Before we knew better, we sprayed Scotchgard on blue jeans and wore them as ski pants with old high school letter jackets. If we were lucky, we wore leather farm gloves. (This of course was after we walked 5 miles to school barefoot, uphill both ways and carrying the 10 pound stone lunch pail). Boy has the ski clothing industry come a long way since then! We have too of course;) You and your group can spend hundreds of dollars on brand name ski clothing and equipment – which makes sense if you ski 40+ days a year or if you have lots of extra money to spend. But if you only ski 3 days a year, here are some guidelines to help you identify which items you can bring from home and what you need to buy or borrow.

  • Waterproof Shell Jacket: Keeps you dry in all types of weather. Wear a fleece layer underneath for warmth.
  • Base Layer: Choose breathable fabrics. Under Armour brand sells great base layer shirts and pants.
  • Ski Pants: A must. Jeans get wet and then make you cold and limit movement. Beginners will be miserable in jeans as they tend to fall more than experienced skiers. Check with stores that sell gently used sporting goods, check Craigslist, borrow from avid skiers or ask to buy pants their kids have outgrown or no longer wear.
  • Waterproof Gloves: Very important for keeping hands dry and warm, especially for beginners.
  • THIN Socks: The #1 thing to make your trip fun…good socks. Thin socks are essential to boot comfort, for optimal circulation and fit. SmartWool brand socks are my favorite, but you can find off brands or even wear a good pair of nylon soccer socks.
  • AVOID: Thick cotton socks and wool hunting socks – they may be great for sitting in a bluff all day, but they are horrible if you are exercising and sweating. Now you have cold, WET feet!
  • Goggles or Sunglasses: Eyewear with UV protection is a must. Be sure sunglasses have good coverage to also block the wind.
  • Neck Gaiters and Hats: Recommended, especially if it will be very cold.

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