Wondering what to pack in your ski bag? Here’s an expert’s checklist…

Whether you’re a ski fanatic or you’ve never been skiing before, getting your kit ready can be a pain in the backside – and that’s before you’ve even stepped foot on a mountain.

That’s why TLE caught up with Neilson’s mountain expert and veteran ski instructor, Simon Cook, to find out what things you need to pack before hitting the slopes. Starting with the bag itself…

He reccomends opting for a rucksack that’s light and practical, so it doesn’t restrict your movements on the mountain.

Simon’s checklist

Inner gloves: There’s nothing worse than cold, wet hands when you’re trying to enjoy the mountain. Take a spare pair in case your first pair get wet (or worse, lost!).

Hand warmers: And on that note, put some hand-warmers in your bag to keep fingers toasty on the lifts, in lift queues or any other time you’re hanging about.

Water: Dehydration sneaks up on you in the mountains. With the cold mixing with adrenaline and fatigue, it’s easy to forget to put essential water back into your body. If a water bottle is too bulky consider investing in a ‘bladder’ water bag instead.

Spare eyewear: Sunglasses are key if you’re enjoying a beautiful alfresco mountain lunch on a bright blue sky day. Plus, sometimes goggles can mist up and it’s tricky to de-mist them, so take a spare pair of sunnies just in case.

Spare thermals: It can be colder than you think. Take a spare thermal top to add to your layers if it gets too cold, or replace any wet clothes that occur from taking a tumble whilst learning.

Snacks: It’s always important to keep your sugar levels up, especially for that last run of the day.

Neck warmer: As with other spare layers, keeping all exposed skin covered and dry from the elements is essential if, or when the weather turns.

Lip balm & sunscreen: Even if it looks cloudy, being so high up a mountain means the sun will get through and the light bounces off the snow. You’ll look like more of a pro if you’re not sporting burnt cheeks and blistered lips.

Phone and portable charger:  Phones don’t like the cold and extreme temperatures can drain the battery. Keep mobiles them in an internal pocket and try not to use them on chairlifts.

Cash: You always face the possibility of going off course, so it’s wise to keep cash on you in case you need a taxi from a neighbouring village.

Map: A no-brainer to make sure you don’t end up in an area where a steep black run is the only option down.

Hat: You never know what might happen – mountain weather changes and suddenly you need the extra layer on your head to keep you warm. Plus, a hat can cover up ‘helmet hair’ when it comes to lunch time and après ski!

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