Finally, the long ago planned ski vacation is here. You drop your bags and start unpacking, looking forward to a carefree getaway on the slopes when your stomach suddenly drops. You’ve forgotten something small but nonetheless important, and you know you’re going to suffer for it all week. Here’s a list of those essentials that always seem to skip the suitcase before your snowy vacay.
Whether we’re talking about sunglasses for hikes around the resort, or ski goggles for the hills, these are a crucial safety-first item. Goggles are an agreed-upon must by all professional skiers and snowboarders, because the cold winds, snow particles, and other debris whipped up from the hills can cause a great deal of eye irritation. No one wants to spend their trip teary and red-eyed, and you definitely don’t want your eyes needing any first aid from a stray piece of ice. Invest in a good pair of ski or snowboarding goggles that provide adequate UV protection (at least 80% and CE certified) to prevent sun damage to the eyes. Remember, the snow reflects UV rays upward at over 75% of the intensity they beamed down with!
**Pro-packing tip: remember your good sunglasses; it’s easy to forget when you’re packing much more serious safety eye-wear and going to a mountain instead of the beach but they’re a must for any time spent outdoors. Carry them on you the way you would in summery weather.
#2: Ski Goggle Defogger
The reason for this one is a no-brainer, but since it isn’t something we bring to the hills with us, it’s easy to leave behind. A good goggle treatment is small, fits with your toiletries, and rarely costs more than $10. Look for one that provides 24 hour protection, so that you only need to apply it at the beginning of each day on the slopes. Clearing your vision means safely avoiding obstacles and keeping an eye on the path ahead.
Whether you prefer the little packets of coal that heat up on opening, or the rechargeable devices, remember to bring some form of hand-warmer to slip into your mittens. These aren’t just important for your comfort, but for healthy skin too, as explained by the Harvard Medical School. Cold temperatures suck the moisture out of your skin cells as they tighten up and contract, even when you’re wearing gloves. Keeping them warm prevents itchy, cracked hands so be sure to keep them warm to avoid irritation.
#4: SPF Lip Balm
Everyone knows the wintery woe that is chapped lips, and the sheer dread that accompanies forgetting a stick of lip balm. Remember a strong, moisturizing lip balm to keep in the pocket of your ski jacket. Keep an eye out for balms specially formulated to stand up to winter winds and snow. We mentioned earlier how unexpectedly harsh UV rays can be in the winter, so when buying a chap-stick seek out protection of SPF15 minimum for this sun-sensitive area.
Again, protect your skin! Even though the face is usually the only exposed area during a day on the slopes, it’s also super sensitive. Bring a sunscreen of SPF30 (no less!). A moisturizing formula stands up to wind, snow and sweat a lot more strongly, but just incase have a smaller bottle in your pockets to reapply on the hills every 2 – 3 hours.
Everybody loves shredding the hills and admiring the snowy scenery, but let’s be honest, sometimes, the tropics are very tempting. What would you pack for a trip to the tropics?