What to take
What to wear
One thing that beginners often needlessly worry about is what to take skiing. Due to the inescapable fact that ski clothing can be pretty pricey to buy, it has been recommended that people hitting the slopes for the first time should rent their equipment. However, it is possible to purchase cheap and decent ski gear – primarily from outlet malls, discount stores and also by buying your stuff in the end of season sales. This final point is particularly worth bearing in mind, as stores often begin their sales before the ski season is even over. This means that it is possible to buy some excellent value ski clothing as early as the end of February. Thanks to the fact that skiing is thrillingly addictive, chances are you'll be back again, so it may be worthwhile to view this purchase as something of an investment!
Don't forget the ski socks!
So what clothes should you take skiing? Ideally it is best to wear lots of layers, with an outer layer of breathable waterproof clothing. This follows the obvious rule that it is far easier to take layers off once on the slopes than it is to add additional layers if the temperature falls! The best option for beginners is to opt for a thermal vest and leggings or long-johns, followed by a long-sleeved t-shirt, a fleece top, a pair of salopettes and a waterproof jacket. This should be enough to keep you warm, even on the coldest days. It's also advisable to wear a nice snug hat that covers the forehead and ears. Well insulated, waterproof gloves are essential, as on a cold day, your hands will quickly get numb and wet – particularly if you're having difficulty staying on your feet! For your first few trips you can probably get away with using sunglasses instead of ski goggles, despite the fact that they are extremely useful during snowy conditions. However, the golden rule: you can never have enough ski socks!
Sun cream? Isn't that for beach holidays?
A strong sun cream of at least factor 25 should also be worn even on cloudy days to protect against sunburn. Mountain sun, combined with the reflection from the snow, is far stronger than normal so it is important to be very careful.
Get off to a flier...choose to hire.
If you're wondering what equipment you should take skiing - don't! Equipment such as your skis and ski boots are best being hired in resort. A good tip is to try and wangle the boots that look the least smelly! This can be achieved by complaining that your boots feel too loose until you are rewarded with a suitably less smelly pair. Ensure that you have chosen a ski boot which is neither too tight nor too loose. The ski boot is the most important piece of ski equipment, so it is vital to make sure they fit comfortably.