There’s a LOT of gear involved in ski trips. Multiply the gear by six people, and it gets a little overwhelming to try to keep it all in order. While we’ve only gone skiing three times now, I’ve figured out a lot of what works and what doesn’t in those three days.
Here’s what we’ve been doing to make the process go as smoothly as possible:
1. Lay out each individual person’s whole ski outfit the day before. Each person needs underclothes (silk weights, or Under Armour, or warm ups), snow pants, socks, goggles, neck warmer/gaiter, waterproof gloves, and ski coat. We don’t need hats because we wear helmets. We pack the outerwear in our ski bag (a giant hockey-size duffle bag); the underclothes are what each person wears in the car on the way to the mountain.
2. Also lay out a change of clothes for each person for after skiing. Everyone needs comfortable pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and clean socks to change into. We put each of these outfits in a separate plastic grocery bag and pack all six in a small backpack. The backpack stays in the car while we ski. At the end of the day, we take off the cold, wet clothes and put on the warm, dry ones. The wet stuff goes into the bags the dry stuff was in inside the backpack.
3. Get hand- and toe warmers for everyone (at Target or Wal-mart or a sporting goods store). I stick one of each in one of the zipper pockets of every person’s ski coat. That way everyone has one on them if/when they need them and I don’t have to carry a dozen in my own pockets.
4. Put a tube of chapstick and a granola bar in one of the zipper pockets of each person’s ski coat. Everyone gets hungry, but not all at the same time. This ensures the kids can have a snack whenever they need one, without Matt or I having to go to the lodge 6 different times.
5. Make everyone wear sunscreen. Even though they think they can’t get sunburned in the winter. Even your husband (who insists he doesn’t need it and he can’t get sunburned in the winter).
6. Bring a cooler with sandwiches, drinks, fruit, and other snacks for the ride up and back. This can just stay in the car all day. (Or rent a locker in the lodge and store the cooler there for easy access if you want to bring food for lunch as well.)
7. Don’t base success on how many runs you make—with kids, you have to give yourself more time to get less done. Base the success of the day on how much fun everyone had and how happy you all are when you head for home!
What other advice do you have for a successful ski trip with kids?