By Guest Writer Gaylene Ore

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Time to head to the slopes? Whether you’re taking off for a weekend getaway or a full-out vacation, no matter where you go, when or for how long, the details can make the difference between a fun-filled, relaxing trip and misery. Consider the fact that almost any ski resort adds in some altitude to contend with, and you’ll find that remembering some key essentials will make your trip much more comfortable.

To keep your ski trip memorable and fun, here’s an easy “top 10” list of what not to forget to pack. Use it whether you’re planning on alpine or Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling or any other winter snow sport.

1. Sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses: Higher altitudes, sunny days, and reflection from the snow can produce severe sunburns, even with temperatures in the 30s and 40s.

2. Moisturizer: Higher altitudes, especially in the western United States, bring very dry air. Bring along a favorite moisturizer and use it liberally.

3. Layers: Weather can change in minutes, literally, in mountain locales. When you’re out in it all day, be prepared to take layers on and off to stay comfortable and dry. Focus on wicking fabrics and avoid cotton to stay warm.

4. Water bottle: When you’re active and at altitude, it’s easy to become dehydrated and not know it. Fill your bottle with water on your way to the slopes – in the car, train, bus or plane – and keep drinking throughout your trip. Plenty of water also helps to prevent headaches often associated with visits to higher altitudes.

5. Toys, books, and games: If you’re traveling with the family, be sure to bring something to entertain the kids. Even the most energetic may have some “quiet” time.

6. Swimsuits: For you and the kids. Most hotels have hot tubs and indoor pools.

7. A good book: Most skiers like to take some time off from skiing and just rest.

8. Good walking shoes: You won’t be in ski boots all the time, and you’ll want to be comfortable walking around town, the hotel and to restaurants. No high heels – they just don’t work on snow and ice. And you’ll look out of place.

9. Thin socks: Skiers often make the mistake of bringing thick socks in the hope of keeping warm feet in those ski boots. Thinner socks made of a wicking material will keep your toes and feet much warmer.

10. Groceries: Keep some healthy snacks on hand. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day – on your way to and from the slopes as well as while there – can put extra energy into active days, particularly at altitude.

About the Author
Gaylene Ore is president of Ore Communications in Granby, Colo. A downhill and Nordic skier, snowshoer and long-distance runner, she has lived in Colorado mountain towns for nearly 20 years. An avid adventure traveler, she recently has summited Mount Kilimanjaro and hiked in Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Gaylene has worked exclusively in the travel industry for nearly 20 years, providing branding and public relations services for destination regions, resorts, national parks, cities and towns throughout Colorado and the west. She can be reached at 970-887-2536 or

Originally published March 2009

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