When we set off on a skiing trip thoughts immediately turn to the excitement of the vacation and the good time ahead. You’ve done all your planning and attended to all the things you’ll need of course. But have you really thought of everything? Let’s be honest, we’ve all had that feeling? You get to the ski lift and then realise you’ve forgotten something important. It really is surprising just what people forget from passports to essential accessories. More importantly if you’ve got your essential list right, you’ll get the maximum out of your time away. So here are the top five overlooked skiing essentials to give you the heads up.
You may think this strange, but it’s true in certain cases people do actually forget to cover themselves before leaving home. It’s a fact one in 10 skiers will have some form of accident on the slopes and if the worst happens, bills medical treatment, mountain rescue, helicopter recovery and any third person claims can total thousands of pounds. Skiing insurance simply is a must when going on a winter holiday. You can get a European Health card to cover any treatment needed during your visit including any oxygen therapy, renal dialysis treatment and maternity care/child birth care. This should all be included in general travel insurance, so take full advice before booking your vacation to find the cover that’s right for you. Never leave home without it.
So many people either forget or disregard sun cream on the slopes all together, and this can cause serious damage to your skin. The best sunscreens for skiing need to provide protection from both powerful UVA and UVB rays. Always remember sun reflects off the snow leaving you completely open to unwanted exposure, even more so at higher altitudes. High SPF protection is what you should also look for (30 to 60) and you must also use a moisturiser to stop the skin drying out. If you don’t use these creams you’ll certainly regret it later, and of course they also protect you from any cancer risk.
Ski goggles are much better than regular sunglasses, and yet a lot of people opt for the latter which will be of no use to you in high winds and extreme snow. Your vision will be obscured which is dangerous on the slopes and they may slip. A good neck strap will be essential when going down the mountain, and a yellow and brown tint will make things stand out better for you. Padding around the outer edges will make you feel even more comfortable. Your eyes are invaluable to you so never take any risks with eyewear. Everyone likes to look stylish but it’s much better to be fully protected both on and off piste.
It may seem obvious but because this may not be deemed ultra important then rucksacks can be overlooked. You’ll need something to carry all the little essentials and even extra clothing, so make sure you get a good, durable and weather resistant sack. The truth is this should be one of the main essentials when preparing for your trip. You’ll be glad you’ve got one especially when using ski lifts and gondolas, and they really do make life much simpler.
We all know about the wonders of Après ski and most people do enjoy a drink or two, but on the slopes it’s vital to stay fully hydrated at all times. This is even more important if you’re suffering from a next day alpine hangover. More and more skiers are using very clever water pouch hydration systems that can be fitted easily into a ski jacket, trouser pocket or a rucksack. Being dehydrated on the mountainside is really not a good idea, and your body won’t thank you for it.
If you’re a skiing regular it’s always best to compile a thorough essentials list you can refer to when packing. This will also save you racking your brains and you can tick everything off as you’re doing it. Do everything in good time and you can head off on your vacation knowing you really are fully prepared.
Peter Hayes works at Chamonixfirst as a Geneva Chamonix transfer driver and is based Chamonix Mont Blanc. Driving passengers from Geneva to Chamonix enables Peter to spread his knowledge of the area and meet interesting people from all over the world. As snowboarder and hiker, Chamonix is the only place Peter wants to call home.
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