay hydrated
Small rucksack – handy to keep snacks and other supplies inside
Where to stay: Chalet la Fontaine is located in the alpine village Châtel, just 90 minutes drive from Geneva Airport. The chalet sleeps 8-10 people and has a fully equipped kitchen, ideal for families and groups of friends looking for exclusive use of a chalet in the French Alps.