Skiing - What belongs in your backpack

Skifahren - Was gehört in den Rucksack

The ski backpack

If you're going skiing for the first time, you first have to learn and think carefully about how to pack a ski backpack. You should definitely think about “as little as possible – as much as necessary”. According to this sentence, we looked at what you actually need to have in your ski backpack during a one-day tour. We have created this article for you in which you can read everything you need to know about this topic from A to Z.

Which ski backpack should I choose?

Before we start packing, we first need to know which ski backpack is suitable for us on a one-day tour. Of course, the selection is huge and you can easily make a mistake when choosing from this large product range.

A ski backpack basically has significantly more functions than a daypack. Some ski backpacks are specialized for different sports depending on their equipment: For example, on a ski or freeride tour, the avalanche backpack increases your chance of staying above the avalanche in an emergency, even if no real use is necessary. Ski backpacks that have a back protector are particularly useful for freeriders when making dangerous jumps.

Anyone who is particularly competitive and has a passion for ski racing should definitely value a lighter, smaller ski backpack. In this situation, the avalanche airbags or protectors are just an annoying weight. And everyone who races across the slopes in the ski area has a completely different requirement for a ski backpack: It should basically have space for food, drinks and a change of clothes. Snowboard backpacks are also well suited for most winter tours and only differ from ski backpacks in terms of design.

What needs to go in the ski backpack?

As already said, “As little as possible, as much as necessary”. But what is necessary and what is too much? You should answer these questions for yourself by unpacking your backpack after a one-day tour and checking what you have used and what you haven't used in the backpack. If you have an item in your hand that you haven't used, you can most likely keep it out of your backpack next time (safety equipment is excluded, of course). You should always pack the following general items in your ski backpack for a day trip: protective clothing against wind and weather, food, drink, cell phone, a bivouac bag and a first aid kit. The probe and an avalanche shovel are also required. You must wear the GPS device directly on your body.

Tip from the experts: A trained athlete or Skier can max. Carrying 20 to 25% of your body weight for an extended period of time. So you have to make sure that the weight of your ski backpack adapts to your body weight.

How do I pack my ski backpack?

On a ski tour it is very important to save as much weight as possible. That's why the equipment needed in the field is becoming lighter and lighter every day. But it's not just the weight that plays a role, but also how you distribute all the weight in the backpack. So imagine your backpack as your little shelf with lots of places and compartments for the different items you should have with you on the tour. Each item has its own, special and well thought-out place in your “backpack shelf” so that the weight is well distributed and order is maintained optimally.

In general, the rule of thumb is “keep heavy things in your backpack close to your back, preferably at shoulder height”. On the other hand, you can store lighter items away from your body in the ski backpack. All items that are smaller and should be quickly at hand when needed are stored in the lid compartment.

Expert tip: On flat terrain you can keep the load center of the backpack a little higher, on steep terrain a little lower. This way you can't easily lose your balance.

Here is a clear checklist:

All clothing requirements on the ski backpack packing list:

Choosing the right ski clothing is a bit tricky. Especially if you want to save space in your ski backpack and prepare for your next ski vacation. As an absolute result, we would recommend you to put the following things on your skiing packing list:

  1. An insulated ski jacket
    A ski jacket with a medium level of insulation is perfect. Look for the following information on the label of the ski jacket: 40-60 g/m². With medium insulation, you can use the ski jacket in a variety of temperatures.
  1. Insulated ski pants
    Actually, you can get by with a little less insulation when it comes to ski pants. If it gets warm quickly, hardshell ski pants can do the same. Somewhere in the range of 40gsm is a good decision.
  1. Suitable ski goggles
    We're leaving the helmet off this list because you can save space by renting a helmet on site. But you shouldn't forget your ski goggles. It is an absolute must for your comfort, quality and hygiene!

  2. A pair of ski gloves: You can choose these to be insulated or not, depending on your preference.

  1. A fleece or ski hoodie
    You're spoiled for choice here, but we recommend something comfortable and cozy!

  2. Jeans, chinos or jogging pants
    Choose trousers that you really feel comfortable in. After all, you will wear them often during a trip, in the valley and on cozy evenings in the hostel.

  3. Three T-shirts or shirts
    Some days it may be too warm for base layers or you may miss a day of skiing because your muscles hurt. Sometimes you even get a stain on your only t-shirt. In any case, it is worth getting two T-shirts or shirts to replace a travel shirt. You may need them!

