How to Properly Pack a Suitcase for a Ski Trip

If you are preparing to leave for a ski trip, you need to pack carefully to be prepared for the varying weather conditions you may encounter. The most important point is to plan to dress in layers. Each layer serves a particular purpose for keeping you warm and dry. However, you also need to pack other items to meet your specific needs and comfort.

Step 1 - Pack at Least Three Wicking Layer Ensembles

The layer closest to your skin needs to be extremely good at wicking away sweat. Having three sets of silk or polyester long underwear will enable you to have several changes if they become wet. For your feet, pack three pairs of well-fitting lightweight ski socks.  Those made from blends of wool, polyester, and nylon will wick away moisture and reduce foot blistering. Be sure to avoid cotton fabric.  When it absorbs sweat (and of course it will), you will become cold.

Step 2 - Pack at Least Three Insulating Layer Ensembles

The next layer needs to insulate you against losing body heat. Plan on folding three wool or fleece sweaters, sweatshirts, or synthetic blend turtlenecks into your suitcase. Sweats or synthetic leggings can provide extra cold protection for your legs.

Step 3 - Pack at Least Two Waterproof Layer Ensembles

The outer layer needs to prevent you from getting wet in the snow, but still allow you to perspire comfortably. Since the weather could be relatively mild on your trip, or at the other extreme it could be blustery and cold, have a set of waterproof layer clothing for each scenario.  For mild weather, an uninsulated nylon pants and jacket shell set would suffice. For severe weather, an insulated and padded pants and jacket set would help keep out the bitter cold. Both of these sets need to be windproof and waterproof outer clothing. Additionally, make sure both pairs of pants have side zippers that will allow you to zip them over your boots to keep snow from getting inside. For your head, pack a knit hat or breathable ski helmet. For your hands, pack waterproof ski gloves that are marketed especially for skiing. For your feet, pack well-fitting insulated ski or snowboard boots.

Step 4 - Pack Clothing for Non-Skiing Activities

You probably won't be on the slopes 100 percent of the time, so be sure to pack at least two sets of regular warm clothing such as jeans, sweaters, socks, a warm jacket, scarf, nonskid shoes and sleep wear.

Step 5 - Pack Necessary Accessories

Always pack eye protection. Bring sunglasses for light weather conditions and goggles for severe winter conditions. If you wear eye glasses, try out goggles before purchasing them to make sure they fit over the glasses. Yellow lenses can reduce glare.

The intensity of the sun on the snow can be very damaging to the skin of your face. Pack sunscreen and sun-protecting lip balm.

Make sure that you bring personal items you can't live without, such as identification and medical insurance cards, money, maps, tickets, medications, a first aid kit, various toiletries, etc.

Step 6  - Pack Optional Accessories

If your neck tends to get cold, pack a neck gaiter. If you are traveling by plane, a ski bag and a boot bag can help you keep your equipment organized and stored safely. You also might want to pack travel games, a personal music player, or a camera.