New to skiing - what should I take with me?

Be prepared

Remember you are entering a mountain environment, conditions up a mountain can change very rapidly ... and weather patterns are not always consistent.

Whatever time of year you are going, go prepared for any eventuality.

Check list:

To find out why any of these items might be needed - click on the links below.

Graphic view of what to wearMain clothing

  1. Base layer: Thermals
  2. Mid layers:

    A light second layer top with moisture wicking properties
    Fleece or similar with moisture wicking properties
  3. Outer layer: Insulated and weatherproofed jacket and trousers or salopettes

Essential accessories: 

  1. Sunglasses
  2. Goggles
  3. Helmet
  4. Hat
  5. Gloves or mittens
  6. Ski socks
  7. Sun-cream 

Optional accessories: Back pack – so you don’t have to carry your hat / suncream etc in your pockets.  Snow boots for around the resort.

Layering is the best solution.

Temperatures vary, what can start as a relatively warm day can turn bitterly cold. Sitting on a chair lift in windy conditions and feeling cold is no fun! You can always remove layers, but if you don't go up the mountain equipped you're stuck with it all day long.

Layering system:
Base layer:  Thermals should not only keep you warm but wick the moisture away from your skin.
Mid layers:  Need to be breathable. Combined - layers have a great insulating effect with air being trapped in-between. These can consist of a light thinner top / or base layer and a fleece for insulation on top. On a hot day you can remove a layer. Also make sure one of your layers has a high neck.

A high neck is really important when in snowy and windy conditions as any area of skin left exposed to the elements will soon feel the chill and the biting wind. Whilst your jacket might have a high collar - its often difficult to keep the wind and snow away from your neck completely.

Click here to view tops in the on-line shop.
Outer layer:  Insulated and waterproof jacket and trousers (ski pants or salopette). These items need to be intended for skiing. They will have a level of breathability and waterproofing. Usually the higher the price you pay will effect how technical the fabric is, which directly affects how waterproof and breathable the garment is.

Ski wear manufacturers are using more and more technical materials to gain greater waterproofing and breathability, usually ski jackets start at around 5,000mm / 5,000grs waterproof / breathability rating. You would expect them to have taped seams to prevent water coming in through the seams. You will also find many ski jackets and pants have venting. This may take the form of vents or zips under the arms or in the legs to help allow moisture to escape when you are being active.

All our ski clothing is technical ski wear developed for a mountain environment. View ski clothing in the on-line shop.

Essential Accessories:

Ski helmetHelmet: whilst it is law in Italy for the under 16 year olds to wear helmets on the mountain, most other European countries will insist on children wearing helmets in class.  More adults than ever are now also wearing a ski helmet. 

Helmet wearing is more popular than ever with adults and children alike being offered more attractive designs, light and comfortable helmets with ventilation also some now come with ear pieces that you can plug your i-pod into.  Go to the on-line shop to see our range of helmets.

If you are going to be wearing a helmet - you may consider a thin balaclava or under the helmet hat.

Ski hatHat:  Essential for wearing around the ski resort when you are not on the slopes..

Ski glovesGloves or mittens: Gloves and mittens start from around £15 for children and £25 for adults. Don't compromise by having cheap gloves not made for the purpose - you will regret it.

Will your gloves be warm enough? It you suffer from cold hands or have bad circulation, or you may be skiing in an area where you know they have extremely cold temperatures - it may benefit you to go for mittens or more technical gloves with a membrane. View gloves and mittens in the on-line shop.

Another option might be to buy some thermal inner gloves at £9.99 – like thermal underwear for your hands these fit easily into a pocket and can be brought out when the temperature drops to add an extra bit of insulation.
Ski socksSocks:  Ski socks need to be without seams or ribs and long enough to be pulled above your ski boots so that they do not interfere with the fit of your ski boots.

These range from the basic ski tube which is ideal when hiring boots to more fitted socks with padding where needed for the more technical skiers who own their own boots. View our ski socks in the on-line shop.

GogglesGoggles:  The importance of taking ski goggles with you can not be understated.  We’ve all heard a friend say that they went and didn’t have to wear goggles at all.  The difference is, whilst you may be lucky for a whole week one year, if you are caught in conditions that require goggles – snow, sleet or high wind (it is not only the falling snow but the wind that gets in the sides of sun-glasses and can make eyes stream un-controllably), if you loose your vision, you cannot get down the mountain safely. 

Goggles cut out the wind, sleet and snow and the lenses used help increase contrast. They are mostly used for poor visibility (not intense sun-light) and help distinguish the landscape to enable you to ski through the poor conditions.  You can’t always predict the weather first thing in the morning – always pack your goggles when you go up a mountain.

Over the glasses (OTG) goggles: If you are a prescription glasses wearer, you will need OTG goggles. These are designed to give your glasses enough room (so they are not being pushed uncomfortably against either your face or left touching the goggles lens) to allow circulation of air and a comfortable fit.

View goggles in the on-line shop.

Sun glassesSunglasses: You need eye protection at high altitude. Coupled with the very intense light at altitude you have the reflection from the snow to contend with as well. 

Intense sun light can not only diminish visibility, high UVR levels can be damaging to your eyes and in the mountain environment can even result in what is loosely termed snow-blindness.

Snow-blindness can occur when the eye is exposed to large amounts of ultra violet rays coupled with the reflected UV rays off the snow. Symptoms often don't occur until several hours after the exposure and can be pain in the eye or forehead, blurred vision and sensitivity when looking at bright lights. You may not be aware of the damage you are doing at the time.

When choosing your sunglasses - category 3 or 4 are appropriate for the intense sunlight you experience in mountain conditions, however category 4 sunglasses are not suitable for using whilst driving.
Sun creamSun cream: Sun-cream and lip balm are needed when skiing - because of the intense UVR at altitude you can even burn on cloudy days. Go for a minimum factor of 15 (SPF) and use a block on any burnt areas.

Back packYou may also consider taking....

Bag:  A back pack gives you somewhere to put the goggles, a hat, a spare top.  However remember you’re not trekking, so the back pack needs to be fairly small and light. You also need to sit safely on chair lifts without being pushed too far forward - or remove your back pack on the chair lifts. If possible stick to a small, slim-fit back pack.  One that is around 20L capacity or less should be ideal. View back-packs in the on-line shop.

Snow bootsSnow boots:  If the resort you are staying in has snow, ice or slush at resort level then you need to consider taking some snow boots.  Fashion shoes and ice, snow or slush do not go well together.  You need a very good grip, you need warm inners, you need these to be weather proofed.  View snow-boots in the on-line shop.

Back to list


Back to top