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There’s no denying it, you need a lot of gear when you’re skiing or boarding, and if you’re taking to the slopes for the first time this season you’ll probably be wondering where to start. Here’s a useful guide to help you make sure you have everything you need, without breaking the bank.
Good quality gear can be expensive, so for your first trip try to borrow the main elements from a friend – a decent jacket, some sallopetes, and a good pair of gloves. If you can get hold of thermals then great but otherwise a few thin layers will suffice – long sleaved T-shirts, vest tops, and a not too bulky hoodie is a good combo underneath your jacket. Lots of people like to wear leggings, tights or just a pair of cycling shorts underneath ski pants, to help with warmness and to add a bit of extra padding! Scarves aren’t really recommended but if you’d like some further warmth, invest in a basic neck warmer.
Buy a couple of good quality pairs of ski socks, as warm feet are essential on the mountain. If you don’t get around to this before you arrive, there are always lots of shops in resort where you can pick up socks. Always wear just ONE pair of socks when actually skiing or boarding, as multiple pairs can rub.
Ski or board boots can be hired in resort, and your chalet will normally arrange and reserve all your equipment with the local shop. Remember you won’t always be in your ski boots, so a good pair of outdoor shoes or boots with grip is recommended for when you’re smoozing around the resort.
Buy or borrow a nice warm woolly hat, and tell your chalet host that you’d like to hire a helmet from the ski shop. Helmets aren’t only essential for safety but they are also considered to be the coolest head-gear. You may have been able to borrow googles too, if not your chalet will often have a lost property box from which you can take your pick for the week.
To get the best gear for your ability – hire skis, snowboard, boots, poles etc in resort. Your chalet will ask you to complete a form with details such as your height and shoe size and then the local ski shop will have everything reserved for you.
Insurance – make sure you have adequate travel insurance and cover for if you need assistance on the mountain. Your chalet hosts will be able to advise on the best options.
Suntan lotion invest in a decent pocket sized tube with minimum factor 30. Even if it’s not a blue sky day, it’s worth protecting your face with sun-cream. A lot come with a handy lip balm too.
Tissues “ it’s a big mumsy to say this, but little packs of tissues are a great thing to have in your pocket