Seven Steps of Highly Effective Gear Management
One of the toughest factors in skiing is gear, especially with kids. The decision to go skiing instead of swimming takes more preparation and includes significantly more than a towel and bikini. Successful gear management occurs when you have a system, awareness and creativity:
Step One: What stuff will you need to ski? Lay it all out. Hats, helmets, gators, mittens/gloves, goggles, glasses, ski boots/snowboard boots, poles, boards/skis, jackets, pants, layers, socks, sunscreen (even on cloudy/windy days), hand warmers, cameras, passes, snacks for the kids, (flask for you), and any other item that may need to come along.
Step Two: Take a breath, it looks like a lot, but now it’s time to figure out a plan. First, are you driving to the resort? Walking? Being transported? How you arrive at the resort will determine your packing plan. If you are walking that means you are close enough to return if needed. If you are being transported, gear up. Have each family member put on as much gear as possible. Bring a backpack with any extra items such as shoes, lunch or extra layers/mittens and when you arrive at the resort store any extra gear in a locker or storage area. If you are driving, have a container – whether it is a storage bin, Ikea bag (personal favorite), backpack or suitcase. It is easier to get in and out of the car if all your items are in one place.
Step Three: Less is more. If possible, purchase quality ski clothing, especially the layers that are in direct contact with your skin. Fabric that wicks away moisture but keeps the heat in will greatly reduce the need for too many bulky layers. Also, after day one, if you are planning on staying at one resort for the duration of your trip, inquire about on hill ski storage to store your skis.
Step Four: Check for loose ends. At the end of the day or even at lunch, it is easy to lose items. When you arrive at lunch, for example, tuck your goggles, gator, gloves in your helmet so all your stuff is in one place. At the end of the day when you want your boots, helmet and possibly gloves off, use your boot straps. If you put opposite ends together you can carry them over your shoulder and you can use the boot to hold your gloves, goggles, even strap on your helmet. Attach whatever items you can to your child: gloves hooked to coat and goggles attached to helmet.
Step Five: Accountability! Teach your children (and significant other) to be aware of- and carry their own- gear.
Step Six: At the day’s end, load it up (do not put any items on top of the car), bring it home, dry it out and begin again (remember: put your boots near a heat vent to have warm toes in the morning).
Step Seven: HAVE FUN!!! You will find your way through the sea of gear. Take a breath and remember you’ll be on the slopes before you know it!
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.