Skiing has long since been on the bucket list. However, I wasn’t really planning a trip to the mountains anytime soon when I made a spontaneous decision after too many glasses of wine to book a VERY last minute trip Skiing. By last minute, I mean we booked Friday and left on Sunday! So it was a mad rush trying to get all my ski gear – I didn’t even know where to start! I mean what do you even WEAR skiing for the first time?! So after learning the hard way and buying WAY too much gear that I didn’t even use, I decided to create this checklist of skiing essentials for beginners.
So the first lesson is you will pack too much. You never use anywhere near as many clothes as you think you will so empty that suitcase by half and you’ll be about right! I am a ‘what if’ girl – I like to pack for all eventualities so I often end up with 3 times as much as I need for trips. But if I were to go skiing again, I would definitely take a lot less! My friend only took hand luggage and STILL had too much! So use the list of skiing essentials for beginners and you will save yourself time, space and money! I will also tell you what to wear skiing for your first time so you can own those slopes!
This post does contain affiliate links which just means that if you were to purchase any of the ski equipment I’ve linked to, I would receive a small commission at no cost to yourself. This helps towards the costs of running this website!
Where to buy your ski gear?
You do not need designer ski wear for your first time on the slopes! Until you know whether you love skiing enough to go back again, you will want to hunt out the ski bargains. No point spending a fortune on the top skiing gear only for it to sit at the back of your wardrobe gathering dust year after year!
So firstly, ask about amongst your friends and find out what you can borrow! I was lucky that a friend of mine Pip, from the fabulous www.pipandthecity.com, helped me out by loaning me goggles and gloves when the ones I ordered on Amazon didn’t arrive in time. Kind of ironically due to excessive snow in the U.K before I left preventing next-day delivery!
Freak snowstorms aside, Amazon is a great place to get your kit and often you can get next day delivery with Prime. Useful if your holiday is as last minute as mine was!
Check out local bargain sports clothes centres such as Sports Direct or GoOutdoors. If you know well in advance you are planning a ski trip then the best time to buy your gear will be about March time when the ski season is coming to an end.
How many layers do I need?
I was surprised by how hot I often got on the slopes. Some days I was warm even wearing one long sleeve t-shirt with my ski jacket open over the top! But then other days, it can be bitterly cold!
My best tip to make sure you are prepared for whatever the weather throws at you is to check the local snow report the day before. Check out the temperature, wind speed and if there will be snow or rain. In general, one long sleeve thermal base layer with leggings underneath your salopettes and ski jacket is often sufficient.
On colder days you will need to add a strappy top and a microfleece. If you are at very high altitude or skiing somewhere especially cold, you may want to pack an extra jumper and thermal leggings.
How can I be stylish on the slopes?
Since often, you will go straight from skiing to the bars or apres ski, you may want to consider what you will beneath your ski jacket and salopettes to feel a little bit more stylish. I chose to wear gym style leggings with nice patterns and kept a pair of black will-go-with anything snow boots in my locker at the ski hire place. I could then leave my salopettes in my locker and team my colourful leggings with a warm jumper and I was ready to hit the pubs.
You can also choose colourful headbands which are functional, keep you warm, your hair under control and add a bit of snow-chic to your outfit! A colourful buff can also serve to keep your face warm and then be worn as a headband disguise birds-nest hair when you remove your helmet!
As for your hair, you could always consider getting a keratin blow dry before you go on your ski holiday. I had one before my trip to South America and it was great to tame my frizzy knot-prone hair and lasted several months. Alas, I did not have time to do this again before this ski trip but I wish I did. It would have been great for preventing knotty messy helmet hair! Check out my article about Keratin blow dries as a hair travel solution! Otherwise, plaits are a good style for taming your hair on the slopes!
Any other top tips for skiing essentials for beginners?
Get a ski jacket that is just a little on the larger side. Mine fit well when the pockets were empty. However, you will end up stuffing your pockets with money, phones, snacks, gloves and anything else that you would usually carry in your bag! I ended up looking like the Michelin man most days!
Speaking of ski jackets make sure your jacket has lots of pockets! Also, many jackets have a small zip pocket on the left forearm. This is super useful as you can store your ski pass in there and the scanners can easily detect it without you having to go searching through your pockets every time you get in a ski lift!
You only need one pair of salopettes. They are expensive and there is really no need for more than one pair if you are skiing for one week or less. You will also be wearing leggings underneath!
Make sure you get salopettes with braces! I found when I wasn’t wearing mine, my salopettes constantly felt like they were falling down! (Possibly partly as I accidentally bought men’s salopettes in my rush so they were big on the waist and tight on the hips! Schoolgirl error.)
Don’t forget sun cream for your face! A few of my friends learnt the hard way! Along with being painful and risking long-term damage, you will also end up with a spectacular ski goggle tan!
Ski boots are not the comfiest so pack plenty of blister plasters. I actually put these on the first day before I ski in places I expect the boots to rub. It worked – no blisters for me this time!
Pack both goggles and sunglasses. Sunglasses are great for apres ski and on sunny days when you don’t want bulky goggles. But goggles are invaluable when it starts snowing to keep with snow and spray out of your eyes!
There is no need to buy your own skis, poles, boots or helmet unless you know you will be skiing more than once as they are easy to hire. However, if you have a GoPro, you may want to consider your own helmet as they don’t cost much more than hire helmets and you can mount a GoPro adapter to it to record some great videos!Speaking of Go Pro’s, I definitely recommend them for any activity holidays! They record great quality videos and wide angle photos of the stunning scenery! The Hero 5 which I got, is even voice activated so you can start and stop recording video as you are hurtling down the slopes!
Don’t forget a swimming cossie for spa days or even trips to local hot springs if you are lucky to be staying near some!
Make sure your gloves are waterproof. I learnt this the hard way after I decided to take some lighter fleece gloves after being sweltering the day before. It snowed hard, my gloves got soaked. My hands felt like they would never be warm again…
Would you like a free printable ski holiday packing checklist?
To make packing for your first ski holiday a breeze, I have created a free printable checklist including all the skiing essentials for beginner skiers! From clothes to ski gear and accessories, I’ve got you covered!
Do you have any other tips or suggestions? Any questions I can help answer? I’d love to hear from you! I’d also be eternally grateful if you could share this post with your friends and family! Thanks, you’re the best!