There’s no better way to make the most of winter than hitting the slopes! Whether you’ll be taking it easy on the bunny hills or flying down the more advanced runs, being prepared is key.
Check out this list of my 17 snowboard trip must-haves and make sure you don’t forget a thing!
One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll be likely going to a significantly higher elevation than you’re used to so be sure to drink a ton of water and take it easy if you’re feeling any kind of altitude sickness when you first arrive.
Me snowboarding in Santa Fe, NM
Table of Contents
What to Pack for Snowboarding – 17 Essentials
1) Snowboard – This one is a no-brainer. Obviously you need a snowboard to go snowboarding. I bet you didn’t know you could a high quality one on Amazon, though. This one has awesome reviews and aren’t too expensive, and comes with the bindings and boots too!
2) Snowboard bag – Of course, you’re going to need a bag to transport all of your gear. The awkward shape of much of your stuff definitely calls for a specialized snowboard bag like this one, that can fit all your gear and is extremely durable.
3) Waterproof Snow Pants – The last thing you’ll want to worry about on your snowboarding holiday is wet pants! You can’t help exposing your clothing to the snow and ice, so having waterproof pants is key. These snow pants are highly rated and extremely insulated, yet breathable. I find it helpful to buy pants in colors that won’t show dirt or marks (gray, brown or dark blue), since you’ll likely be getting pretty roughed up while snowboarding.
4) Gloves – Gloves are two of the most important things you’ll be bringing on your trip to the slopes. Make sure you get winter sport-specific gloves so that your hands don’t overheat, but still stay protected from the wind and snow. These ones work great for snowboarding.
5) Sweaters and jackets – Layers are super important when heading out for a day of snowboarding. I like to layer a thermal long sleeve shirt underneath a sweater or jacket. Remember to wear clothing made of synthetic materials so that your sweat will dry quickly.
6) Warm hat – Did you know that a lot of your body heat is lost through your head? Keep that heat in and your overall body temperature regulated by wearing a warm hat. This beanie is perfect for slipping on under your ski mask, and is a good alternative to earmuffs. You’ll have loads more fun when you’re comfortable and at a good body temp.
7) Long Underwear – This is an important base layer of your snowboarding outfit. Make sure that the long underwear you buy fits properly, not too loose or too tight. These ones are sweat-wicking, insulating and ultra comfortable.
9) Snow boots – For those occasions during your snowboarding trip in which you are not on the hills, it’s handy to have some cute, warm snow boots with you. Slip these white ones on with any sort of outfit and feel like a bona fide snow bunny!
10) Waterproof Socks – Socks are vital to any enjoyable snow experience. Snowboarding in socks that absorb water will leave you cold and blistered at the end of the day. Stick with waterproof socks. You can wash them after a day of snowboarding, hang them to dry in your hotel room, and they’ll be ready to go the next day. These ones are breathable, waterproof and perfect for a day in the snow.
11) GoPro – Even if you’re just a beginner, a snowboard trip almost guarantees awesome views! Bring a GoPro to capture all the incredible moments set in your snowy wonderland. There are special attachments you can get to attach the camera to your helmet for first-person action footage. When you get home you’ll love being able to go back in time and relive your favorite moments!
12) Sunglasses – The sun rays that bounce off of white snow can damage your eyes and even cause snow-blindness. It’s extremely important to bring polarized sunglasses on your trip. Make sure that the sunglasses that you decide to bring are well-fitted to your head, or come with a strap so that they don’t fall off while you’re snowboarding. These ones are not to expensive, and come in some funky colors.
13) Chapstick – Keeping your skin in good condition is a big part of enjoying your trip, and your lips are no exception. There’s nothing worse than the sharp cold wind breaking through the delicate skin on your lips! Grab some to go and put it in the pocket of your jacket so you can re-apply on the slopes. Make sure to get some with SPF. These ones are a wintery candy cane flavor!
14) Snowboard lock – When you stop for breaks at the lodge, or to grab a drink on your way back to the ski resort, keep your snowboard locked up with this three-digit lock. It’ll give you major peace of mind during your trip.
15) First Aid Kit – Accidents happen. And when they do, you’ll be glad that you’re prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit. This one can be slipped into your snowboard bag, and comes with everything you need to treat mild injuries on the slopes.
16) Sunscreen – Like I said before, sun rays bouncing off the snow are intensified. It’s so easy to get sunburned while snowboarding even if it’s freezing outside! Most of your body will be covered by clothing and gear, but make sure you cover your face (and especially your lips) in SPF.
17) Travel Pillow – Keep your neck and back aligned and kink-free by traveling with a pillow like this one. Nothing can ruin a vacation like a sore neck! This particular pillow is compressible so that it packs ultra light.
Layering is key when dressing for a day of snowboarding. Start with your base layers of thermal underwear and a synthetic long sleeve shirt. Your mid-layer is your insulating layer. It should be a soft-shell (or fleece) jacket or pullover. Your next layer is your protective layer including your snow pants. They should be waterproof, and wind resistant. Make sure you wear your waterproof socks, and maybe tuck an extra pair into your snowboard bag in case water or snow gets inside your socks. Gloves are very important as well. Don’t forget your goggles, buff and any other accessories you want to wear.
What NOT to brings snowboarding:
1) Scarf – A buff is a much more logical item of snow-wear. An ordinary scarf runs the risk of flying off of your neck. A buff can be a scarf, a face guard, a headband, or a sweatband.
2) Cotton clothing or socks – Cotton absorbs water and sweat easily, and then takes forever to dry. In freezing temperatures this is highly dangerous, and even puts you at risk for hypothermia. Opt for synthetic fabrics that are marketed as quick-dry or sweat-wicking.
3) Dressy clothes – Ski towns are very laid back. After skiing or snowboarding most people go out for dinner or a beer in their ski clothes! If you’re in a nicer place like Aspen, CO, though, and are planning on having a fancier night out, go ahead and bring some nicer clothes.
4) Jewelry – Like I said before, most ski towns are relatively laid back. Leave the jewelry at home unless you have a special occasion planned!
5) Lots of electronics – Definitely bring your camera, GoPro and iPhone, but possibly consider taking this trip as on opportunity to disconnect. Leave the computer and tablet behind!
FAQs about packing for a snowboarding trip:
1) Should I bring my own gear or rent?
If you have your own gear, by all means bring it (especially if you’re driving and have the space)! If not, or if it’s more economical to just rent your gear there, opt for that instead. Research prices for your specific destination online before deciding one way or another.
2) What types of lodging options are available?
There are usually ski resorts, lodges and cabin options available in ski towns in the US! It’s always a good idea to check Airbnb for some better deals and a more local experience.
3) What if snowboarding is not my thing, but I still want to go?
Some people prefer the warm atmosphere of the lodge to the actual skiing. There are probably many different festive activities to engage in at your lodge or in the town you’re in. Plenty of people can be found cozying up to a good book by the fire of bonding over cider. A snowy getaway can be just as fun without hitting the slopes!
4) What other activities can I enjoy on a ski trip besides skiing?
Check online before you go. There could be snowboarding, sledding, ice sculpting competitions, and so much more. The sky’s the limit!