So you need to know how to pack for an international ski trip! It’s one of the best experiences someone could ever embark on and you will want more when the trip is over. We have been on so many ski trips over the past 20 yrs that I have probably packed and repacked my bags thousands of times trying to come up with the best way possible. It really comes down to personal preference but I hope these tips might help. Lots of things to consider and plan for on an international ski trip. How many skis, what gear do I need? Is this a casual trip or one that will require additional safety gear like a harness, avalanche beacon, airbag system (make sure to plan for this step and your canister as you can rent them in a lot of locations now), what is our main mode of travel (car or train)? How many destinations or countries are we going to? How many days? the list goes on and on…
I always recommend to our guests to start with the basics and go from there. Start looking at the weather a couple months out so you can see what the overall snow conditions are and watch daily starting 2 weeks out so you know whats going on. This way you can pack your clothes and layers accordingly. If your going to a place you have never been before I always recommend hiring a local guide or joining us on one of our tours. They know the mountains, the conditions, the local stashes and offer a great experience. I always travel with a wheeled ski bag and trust me it will be a good decision especially on international ski trips. I like the Dakine Fall Line as its a little more sleek and can accommodate all your gear for at least 2 weeks.
One of the best ways to start is by laying everything out on the floor. It will help do a quick inventory of your gear and give you an idea of what you will be carrying for the next couple of weeks. Don’t forget to get TSA approved locks, you will thank me for this and its worth the $10-15. Be sure to get enough locks to secure each compartment for all of your checked luggage (typically, 3 per bag).
Bag- Dakine Fall Line
Skis- 1 or 2 pair depending if your touring and agenda. If you have a touring set up you can bring just that and should be fine.
Boots- For years we have carried our boots on the plane with us and it can be a life saver if your gear is lost. Up to you and most good ski bags allow you to pack the boots on the top, just be sure to lock those up to.
Poles- an adjustable pair of poles is always best
Clothes- One solid jacket and pant that will keep you dry in all conditions. Multiple base layers that you can create a wide range of layering options with. Any type of compression base layers and socks really help and its worth the money.
Goggles & Helmet- at least 2 pair or 1 goggle and multiple lenses for different light conditions. We prefer the Smith I/O and they are awesome. Always wear your helmet, enough said. Here is a video that our friends at the HighFives Foundation created and it offers a lot of great information “Helmets Are Cool”.
Gloves- Bring a spring pair and a gauntlet glove in case your storm skiing.
Ski Socks- some compression socks and a couple pair as we all know ski boots will start to smell!
Safety Gear- Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, walkie talkies, ski backpack or airbag. If needed and depending on what your agenda is. I would highly suggest renting the canister/trigger for your airbags at your destination.
Misc- Sunglasses, a hat, beanie, chap stick, sunscreen, extra batteries, headlamp, international adapter for all of your electronics (this is key so get a good one!)
Once your gear is laid out, start by putting the skis, poles, helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, basically the list above should all fit in your bag if laid properly. Remember to keep it under 50LBS and this is not only for the airline fees but for yourself because 50lbs after 2 weeks of moving around and repacking is a work out itself. Especially in the small stairs, rooms or elevators in Europe. As far as your boots go, that is up to you. If you feel comfortable and lock the top boot compartments with the TSA locks, you will probably be fine. Otherwise through over the shoulder and make sure you don’t knock anyone in the head when your walking down the aisle of the plane!
A great way to weight the bag is with a scale at your house. Weigh yourself (be honest!) and step back on the scale with your bag vertical in front of you like you are hugging it. Its a good way to make a special bond with your ski bag 🙂 That should tell you how close to the limit you are. If you have room and want to spread the weight among the 2 bags you will be traveling with (ski bag, rolling clothing bag), it will help. Plus you will also have your back pack or messenger bag so you can take certain things on board with you.
International ski trips and adventure tours are a great way to experience new cultures, meet new people and follow your passions. Contact us if you have any questions and we look forward to having you on a Le Grand Adventure Tours ski trip someday soon!