  4. Baselayer trousers
    As ski underwear we recommend a fabric-polyester mix combined with elastane. Ultimately, you want baselayer pants that are moisture-wicking, comfortable, and quick-drying. You wear these under your pants every day at the ski resort and should therefore wash them every day (or every other day).
  5. A base layer top
    As with the trousers, we prefer quick-drying and soft material. There are many tight-fitting poly-spandex options available. For maximum comfort, we recommend a loose base layer. You can even use fleece or extra soft lining to make it even more comfortable!

  6. Three pairs of underwear
    One underwear for the day, one for the night and one for washing. Wash one pair of underwear every morning and hang it to dry before hitting the slopes. After you come back, take off the sweaty ski underwear, wash them too and hang them up to dry again. If you follow this path, you can survive with just two pairs of underpants. But as a replacement, a pair of spare panties won't hurt.

  7. Two pairs of normal socks
    The same principle also applies to the socks. Basically, two pairs are enough because you wear your ski socks during the day.
  8. Two pairs of ski socks
    Most ski socks are made from wool and can be quite thick. Sometimes you don't have access to a radiator or something else where you can warm up. That's why it sometimes takes a while for the ski socks to dry. Plus, it's easy to forget to wash them when you get home late.

  9. A face mask or buff
    Skiing with a face mask not only looks cool, but also protects you from the bitter cold and snow.

  10. A Trusty Beanie
    You should definitely take one of these hats with you for every ski trip, because it can get cold very quickly in the mountains.

Hygiene items and personal personal care items:

  1. Hand washing detergent
    This is absolutely essential for a backpacking trip. If you have any detergent on hand, you can use it to wash your pants, socks, underwear, and even your t-shirts. Just soak them, put a few drops on them, rub them a little, rinse them and hang them to dry.

  2. Toothbrush and toothpaste
    You should definitely include these two useful items on your list. Because they are one of the most often forgotten items when you pack without a packing list.
  3. Shampoo and shower gel
    Why should you carry shower gel and shampoo with you at the same time when 2-in-1 shampoos are already available? This way you can save space and dispose of the packaging before you go home.

  4. Moisturizing cream with sun protection factor
    Spending a lot of time in the sun or in the cold air means dry hands, dry face and maybe even sunburn. But there are now moisturizers that have sun protection built into them.

  5. Lip care
    The small and inconspicuous item, the lip care stick is a great help against dry, cracked lips. It should not be missing from the ski packing list for sunny days with its integrated UV protection on the mountain.

Electronic and necessary documents

  1. A smartphone and a suitable charger
    We need it every day, but we also tend to forget it.
  2. A watch
    Definitely very important so that you don't miss the last lift, the bus or the check-out.

  3. ID card or Passport
    You should always carry one of these two with you so that you can identify yourself.

  4. A credit card
    The credit card is not only for the possible... Important in emergencies, but also in the event that you need a deposit, e.g.b for the hotel room or for the rental equipment.
  5. Driver's licenseIn many towns you need two different forms of identification in order to be able to leave the deposit with one. You don't like to leave a passport behind, so a driver's license usually makes more sense.

  6. Booking confirmations / directions
    In some situations, a piece of paper is worth much more than a smartphone in your pocket. The directions to the hostel, your booking confirmation or the copies of your ID are already old, but they can save your life every now and then in an unforeseen case.
  7. Emergency money
    You should definitely have a little bit of cash with you. Maybe in a sock, deep down in your backpack or in the pocket of your ski jacket. You should do this in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Then you'll be happy that you find an emergency fund in one of the wool socks.

  8. A good travel wallet
    The last and most important item on my list is the travel wallet. It must be large enough to carry your cash, passport, documents and all other items needed for the excellent excursion.

In case you are not driving your private car to the destination, you can leave the following equipment on your packing list at home:

  1. The helmet: You may be able to use this. Rent in the ski area.
  2. Ski boots or snowboard boots: You can rent them in the ski area.
  3. Ski or board: You can also rent them in the ski area.

Unless you drive your car. Then of course you can pack up anything and take it with you.

Did our article help you? Or do you have questions or suggestions about our topic? Please feel free to leave your comment below. We welcome your questions, criticisms and comments and we will be happy to answer them.