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  • Heart Mittens in Snow

Essential Packing Guide for a Seamless Mountain Getaway

By: Nicole Reitter

‘Tis the season for a mountain/ski vacation! Visiting a winter-wonderland blanketed in snow and brimming with outdoor recreation can be a magical, memorable getaway – especially when you’re prepared for the elevation and elements.

Following is our list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your next Lake Tahoe winter retreat.

Weather-appropriate clothing, including:

  • Thermal underwear and/or base layer top and bottom
  • Waterproof ski pants or bibs
  • Waterproof gloves AND mittens (because you’ll want to keep your hands toasty on and off the slopes)
  • Waterproof ski or down jacket
  • Waterproof boots and/or shoes
  • Good, thick ski socks (wool, not cotton)
  • Scarf (this simple accessory will keep you surprisingly warm)
  • Ski beanie/head gear (see above)
  • Fleece layer (we recommend a light sweatshirt or vest)
  • Jeans (because you’re visiting a ski town which inevitably means mountain casual and jeans are A-OK most anywhere)

Also, be sure to pack:

  • Swimsuit (for year-round pools and hot tubs, nothing better than cozying up in the hot tub as snowflakes fall all around you)
  • Slippers (cause you wanna be cozy by the fireside)
  • Neck and mouth gaiter (this will be such a lifesaver in blustery, windy conditions)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand and feet warmers
  • Toiletries, toothbrush, etc.
  • Ear plugs
  • Reservations (to dinner, for ski school, etc. as it can get crowded up here)

Ski/Snowboard gear:

  • Skis/boots/poles
  • Snowboard/boots
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Tuning kit

This & that:

  • Sunscreen (closer to the sun, easier to get a sunburn—especially as sun bounces off the snow)
  • Lip balm, with SPF (see above, and below)
  • Lotion and/or hand cream (because it’s D.R.Y. in the mountains)
  • Water bottle or Camelbak (you’ll be getting a workout on the slopes and it’s much easier to get dehydrated at elevation)
  • Aspirin (dehydration and altitude can sometimes cause headaches, as can drinking too many cocktails—just saying)
  • Phone/ electronics chargers

For the car:

  • Chains (if not driving a 4WD or AWD)
  • Full water bottle and snacks (in case of emergency/freeway shut-down)
  • Extra blankets (see above)
  • Ice scraper
  • Flashlight

For family fun:

  • Games (family + games + warm fire = perfection)
  • Cards (see above)
  • Books or magazines (see above)
  • Ice skates (most ski villages have an ice skating rink, so save money and time and BYO)
  • S’mores roasting sticks (the quintessential mountain dessert)
  • iPod/iPod docking station
  • DSLR camera (for an optimal opportunity to capture exquisite Lake shots)
  • Snowshoes, sled or snow tube
  • Carrot, black buttons, etc. (for the snowman you’re sure to build)

Want the ultimate convenience? Check out:

  • Luggage Forward
  • Ship Skis  (ship your gear anywhere in the world)
  • Tahoe Mountain Lodging (for studio to 4-bedroom lodging mere steps to the slopes, shopping, dining, ice skating, Starbucks, movies & more)

We’ll see you in the mountains!