This is the absolute earliest I have ever skied. November 14th, I made everybody breakfast, packed lunches, took everyone in early for their Spanish class, ran my day 6 mile of my 100 Days of Something Challenge, tossed my skis, boots, and bag in the car and hit the road to Eldora. Sounds pretty simple, right? And, with the right prep and system in place, it totally can be, even with kids in tow. Yes, that’s right, even with kids in tow.
This fine morning, I was flying solo. And, I have a system. But, I made a rookie mistake. I assumed that everything was in my bag that needed to be there. It sure looked like it was all there…toothpaste? Check. Card games? Check. Avalanche probe? Check. Skins (2 pair)? Check. Extra base layer? Check…etc., etc. But nowhere, in this bag that could get me through an entire ski weekend without adding anything to it, (you never know when you might get “stuck” on the mountain for a night), I. Had. No. Ski. Socks. So, check your stuff the night before…also known as “prep. ” Ha.
But, really, system and prep will take you far in making getting out the door pretty easy. First, we keep all of our clothes (except base layers, and apparently, socks) in our ski bags. Each of the four of us has our own that are grab and go, making packing the car a breeze. They include:
- Wool glove liners
- Street socks
- Ski socks
- Extra layers
- Insulating layer (thin down or poly jacket)
- Ski jacket
- Ski pants
- Small games in kids bags (cards, Bananagrams, etc)
- Markers and a notebook (in kids bags)
- Lip balm
- Couple bars or jerky – whatever your scooby snack of choice
These are the basics. You can’t go wrong keeping all this stuff with you. If you are hitting the back country, that’s a whole different story, but, we do have set ups that we bring with us everywhere so we always have our skins in our bags just in case we want to uphill at o’dark hundred before the resort opens.
The key is putting everything back in the bag after it’s washed and dry from the last trip (even the socks). I like to stow my bag and boots in the car the night before. Our skis are on permanent storage in our roof box on the Snow Happy Mobile. So, the morning of, all I have to do is pack a zero waste lunch, water and coffee or tea and away I/we go!
The other thing we always bring is a skiing backpack. Any pack will do for hauling stuff, but especially when traveling with kids, we love using a back country pack because it is made to carry skis. I love my women’s Deuter pack. I have an older version of the Freerider Pro 28L. The fit is great and it holds everything for the day. We can strap each kids skis or our own and have hands free for other stuff. It’s the way to go without making a million trips and getting everyone and everything where they and it needs to go with minimal complaining. This is the stuff that makes it possible to enjoy a day on the mountain with the kiddos!! Prep and a system. And snacks. Lots of snacks. So many snacks. You should pack snacks.
We are getting to the point now that our Snow Happy kiddos are big enough to start carrying more. They usually wear their boots and carry skis and maybe a cooler (with mostly minimal moaning and groaning – maximum amounts reserved for when the amount being carried by each “isn’t fair”…mmm hmmm, you know what I’m talking about). But, I am considering switching up the system a bit to include boot bags for the kids. I will keep you posted and write about it – the good, the bad, the ugly – as soon as we take that step!
For me, the anticipation in getting up here was just as enjoyable as the skiing itself. Every turn in the canyon. Every peak of the high country through the trees. Even laughing at myself for forgetting socks. It all made those first turns just that much sweeter. I hope you can get out there soon, too, Snow Happy friends. And, please, don’t forget your socks!!!