We’ve all seen skiers out on the slopes, head to toe in skiing equipment and accessories, and let’s face it – being equipped for a ski trip doesn’t look like an easy feat. Luckily, we have ski expert Graham Bell to talk us though what we’ll need, both before we go and when we get there. So how do we get equipped?
What to buy before you go
- Gloves – A decent pair of gloves can be a prized possession when you’re out on the slopes. Invest in a decent pair – with the winters we get in the UK, they’re bound to come in handy again soon. For younger children, Graham suggests getting mittens, as ‘they are much harder to lose if you fix them to the ski jacket!’
- Goggles / Sunglasses – Goggles and glasses are another thing you’re unlikely to find at the resort, so this is something you’ll need to bring on holiday with you. For children, Graham recommends getting goggles with a high UV protection level.
- Ski Jacket and Ski Pants– What kind of ski jacket you choose to bring should be dependent on the time of year and the weather conditions you’re expecting. Graham says, ’a massive puffer will be too hot at Easter and the thin windcheater too cold in the mid-winter’. Again, it’s a good idea to buy something that you can use when you’re back in the UK too.
- Thermals – Thermals are an absolute must when you’re skiing. If people are cold and uncomfortable they’ll be miserable and the trip could end up being a complete disaster. Graham recommends bringing ‘a couple of pairs of long socks to keep your feet warm and dry as well’. The best way to do thermals is to layer up; that way, you can put on/take off layers according to your temperature.
- Sun cream – For some people, the thought of wearing sun cream in the snow sounds like a bad joke, but it’s actually an important item to have in your suitcase. The sun’s reflection off the snow makes it much easier to burn, and you’re less likely to notice you’re burning when you’re surrounded by the cold stuff!
What to take out to the slopes
- As Graham points out, ‘Skiing burns a lot of energy’, so it’s important to take some food out on the slopes to keep you going. A few sugary snacks in the backpack are a great idea – you’ll be glad of them when you and the kids start flagging.
- Another thing you should be packing is water as it’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re skiing. Graham mentions his use of a ‘camelback’ backpack, finding them ‘easy to wear and carry on your back.’
What to rent
- Helmets – Wearing a helmet is often compulsory and, according to Graham, they’re available to rent for around 10-15 Euros.
- Snow Boots – Snow boots are particularly useful for the little ones. It’s best to rent these where you can, because younger children will grow out of boots quickly, and they won’t always be cheap to replace.
- Skis – As with snow boots, it’s best to rent your skis. That way, you can rent different types of skis, depending on the snowfall and your ability.
Just remember the old saying – failing to prepare is preparing to fail! By following the above guide however, you and your family will want for nothing, leaving you free to focus on enjoying your holiday together.