The Newbie Skier’s Checklist


Going on your first ski trip is probably one of the most exciting moments of your life. A lot of city folk like myself have only ever really seen snow piled up on the sidewalk, so the idea of actually going to a mountainside to ski down fresh, virgin, powder snow is exhilarating.

The first time skier might ask: is there an element of danger? I mean, sure, I guess the risk of hypothermia is always going to be there, but if you’re going to a popular ski resort anyway, there’s not much to worry about that. Is it expensive? I mean, it costs money, yes, but it’s cheaper than renting out Disneyland or some other ridiculous splurge.

Do you need equipment? Ah, now that is a good question. Yes, you do need special equipment for when you go skiing, but the resort you’ll be staying at will probably have the stuff that you need anyway. But what exactly are the stuff that you need? Well, here’s a quick list of items the virgin skier might need on their very first ski trip.

Stay Warm with a Ski Jacket and Ski Pants

When skiing, a ski jacket and ski pants are essential. You can’t get away with just a dollar-store bubble jacket and snow pants; you’re going to need specialized clothing that is highly insulated as well as wind/water-resistant. Arcteryx ski jackets for men and women are highly suggested, as well as ski pants from the same brand. Your top layer must be weather-resistant to help you keep comfortably warm and, above all, dry.

Remember that the warmer and drier you are, the more time you get to spend shredding up the mountainside (or, in my case, flailing awkwardly in the snow).

Keep Your Hands Warm with Gloves

It’s not just your body that needs to stay warm; your extremities need to stay cozy, too. Swany’s M21 X-Cell Glove for men and women are perfect for skiing because they’re waterproof, double-lined, and has a utility heat pocket that you can use to fill up with hand warmers or an extra layer of fluff.

Your gloves should be thick enough to withstand the cold, but flexible enough to grab poles and other items.

Ski clothesLayering Is the Key to Staying Warm

When it comes to extreme cold, layering your clothes is the best way to stay warm. By layering multiple, thinner garments, it traps the heat more effectively than one thick layer. For your base layer (that is, the layer immediately under the ski jacket or ski pants), use clothing that is made of either wool or fleece, as these materials are both breathable and waterproof. Try to avoid cotton undergarments as these usually cause moisture to build up and aren’t the most comfortable when it comes to the cold.

Other than that, you can find most of the other equipment you’ll need (i.e., actual skis, poles, helmets, and all other accouterments) will usually be provided by the resort. Don’t worry; they sanitize those in between uses.

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