Planning the SNOWCHASE
The Stuff That Makes You Go Downhill
So in part one of our series we figured out where to go, and part two was all about how to get there. Now it’s time for the third big question: what to take! It can be a daunting challenge for a newbie, since you don’t want to end up forgetting something essential. We’re here to help! But even if you have plenty of ski vacations under your belt, read on – you’ll probably get a good idea or two on how to refine your own packlist.
The challenging part about compiling a good gear list is that while everyone has different needs and preferences, there are also some items which are pretty much a must. So it’s important to strike the right balance, and I’ve had good luck with the following approach:
- At the beginning, brainstorm for stuff you think you’ll need, first in a completely unstructured way, and then by thinking about each category of gear – clothing, hygiene, entertainment, ski gear, other gear, and food.
- Once that is taken care of, look for some “standard” packlists on the web and use them as inspiration to make sure you haven’t forgotten any essentials. The Snowchase Sample Packlist is linked at the bottom of this post.
- Then compare lists with your fellow travelers.
- Before you finalize your list, which by now has probably gotten pretty extensive, go over it and this time delete things you probably won’t need or that are just too heavy or cumbersome to be worth bringing along. And highlight items that you’ll rent (or buy) at your destination rather than taking them with you.
- Finally, figure out what gear is “group gear” – meaning not everyone needs to bring it – and who is responsible for packing it.
Before you start, it helps to figure out how you’ll keep the list. While there’s nothing wrong with pencil and paper, using a spreadsheet, text document or – my favorite – Google Keep helps you manage your list and lets you share and print copies easily. Protip: in Google Keep, select “show checkboxes” and then, when the time has come to pack your bags, you can easily check off each item as you put it in your suitcase.
Google Keep or other software can help you keep (ha!) your packing list up-to-date.
The Snowchase Sample Packlist shows what goes into each of these. Feel free to download it as an editable Open Document Format file and use it as the basis for your own list.
Last but not least, when it comes to gear, after the trip is before the (next) trip – make sure you clean and dry all your equipment before you put it away until next season. Otherwise you risk rust, mold and worse. Our friends over at MadDogSki have a great how-to on this topic.
Have ski gear, will travel.
Photo by Tower_of_Orthanc via wikimedia.