How to Pack Your Car for a Snowboarding Trip

Make the most of your cargo space as you prepare for your trek up the mountain this winter. With these tips and tricks, the only thing you’ll leave behind is your worries.

When you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of reality during the cold winter months, nothing can recharge your batteries quite like a snowboarding or skiing trip. A few runs down the slopes can be a great stress-reliever, especially if friends and family tag along for the fun. Before you start cashing in your lift tickets and carving up the hillside, however, you have to get to the mountain, and that means packing up all of your snowboarding and skiing gear.

With boards, boots, winter apparel and all of the other necessities needed for a weekend ski trip, your vehicle’s cargo space can become full in a hurry if you don’t know how to properly pack your gear. Approach your packing with these tips and tricks and you can set yourself up for easier travel, less headaches and a clear mind ready to shred that soft, awaiting powder.

PRE-PACKING PROTOCOL

Before you even think about throwing your bags in your vehicle, make sure they are assembled as efficiently as possible. Have everyone pack their own bags so that they are solely responsible for their gear. This also limits the amount of rummaging through luggage you’ll have to do when you arrive at the resort.

Keep your ski and snow gear in a separate bag from your off-the-slopes apparel. A boot bag or similar duffel should be more than enough storage space to house your boots, helmet, goggles, gloves, snow pants, sunglasses and other necessities. Having your snow gear stored separately will also make it easier to change into, because more likely than not, you will be throwing on your snow pants, jacket and everything else while standing in the parking lot or by the vehicle, not in a cozy cabin suite.

Keep some items, such as sunglasses and extra layers, accessible for the drive, but ultimately, keep your snow gear separate from your streetwear. A good tip is to pack an extra hat, pair of gloves and pair of boots to wear when you come off the mountain, since your snow gear will probably be damp and sweaty from a day on the slopes.

Lastly, it can be beneficial to have two coolers ready with snacks and drinks: one larger cooler that can be placed in the trunk for after your runs and during your stay, and one smaller cooler that’s easily accessible during your drive up to the resort. This way you can properly fuel up on the road before grabbing your gear and getting on the ski lift.

Once you’ve completed these pre-packing guidelines, you can begin to load your vehicle.

BONUS PRO TIP: Before starting your adventure toward the mountain resort, take a photo of your trunk with everything packed, so that you can better remember where everything is placed once you’re ready to load up and head home.

THE PUZZLE BEFORE THE PARTY

In a perfect world, you could simply throw your gear into your vehicle any which way without care, grab your friends and tear off toward the slopes. But unless you want to be rummaging through your backseat all afternoon looking for your goggles or spare gloves, you’ll want to have some strategy to packing your car. Having a sense of preparation can create less stress and more success.

Lay all of the bags going into your vehicle’s cargo bay out in front of the trunk so that you can get a better sense of sizes and shapes. Think of each bag as a puzzle piece with a perfect location in this backseat board game.

Heavier bags and coolers should be packed first to create a solid base for lighter, smaller storage bins. Having heavier packs below the seat line could also lessen the chances of a bag coming loose from the back during a sudden stop or sharp turn. Save the top spots for lighter, smaller bags, as well as your helmet. These smaller packs might also house some items you may need during your drive, like phone chargers, headphones or sunglasses, so having them easily accessible on top can be beneficial.

For your larger items, like your board, skis and poles, utilize your vehicle’s roof rack or cargo bins. Do not, however, place your snow boots in these rooftop cargo bins, as the exterior temperature while driving can chill your boots off exponentially and create a frigid environment for your feet when you get to the mountain. Instead, carry your snow boots in a boot bag or duffel in the cargo bay.

As you pack your bags, leave room and spaces as you go. Leaving a few slots here and there will allow for potentially better placement with other bags, as well as the ability to add any last-minute stragglers to the cargo. Do not pile your luggage so high that you cannot see out of the rear window. This can potentially hinder your driving capabilities and can create an unsafe situation on the highway. Safety on the road comes first.

Lastly, if you have packs that will need to be accessed during your drive up the mountain, such as a backpack with an extra phone charger or a duffel with your ski passes, be sure that they can be accessed without pulling off the road and diving into the cargo bay. Place these bags in an easily reachable spot with the zippers or openings facing your passengers so that they can be readily available.

Packing up the vehicle for a weekend getaway to the mountains might seem like a daunting task at first, but by following these simple guidelines, you can better set yourself up for a smooth ride and stellar runs. Grab your gear, call your friends and get away to the slopes with these packing Pro Tips.