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In a snowy landscape a woman talks to a man who stands with a Thule ski boot backpack and skis.

Ski trip packing list – All the ski essentials you’ll need!

Whether you’re hitting the slopes with friends or going on an extreme back country skiing adventure – here are all the ski essentials you’ll need

If you’re heading out on a trip, it can be useful to have a checklist of all the ski essentials you’ll need so you don’t forget anything.

So that’s exactly what we’ve done! Here is our ski checklist you can use when you’re packing. We’ve also prepared a printable ski trip packing list so that you can have it by your side and check things off as you pack

And for the off-piste skiers? Don’t worry, we have the backcountry ski gear list so that you make sure you’re safe when heading off-piste.

In this article:

What does a professional skier bring with them?

When putting together this ski trip packing list, we got curious: what’s inside the ski backpack of a pro who is always pushing themselves to the limits? What are the ski essentials that a pro freeride skier – sometimes quite literally – could not live without?

Professional Freeride skier and Freeride World Tour champion, Kristofer Turdell, shared with us some of his skiing essentials.

As a Freeride skier I wear a backpack almost every day on skis. I'm obsessed with light weight and ease of use. That said, when traveling in the mountains a backpack that fits well is essential.
- Kristofer Turdell, Freeride World Tour Champion
A close-up of a skier with their back to the camera, placing something in their Thule ski backpack.

The three things Kristofer doesn't go without are: avalanche-transceiver, shovel and probe.

Depending on the day Kristofer might also pack: a first aid kit, down jacket, multitool, snacks and drinks.

The ski trip packing list:

Ski clothes:

  • Thermal underwear
  • Base layers (long sleeve shirt etc)
  • Mid-layers (fleece/sweater)
  • Waterproof ski jacket
  • Ski pants or bib
  • Beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Waterproof ski gloves
  • Warm glove liner
  • Ski socks
  • Neck warmer or balaclava

Ski gear:

  • Skis
  • Ski poles
  • Ski boots
  • Ski backpack
  • Ski boot backpack
  • Helmet
  • Ski goggles

Other things to the slopes:

  • Snacks
  • Water bottle / hydration reservoir (or both)
  • Multitool
  • Sunscreen
  • ID
  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Chapstick (preferably with SPF)
  • Your lift passes

Backcountry ski gear list:

  • Helmet
  • Multitool
  • ABS ski backpack (avalanche airbag backpack)
  • Airbag
  • Airbag cartridge
  • Shovel
  • Avalanche transceiver / beacon (or both)
  • Probe
  • First aid kit
  • Cellphone (or radio if you won’t have phone reception)
  • Portable cellphone charger
  • Skins
  • Map (paper or digital, paper map is good for backup)
  • Extra down jacket (in case you get stuck and need to stay warm)
  • Sunglasses
  • Emergency blanket
  • Snacks
  • Water (water bottle / hydration reservoir or both)

Everyday clothing & toiletries:

  • Normal shoes
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Thermal leggings
  • Warm base layers
  • Warm sweaters
  • Pants (or trousers)
  • Jacket
  • Scarf
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • PJs
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo, conditioner & shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Razor
  • Hair bands
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hair styling products
  • Make-up
  • Make-up remover
  • Moisturizer
  • Slippers
  • Hand cream

Other things to pack:

  • Passport
  • Keys
  • Cellphone
  • Laptop/tablet
  • Chargers
  • Adapters
  • Power bank
  • Medication
  • Painkillers
  • Book/Magazine/downloaded shows or movies
  • Contact lenses and contact solution
  • Swimsuit

For transporting your skis:

  • Ski box, ski rack or ski travel bag

Printable ski trip packing list:

Download our ski checklist onto your phone or print it out! This way, you can check off things as you pack.

Download the ski trip packing list (printable PDF)
Download the backcountry ski gear list (printable PDF)

Ski backpacks and ski boot backpacks:

Ski backpacks:

A flat lay of the Thule Upslope ski backpack with all the items you can back inside.

Ski backpacks are great when you are out on the slopes, to make sure you have easy access to snacks and water, but can also store your skis, ski poles, and other gear.

In this image:

Ski boot bags:

A flat lay of the Thule RoundTrip boot bag and the skis, ski boots, helmets and jacket you can fit inside.

Ski boot bags are a great place to store your ski boots – and also your helmet and gloves. The ski boot bag below has a standing mat so that your feet don’t get went when you’re changing in and out of your ski boots.

In this image:

Avalanche airbags:

If you’re more of an extreme skier who likes going off-piste, a ski backpack with an avalanche airbag is essential. A study by the Canadian avalanche researcher Pascal Haegeli showed that an avalanche airbag can slice the probability of dying in an avalanche in half.

Transporting your skis:

Ski boxes:

A flat lay of the Thule Motion XT roof box and the skis, ski bags, duffel bags and other items you can fit inside.
If you’re heading on your ski trip by car, you’ll need a ski box to keep your skis protected and also store your packing. Ski boxes are great because you can use them in the warmer months as well and bring gear along on summer adventures.

In this image:

Ski racks:

If you are a huge skiing fanatic and live close to the slopes, a ski rack might be a better choice. Ski racks keep your skis protected and can be used for both skis and snowboards.

Ski racks:

If you’re taking a flight to your ski destination, you’ll need a ski travel bag. These bags are padded and protect your skis during the entire trip.

Clothing materials for skiing:

Base layers:

  • Merino Wool: Merino wool is one of the finest and softest types of wool in the world. Merino wool helps regulate your body temperature, meaning it keeps you cool when it’s hot and snug when it’s cold. It also lets sweat escape, so if you layer it under other clothes, you won’t feel all clammy. Another great thing about Merino wool is that it is lightweight – perfect for your ski trip packing!
  • Cashmere: Cashmere is more insulating than regular wool, weighs a lot less and isn’t bulky. Cashmere fibers are also breathable and help move moisture moves away from the body if things get sweaty under all the layers of clothing.


  • Fleece: Fleece is synthetic and provides as much insulation as wool but doesn’t weigh as much. It is also soft and can last for a long time. It isn’t great as a windbreaker, but as an insulating mid-layer this material will keep you nice and toasty!

Outer layers:

  • Ski jacket and warm, waterproof materials: Forgetting your waterproof outer layer is a sure-fire way of getting cold and wet within seconds out in the snow. That’s why a waterproof ski jacket is essential. Warmth is important, too. But if you choose your base and mid layers correctly, a windbreaking, waterproof material is the most important feature for your outer layers.

Now that you have your ski trip packing list, all that’s left to do is get packing and head on over to the slopes!

Thule ambassador in this article:

Kristofer Turdell, Swedish freeride skiing champion and Thule ambassdor.

Kristofer Turdell is a Swedish freeride skier who has won several freeride world tour titles, including champion in 2018 and 2021. See what he’s up to on his website or Instagram page.



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