So, you’re off on your first ever ski trip - a true rite of passage for any outdoors enthusiast. But what should you take as part of your ski kit?
Here’s a packing checklist to help you beat the freeze, and ensure you look sensational on the slopes:
1. Skis and Poles
Don’t worry about skis and poles; you can hire them at your destination resort. Check out prices and options and book them in advance if possible. When booking specify your beginner status along with any other information that may be required.
2. Ski boots
You don’t want to share your boots, so you'll have to invest in your own pair. To avoid blisters or cold feet it is worth going for quality. How do you recognise a good pair of boots? Go to a reputable dealer (like Winfields!) that boasts experienced skiers among its staff. Ski boots should have a snug fit, but try them on with the socks you intend to wear (let them advise you on these too).
Boots should be less rigid for beginners. Try on as many as possible… these are the make or break pieces of equipment that will translate into your success with skiing. Buy a good quality ski boot bag along with the boots, and tote them as carry-on luggage. Use the space inside the boots to store socks and underwear.
Tip: try on boots as late in the day as possible, as all feet swell during the course of daily life.
3. Ski helmet
A ski helmet is vital for safety’s sake. You may be able to hire one at your destination or to take with you, otherwise expect to pay up to £300 for a top of the range helmet, which you will have to carry. If you are buying one, do it at the same time as you buy the boots, and ask if there is a combi-rucksack available for storing and carrying helmet and boots.
4. Ski goggles
Ski goggles are also a necessity for the beginner skier’s kit. But don’t just rely on sunglasses – they won’t keep out flurries of snow or icy winds.
5. Thermal underwear
Suiting up for the snow is a breeze; invest in some good, lightweight thermal under-layers and sweaters, topped off with a top brand ski jacket and salopettes (waterproof trousers). Choose a serviceable jacket or parka to use back home.
Tip: Wear your ski jacket onto the plane, or carry it, to save luggage weight.
6. Hats and gloves
Hats, balaclavas, gloves and/or mittens (waterproof) and scarves can all add a touch of pizzazz and insulation to your ski image. Just make sure they are up to the job - don’t sacrifice practicality for fashion. Stuff these in the pockets of your jacket or carry-on bag.
Toiletries are necessary – go for the little travel-sized bottles sold in most high street chemists. Don’t forget sun cream!