Packing for a Ski Holiday and Antarctica Reminisces

This week marks three years since my Antarctica adventure. When I tell people in hostels I’ve been to Antarctica, they often assume I love the cold weather so much that I must also be into ski-ing. Well, here’s a confession – I haven’t been ski-ing before! I’m not sure why – it could be the budget, or just that the right opportunity hasn’t yet come up. I’ve been to places like Switzerland, France, China, Italy, Canada yet I’ve never gone ski-ing. As winter kicks in, a load of you will be up for ski-ing holidays to break the normal beach type holidays, so here’s a few tips on what to pack.

chill out

Chilling out in Antarctica 3 Years Ago!

Getting ready for any type of holiday is pretty exciting, but if you’re an adrenaline junkie, holidays don’t get much better than a dedicated skiing trip. So to make sure you’ve got everything that you need when you hit the slopes this winter, here’s a quick checklist to tick off as you pack.


Hiking in Georgia recently, at Kazbegi.

Everyday Essentials

If you’re a forgetful backpacker, then there are a few essentials that you always need to check you have before leaving home. If you’ve got these, anything you’ve forgotten can be bought or borrowed at your destination, well most of it and sometimes at a cost…

Passports, travel documents, credit cards and money are of course mandatory, and you won’t get too far without them. When heading off on a ski trip, another absolute essential is travel insurance, as a trip or fall on the slopes can get pretty expensive if you’re not properly covered. I’ve touched on travel insurance a few times, and have mixed opinions on it – most ski-ers get it.


The secret to staying warm in cold conditions is plenty layers, so try to pack items that can be easily piled up on top of each other to create a warm winter outfit, I wrote about my Antarctica checklist a few years back. A good quality ski jacket is a must, as it will keep the worst of the wind out and help maintain the warmth when you’re up in the mountains.

ski ing

Well prepared for the cold of Antarctica, lose the lifejacket and the same clothes could apply to ski-ing.

Hats, gloves and scarves are also essential, especially for kids who aren’t heading out onto the slopes – it can get chilly. As a lot of ski resorts now offer lively evening entertainment, try to pack a few outfits to wear at night, as it’s nice to dress up for the evening meal from time to time. My normal football shirt and shorts doesn’t always work when it’s minus 5 degrees!


The equipment that you’ll need to pack will depend on the type of ski trip you’re going on so research is needed. A lot of all inclusive ski packages will provide you with everything that you need, so you don’t have to bring anything. For Antarctica I still had to rent a few things for my trip, so check the trip details before you head.

Renting clothes for the cold weather!!

Renting clothes for the cold weather!!

If you’ve booked everything yourself, you’ll need to bring along skies, goggles and anything else you might need from a personal perspective for your trip.

First aid kit 

Though most hotels will have their own medical facilities, it’s always a good idea to bring painkillers, plasters and anti-inflammatory medicines for any small sprains or accidents that occur. I carry my own first aid kit.

A good sun cream is also a must as the light reflected from the snow can easily burn your exposed skin, despite the fact you may not feel hot. So take a deep breath, relax and get ready for a great holiday. I’ll be joining in on the ski-ing fun at some point for sure!

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