If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that Gerald’s family takes a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado every year. This year was my third year attending the trip, so I’ve finally got my packing list down pat. Packing for a trip that involves both outdoor activities and nice dinners can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time going to a mountain town,so I’m sharing my tips for what to pack if If you’re heading on a ski trip soon!
ON THE SLOPES
Skiing equipment and apparel can be expensive, but I’ve finally acquired the proper items over the years. I rent my skis, helmet, boots, and poles, but I’ve invested in the essentials.
Ski Goggles: I highly recommend purchasing your own goggles instead of borrowing someone else’s or skiing in sunglasses. If you ski in glasses, you risk the chance of breaking or losing them if you fall, and the metal on styles like aviators can actually burn your face since the sun is stronger due to the elevation. They’re a splurge, but a good pair is a worth the investment. I have these UVEX goggles in white.
Ski/Snow Pants: comfort and mobility is key on the slopes and I didn’t want to look like a Michelin man, so I asked for a pair of North Face pants for Christmas the first year I went. This is definitely something that’s worth asking around to borrow since they are easily washable and come in sizes S,M,L, etc., making them much easier to share than a pair of jeans with a waist number! I have these in black.
Ski Jacket: this is my most expensive ski gear item and also another Christmas gift! I borrowed a friend’s jacket my first year but I loved getting to pick out my own with special touches like black piping and a furry hood. If you’re searching for your own, make sure it has lots of pockets! You can’t bring a purse up the mountain (although you will see people with backpacks, wearing one would throw me totally off balance) so you’ll want room to store chapstick, credit cards, lift tickets, etc. Pro tip: REI and Dick’s have some pretty awesome coupons that can shave a lot off the price, so keep your eyes open for deals if you’re in the market. Check out my jacket here, I have it in white!
Fleece: I always wear a fleece under my jacket, but I’ve been lucky that I can just repurpose my workout clothes! I always bring my medium North Face fleece and a lighter one that’s meant for running for the warmer ski days.
Long Underwear: while I own a legit pair of long underwear, I always just opt for a long sleeve workout tee and a pair of workout leggings. If you have a moisture wicking tee, that’s a great one to bring because it does get warm on the top of the mountain when it’s sunny and bright out and you don’t want to be sweaty under all your layers.
Socks: this is another option that’s worth it to invest in — having cold and wet feet in your massive plastic boots is no fun at all. I have a few pairs of Smart Wool socks which I actually wear with my street boots in the winter, as well as a ski pair from Under Armor. You won’t get blisters from your boots if they are fitted correctly, so you don’t need to buy the thickest socks out there. A little bit of extra room in your boot actually helps the air flow more around your feet, keeping them warmer!
Snow Gloves: I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to use my little brothers snow gloves from elementary school as my ski gloves, so it’s worth rummaging though the storage at your parents’ house to see if you have a pair in hiding! Mittens actually keep your hands warmer on the slopes, but I prefer gloves.
One of my favorite things about Aspen is that despite its glamorous reputation, is that it’s a pretty casual town — I think that most ski towns tend to be on the casual side too! I even got away with only packing four pairs of shoes for 8 days.
Shoes: almost everyone wears snow boots 24/7. I’ve had my Sorel boots since college and wore them nearly every single night out during the trip. I also brought my UGGs for wearing around the chalet, a pair of black OTK boots just in case (only wore them once!), and a pair of sneakers to workout in. Since snow boots are the heaviest, wear these on the plane so you don’t take up extra room in your suitcase
Sweaters: I lived in sweaters and thermals the entire time we were there. There is no need to bring fancy blouses or going out tops, a cute sweater is just as appropriate at a craft cocktail bar as it is at a white tablecloth restaurant. Check out some of my favorite and unique sweater picks here!
Bottoms: stick to leggings and pants as your bottoms, it’s rare to see someone wearing a dress or skirt because the temps drop pretty low at night. I brought five bottoms, but only ended up wearing four (two pairs of Spanx leggings and two pairs of black denim), so I’ll plan to pack lighter the next time we go
Faux fur: the amount of beautiful, floor length fur coats you’ll find in Aspen is amazing — both men and women wear them! If you have one, faux or not, it’s the spot to bring it to. Since my faux coat takes up so much room, I opted for one furry vest instead.
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