I’ve been skiing for 16 years — here are 8 essentials I never forget to bring

source
Vail/Facebook

  • When packing for a ski trip, you’re bound to bring essentials like jackets, pants, and goggles, but there might be smaller things you’ll forget until it’s too late.
  • I’ve been skiing for the past 16 years and have kept track of the less-obvious things you’d need when you’re up in the mountains.
  • Here are eight oft-forgotten items that’ll make a big difference when you’re skiing, like hand and neck warmers, tall socks, and yes, even SPF.

I grew up in Colorado and have been skiing for 16 years, so you could say I’ve been hitting the slopes for a while now.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve skiied or snowboarded in the Rockies, but I can count how many times I’ve forgotten things like SPF and hand warmers, and wound up with a sun burn and frostbite at the same time.

That’s why I make a point to pack these eight essentials. There are obvious things to bring on any ski trip – coats, pants, gloves, helmets, goggles, and maybe even skis, poles, and boots if you’re not renting. But there are some less-obvious essentials that might go forgotten until it’s too late, like hand and neck warmers, SPF for your face and lips, and tall socks that won’t bunch up in your boots.

Here are eight oft-forgotten – but extremely necessary – essentials you’ll want when you’re skiing:


HotHands Hand Warmers

source
Amazon

HotHands Hand Warmers, $2.21, available at Amazon

I’ve used these hand warmers ever since I started skiing, and surprisingly, they haven’t changed at all.

These little warmers are the perfect size to slip into your gloves and keep your hands warm. Just shake the air-activated heat packs (made with iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal, and wood fiber) and put them in your gloves for up to 10 hours of warmth.

There’s also a version of these for your toes that you can squeeze into your boots if you don’t have electric boot heaters, and for your body too.


EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen

source
Amazon

EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen, $35, available on Amazon

The sun becomes more intense at higher altitudes and with a lot of bright white, reflective snow, there’s an increased risk for sun burns and weird tan lines from your goggles – even if it’s a cloudy day.

Sunscreen is arguably more important when you’re up in the mountains. Facial sunscreen is ideal, and I highly recommend my favorite EltaMD UV Clear, but anything is certainly better than nothing.

Read my full EltaMD UV Clear sunscreen review here.


Turtle Fur Original Fleece Neck Warmer

source
Turtle Fur

Turtle Fur Neck Warmer, $14.99, available on Amazon

I learned how to ski in the dead of winter when the snow was fresh and powdery, but the weather was freezing, so my parents got me a neck warmer from Turtle Fur, the OG inventors of the fleece neck warmer.

I loved the ultra-soft and ultra-warm fleece so much that I’ve bought a handful of them over the years as I outgrew my starter gear.


Kleenex On-the-Go Travel Pack Tissues

source
Amazon

Kleenex On-the-Go Travel Pack Tissues, $2.28, available at Amazon

A good number of ski resorts I’ve gone to stock tissues and napkins, but they’re usually the standard 1-ply type and scruffy – not the best ones to use for runny noses post-trail.

I bring these tissue packs with me wherever I go in general, but always make sure to stash one in a pocket when I head up the mountain. These tissues are stronger and softer than most of the ones that resorts provide.


Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30

source
Amazon

Sun Bum Lip Balm, $4, available at Amazon

Between the wind, sun, and dry air at higher altitudes, your lips are going through a lot up there.

I highly suggest making sure that your lip balm has SPF protection. I prefer Sun Bum’s lip balm because it has SPF 15, doesn’t freeze at the top of the mountain, comes in a variety of flavors, and is inexpensive. It’s also readily available online or in drugstores too in case I lose mine (which is quite often).

Read our full review of Sun Bum lip balm here.


Smartwool PhD Pro Freeski Socks

source
Smartwool

Men’s PhD Pro Freeski Socks, $30.95, available at Amazon

Women’s PhD Pro Freeski Socks, $30.95, available at Smartwool

Okay, socks are not necessarily an often-forgotten item, but the right socks might be.

I’ve learned that thicker socks don’t always equate to warmer feet, and after a few bumpy years of my ski boots not fitting properly, I had to take a second look at the socks I was wearing.

Smartwool’s Freeskis are perfect socks for ski boots- they’re a medium thickness, have light cushioning for arch support, and mesh for breathability. They’re also tall and hug my calves snugly so they won’t slide down or bunch up.


Onnit Protein Bites

source
Onnit

Onnit Protein Bites, $1.49 and up, available at Onnit

If I’m skiing for a full day, I’ll always stop for lunch, but with intense physical activity comes a heightened need to snack. (Even if I’m not skiing, I believe in snacking.)

Onnit Protein Bites are ideal for mountain sports and activities. These grass-fed whey protein bites have 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and are non-GMO. They’re also small enough to fit in your pocket, which is an extra bonus.


HandFan Electric Hand Warmer and Phone Charger

source
Amazon

HandFan Electric Hand Warmer and Phone Charger, $23.99, available at Amazon

Your phone’s battery drains a lot faster in the cold, and you’re probably taking photos and videos up in the mountains too, so having a portable phone charger like this can be a big help.

This lightweight portable phone charger from HandFan also doubles as an electric hand warmer with three different heat settings and has a built-in flashlight just in case of emergencies.