What to Pack for a Day on the Slopes

Gear up for a successful day skiing or snowboarding with this daypack essentials list.

When traveling up the mountain for a day of shredding the slopes, it’s important to be prepared — and not just for safety purposes, but for your enjoyment, too. After all, no one wants to run back and forth (in full gear!) to grab something from the car or the locker room. A daypack is especially important when taking on bigger mountains.

Pro Tips surveyed 21 skiers and snowboarders to find out what they carry in their pack for a day on the slopes. Here’s what made the cut to help you minimize lodge visits and maximize fun.

First, you’ll want to choose a daypack with the following features:

  • Slim, ergonomic design
  • Board straps
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Waist or hip belt (Both this and the sternum strap help to balance the weight so it’s not carried entirely on your shoulders)
  • Padded shoulder straps

Of course, you’ll need your essentials, like a helmet and goggles. As for the bag? Here’s what our skiers and snowboarders pack.

WHAT TO BRING ON THE SLOPES

RESORT MAP
It’s important to know the mountain, its boundaries and trail difficulty. Grab a map at the lodge before heading out. This will also keep you in the know about restaurants, first aid stations, and restrooms and lodging, so you can plan out your day, from slopes to the lodge.

MONEY & IDENTIFICATION
These are very important items to bring, whether it’s for buying a snack or in case of an emergency. No need to pack your entire wallet, however.

SUNSCREEN
Avoid raccoon eyes and sunburn by applying this before you head out. Take the sunscreen with you and reapply every few hours, even if it’s overcast.

SUNGLASSES
Give your eyes a break. Switch these on in place of your goggles when you are going to and from the slopes.

EXTRA GOGGLE LENS
You’ll be prepared for daylight or nightfall.

EXTRA FLEECE LAYER
The higher you go, the colder it gets. Better to be safe than sorry.

EXTRA SOCKS
In addition to wet conditions, sweat can build up in your socks, leading to cold toes. Enjoy your post-ride time at the lodge wearing a dry pair.

GLOVE LINERS
It’s smart to wear these under your gloves or mitts — especially if you tend to take them off to bind your boots or take a few selfies. It doesn’t hurt to throw in an extra pair of gloves, too.

HAND & FOOT WARMERS
Toss in a few, just in case your gloves or socks don’t provide the long-lasting heat you’re looking for. These are optional, especially if your gloves and boots are insulated enough to keep your extremities warm and dry.

DRIVER RATCHET TOOL
Take this repair tool with you to retighten your bindings after a long day of riding or to adjust them to the conditions.

NUTRITION BARS
You may build up an appetite from chasing the powder, so stash a quick source of energy in your bag. Pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some trail mix or a protein bar to eat at the top of the mountain.

WATER BOTTLE
Hydrating may not be the first thing on your mind, but it’s important to remember to drink some H20 throughout the day.

CELLPHONE IN WATERPROOF CASE
It’s a good idea to bring along your device in case of emergencies or if you want to capture top-of-the-mountain panoramic shots. Mobile apps are also available that offer everything from activity tracking to pinpointing your location on the mountain. A portable phone charger may also come in handy.

LIP BALM
Have this on hand to help protect against the wind, sun, cold conditions and dry air. Choose a moisturizing lip balm with SPF.

HAT OR BEANIE
Helmet hair is real. Throw this on to keep your head warm going to and from the lodge.

After enjoying a successful day on the slopes, get ready to kick back, relax — and repack your bag for the next day!