The time has come to pack up and head for the hills — Vermont’s Green Mountains, that is. The big ski trip to Mount Snow has been burning a hole in your calendar for months, and before you know it, you’ll be there. Packing can be a little frantic, though, and there are few more frustrating feelings than pulling into your destination to realize you’ve forgotten something. This ski trip checklist can help you stay on top of your gear needs so you can spend more time worry free on top of Mount Snow, whether you're planning a family vacation in Vermont or hitting the slopes with friends.
The Bare Essentials
Blame it on human nature, work stress, or last night’s shenanigans, but it’s easier than we’d like to admit to forget some of skiing’s bare essentials. Try this: as you reach for your car’s ignition to embark on your Vermont ski trip, say “skis, boots, poles, helmet, goggles, gloves, jacket, snow pants,” either out loud or in your head, in the same order every time. Don’t just rattle off the words though. With each one, think of where in the car that object is and remember putting it there (or realize you haven’t). There are obviously other things, like ski socks, that you’ll need on your packing checklist, but in our opinion, these eight pieces of ski gear are the worst to leave behind.
Pack Your Bags Like a Pro
Small stuff is a big pain to remember, especially if you don’t always need it depending on the weather. We’re talking things like glove liners, hand warmers, neck gaiters, goggle cleaning cloths, thermal underwear and upper base layers, along with ski socks and the essentials listed above. One trick we picked up — from a professional mountain guide who still does this every time he travels, no less — is to think of a bed, floor, or other big, flat surface as a puzzle or game board. Lay out each small piece of gear in the same spot every time so you can see it all at once before putting things in your bag. You can even go one step further and imagine putting it on to start a day at the mountain. If something’s missing, it’ll be more obvious this way.
Start With the Right Gear
Ski clothing technology has come so far over the years that, barring sub-zero wind chill days, there’s just no reason to be cold or uncomfortable while you’re out on the slopes. Outerwear should be both waterproof and breathable: Gore-Tex and similar fabric blends are the name of the game. Even the best skiers and riders take a dive into the snow once in a while, so it’s better to air on the side of staying dry no matter what. Heavily insulated jackets and pants can work fine, but we prefer a thin waterproof shell as a top layer, leaving an array of options underneath for every line on the thermometer.
Base layers ought to be flexible, comfortable, and fit snugly without being tight. Materials like microfleece, spandex, and other synthetics work together to wick moisture away from your body and prevent you from freezing or overheating. Avoid cotton at all costs — it soaks easily, dries slowly, and makes you cold.
Stay Organized Where You're Staying
Trying to pack the whole crew into a couple of hotel rooms is always stressful, and doing it with a mountain of ski bags is downright lunacy. When there’s not enough room, ski gear ends up where it shouldn’t: under beds and dressers, behind end tables, and in that one bathroom vanity drawer that no one opens except to deposit an extra toothbrush and promptly forget about it. When you stay at a Vermont rental home near Mount Snow, you’ll have plenty of space to breathe easy, unwind, and keep organized.
Photo 1: "Ski Models 2010," by Kunstpiste.