New experiences are what makes life exciting and when you’re planning for your very first ski trip, you’re bound to forget some things! As your ski adventure draws nearer, go over this list to make sure you have all of your bases covered – either by purchasing the items yourself (you don’t need to get top-notch gear like what the HomeLight-sponsored US Olympic team uses) or checking with your ski resort to see if they have rentals available.
Ski equipment: Skis, poles, and bindings
For a newbie, purchasing new (or even second hand) skis, poles, and bindings can be pretty expensive. It’s not worth the investment right now because you don’t even know if you’ll enjoy the sport, let alone if you’ll get much use of it. So for that reason, we recommend renting these items for the first few trips. This will give you enough time to decide if it’s worth the investment and if you’ll get much use out of the gear.
Since you aren’t going to be familiar with the correct sizing and the right gear you’ll need, don’t be afraid to ask the staff at the rental place for their help. Just remember that if you are going to be renting gear, you’ll need to set more money aside for those costs.
Ski gear: Ski boots, helmet, and goggles
Ski equipment aside, ski gear like boots, helmet, and goggles may not be something you’ll want to purchase right away. These items tend to be used for only ski adventures and if you decide that skiing isn’t for you, you’re then faced with trying to figure out what to do with them.
Most resorts will have rentals for these items as well, although some people may tell you that renting ski boots isn’t recommended because how they fit is important. When you’re renting boots, there’s no guarantee that the boot will fit your foot perfectly and that could cause you some discomfort or even injury. So… Use your best judgment.
In terms of the helmet and goggles, these are good items to rent and they tend to go hand-in-hand. Ask the staff in the rental area for advice/help choosing gear that fit.
Outerwear: Ski jacket, pants, gloves, and hat
You may live in an area that experiences cold to freezing temperatures, but your regular winter clothing isn’t going to be enough to keep you warm while on the slopes. Ski jackets and pants are designed to keep you warm and dry, as they are well insulated and weather resistant.
Your average winter gloves may be enough if you’re playing in the snow for an hour or so, but if you’re going to be on the slopes for an extended period of time, you’ll want to make sure that you have gloves that are also well insulated and weather resistant. But along with those qualities, your ski gloves should be comfortable to wear and give you enough dexterity so you can hold on to the ski poles.
When it comes to a hat for skiing, you can use a regular beanie, but we recommend opting for one made of wool because they tend to be the warmest option.
Inner layers: Long johns, shirt, pants, and socks
When you’re going skiing (or participating in any winter activity), you’ll want to layer up so that you’re nice and toasty. However, you’ll want to choose items that are made of synthetic materials or even wool. These will keep you warm and dry, while allowing you to remove layers if you get too hot. We don’t recommend wearing cotton simply because the fabric isn’t breathable and it isn’t waterproof.
A backpack is a good item to buy so that you have somewhere to store your smaller items like an extra pair of gloves, scarf, chapstick, sunscreen, ID, and so on.
This list isn’t the end-all-be-all list of things you need for a good ski adventure – it’s just a starting point. If you’re going skiing with others who are more experienced in that realm, ask for their insight to make sure that you’ll be prepared.