What to Pack For Your Vail Vacation
This may not be your first rodeo…er…ski trip, but packing for snowy climates – without bringing your entire winter wardrobe – can be a challenge.
Or, perhaps this is your first winter visit to Vail and you’re at a complete loss, glancing from your closet to your empty suitcase wondering where to begin.
Fear not, we’re here to help. When it comes to packing for a snowy escape we’ve gotcha covered. Read on for our three most important tips.
Tip No. 1: Layer Up
The weather in Colorado changes on a dime and there is nothing worse than being over- or underdressed. So, pull together “outfits” based upon a layering system. This also allows you to mix and match (saving valuable space in your suitcase).
When putting together layered clothing options, think in terms of:
- Base layer: t-shirt or tank top, something comfortable next to your skin
- Mid-layer: long-sleeve shirt, button down or light sweater
- Top layer: sweater or jacket/fleece
You may choose to add a thin long underwear bottom under your pants/jeans, but we find it’s generally not necessary.
You’ll also want to bring a heavier coat other than your ski/snowboard jacket, which will likely become wet during the day. You definitely won’t want to wear a soggy jacket in the evening when temperatures drop.
Layering works best for on-mountain adventure, too. Again…
- Base layer: moisture-wicking long or short-sleeve t-shirt on top; mid-weight long underwear on bottom (no cotton)
- Mid-layer: long-sleeve shirt or light jacket/fleece on top (no cotton)
- Top layer: light jacket or vest (fleece or down); waterproof, insulated snow pants on bottom – you’ll add your ski jacket on top of this layer
The number of layers you’ll need depends upon your normal body temperature. If your everyday temp runs warm, you’ll need fewer layers. If you run cool, layer-up. And, remember, you can always remove a layer so start with more and shed as you warm up.
Special note: do not layer ski socks. Two pairs of socks under ski or snowboard boots actually make your feet colder. Just plan to wear one pair of socks made for skiing/riding when you’re on the mountain, and different socks after skiing/riding.
Tip No. 2: Keep it Resort-Casual
Contrary to what you may have heard, Vail is a pretty low-key ski town. You’ll fit right in with jeans or casual pants and sweaters.
And, think practical when it comes to footwear – spiky heals and snow/ice don’t mix well. We suggest a pair of boots for walking around the village and, a pair of insulated snow boots for romping and running around. And, don’t forget your athletic shoes if you like to hit the gym.
Tip No. 3: Accessorize to Stay Warm
And, by accessories, we mean hats, mittens and scarves. You won’t need your best jewelry, but you will need a few items to ensure comfort on cold days and nights.
Beanies and pom-pom hats are de régulier – translation: the norm – in a ski town. Bring one or buy one when you get to Vail.
Mittens or gloves are a must. Again, one pair for the mountain, and another for après ski (the pair you ski/ride with will get wet).
And, a scarf, while not necessary, feels warm and wonderful when the snow is coming down.
Of course, there are lots of little things you should remember, too, like sunscreen, lip balm and a camera. Oh, and you’ll definitely want sunglasses AND goggles.
The really great news is if you forget any of the above, there are plenty of great shops in Vail where you can purchase virtually anything you need. Of course, those purchases also make for great souvenirs!
Now, if you’re looking for help packing for that warm beach getaway…well…a couple of swimsuits and a pair of flip-flops should cover all bases, right?
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