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We are hyped to announce a new column with our Director of Supplier Relations – Cat Iwanchuk. With her globe-trotting life and a keen eye for discovering new ski vacation destinations, Cat is our go-to source for travel stories and insider tips. To top it off, she’s got the lowdown on the trendiest places to stay at bucket list destinations around the world. With that being said, it is no surprise she’s a seasoned pro at packing efficiently for ski vacations. Follow along and dive into her world of travel expertise, where fun adventures meets insider knowledge. Today, she teaches us how to pack like a pro for your next ski vacation. 

“Packing for a ski vacation can be a daunting task, especially if you’re aiming to travel like a pro. Balancing the need for heavy, bulky ski gear with luggage space and weight limitations requires strategic planning and some clever packing techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned snow traveler, or it’s your first time hitting the slopes, I’ve got you covered!” – Cat Iwanchuk 

Start with a Checklist

Creating a checklist is the first step to ensuring you don’t forget anything essential. Divide your list into categories: clothing, ski gear, accessories, personal items, and miscellaneous. I start this list a week before travel and save it to the notes section of my phone so I have a quick “Ski Trip Pack List” to reference. If I have gear/clothing I won’t use between then and travel, I’ll start laying out visual piles (this helps build excitement before departure too)

Clothing: Layer up

The key to staying comfortable on the slopes is layering. Don’t go overboard in this category. For a 5-7 day trip (3-5 days skiing) you may be able to get away with one good set of base layers (or maybe I’m just a seasoned ski bum). I like to pack extra neck gaiters/balaclavas since these tend to get wet on a good powder day. I only throw in one apres/town hat since this is usually the first thing I pick up for a souvenir.  Your clothing should include:

Our pick: Strafe Outerwear for all mid and baselayers. Don’t forget to check out their outerwear while you’re there.

Ski Gear and Equipment

I’m a big fan of bringing my boots and renting skis. With multi-destination trains and transfer travel, it’s nice to travel light. It’s also fun to demo skis and be able to swap gear depending on ski conditions. On a recent trip to Europe, I was able to play on some short slalom Swiss-owned Stockli’s in Zermatt and then rent some fatty powder black crows for deep days in Chamonix.  If you’re not renting equipment at your destination, you’ll need to pack:

Invest in a good ski bag that can accommodate your skis or snowboard and poles. A separate boot bag is also a wise choice, as it makes carrying your boots and finding them easier once you arrive. I travel with the Dakine 70L Boot Locker which houses all of my ski gear (base layers, outer gear, accessories, helmet and boots) which I can throw on my back and have hands free for one small carry on roller. 

Our pick: Anything by Dakine. They have been in the game for a LONG time and continue to make some of the best travel gear on the market. 

Accessories and Must-Haves

Personal Items and Miscellaneous

Don’t forget the everyday essentials:

Pack Smart

Get Out There

Packing for a ski vacation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a bit of planning and smart packing strategies, you can ensure you have everything you need without overpacking. A ski vacation is about maximizing time on the mountain. Follow these tips, and you’ll be packing like a pro in no time, ready to enjoy your ski vacation to the fullest.

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