Before we left for Val Thorens, everyone gave us different nuggets of advice especially when it came to clothing and what to pack. So, to keep it simple and in one place, I thought I would share my kit list essentials and items I will be packing next time from experience of my first snow holiday.
Toiletries And Skin Care
Along with the usual toiletries you’d take on holiday, moisturiser and lip balm/cream were my most used items. I had a cold from day one, so my poor nose got a beating! I made sure I lathered up with cream before hitting the slopes, during and before bed. We didn’t use sun cream/block out there, but if you’ve got sensitive skin I would advise you take some with you as the sun is so strong when you’re that high up.
If you’re anything like my, you’re always cold. I had everything tucked into everything, and I can confirm I was very warm! I purchased my base layers from Sweaty Betty, which included a thicker and thinner option. I would advise you take at least three with you, as you’ll get pretty sweaty once you’re moving. And if you’ve not got washing facilities, no one likes to wear smelly clothing every day. Let’s also discuss socks, because we love the glamour! I took my usual thermal pair, which I wear with my walking boots at home. My boots were pretty cosy, so I wouldn’t opt for anything too thick. Shop my base layers here.
Ski Jacket And Trousers/Salopettes
This is the main event, because let’s face it, you want to look good on the slopes right? There are numerous different websites where you can buy your clothing from, but I once again opted for the Sweaty Betty ski range. It was very durable, even warmer and looked great. And, if you’re quick they’ve got 20% off their ski range at the moment.
Gloves And Neck Buff
Now gloves are an essential bit of kit, you don’t want to be hitting the slopes without them or you might just loose a finger or two. I bought my gloves from, you guessed it, Sweaty Betty. The brand however was Hestra, which you can purchase from any outdoor shop. A piece of equipment I didn’t have, which is very useful is a wrist strap that attaches to your glove. It might seem something that children wear, but for good reason I can assure you. You’re forever taking your gloves off when on the ski lift, putting your board on or having a snack/drink. Again, you can purchase these from an outdoor shop, or even at the ski shops when you arrive.
As for the neck buff, if you’ve not worn them before you’ll be very surprised how warm they keep you. When the wind is blowing, your face catches all the cold. So buy keeping a neck buff on, you have the option to cover your face if the wind picks up. I’ve got loads of these around as you seem to get them with every run you finish, but check online to purchase one.
Goggles And Sun Glasses
Whilst you look pretty cool in a new pair of goggles, they’re another essential bit of kit. The sun can be so bright, pair that with the white snow and it can become almost blinding without them. I was lucky enough to borrow a friend’s pair, which were Dragon Lumalens. But you could buy a cheap pair online, which are just as effective. My boyfriend didn’t get on with the goggles, and opted for his sunglasses out on the slopes which a lot of people also did. It’s also worth packing your usual sunglasses if you’re walking around town, so at least you’ve got multiple options.
Protection And Padding
I was told to buy every sort of padding before heading out, and I ended up not getting anything for fear of breaking the bank! But in hindsight, I would have got padding for my arse. When you’re learning to snowboard or ski, it feels really unnatural and it’s inevitable you’re going to fall over. I also seemed to fall on my coccyx, which isn’t the most pleasant of pain. But am confident if I’d been wearing protection of that area, it wouldn’t have hurt. There’s also the option of wrist straps, as that’s the other most common pace to fall. Whilst I’m making this sound like a very painful holiday, I can assure the falling over lessens as the days goes on.
Again, this was something I wasn’t sure about. And ended up forgetting jeans, so spent the week in my leggings and sweatshirt (pretty standard for me). In the evenings you either stay at the hotel for dinner and entertainment, or you head out for drinks in the local town. It was as pretty casual attire, and most people spent the time in jeans and jumpers. I took a pair of smart boots with me, but they didn’t get an outing. I also took my winter coat I use at home, I only wore this outside when I went to the shops etc. In regards to footwear, I was advised to buy snow boots. I wore them once, and they didn’t get another outing. The roads are so clear, that trainers are more than acceptable footwear.
We hired our equipment through Crystal Ski, with whom we booked our trip with. The full kit included board, boots and helmet. The rental shop they used was Skiset, but there’s plenty of places to choose from. If you’re heading out for your first time, I would 100% advise you rent your equipment opposed to purchasing. Then once you’re a pro, you can look into equipment to prevent having to rent each time you’re out there.
There we have it, your clothing essentials and equipment for a week away skiing or snowboarding. I’m confident I’ve covered all areas here, and do hope this helps you for your first snow holiday. I always say it’s best to over pack, as there’s nothing worse than being cold when you’re outside in the snow! If you want to read about my trip to Val Thorens, you can do that here.