You decided on Aspen or Ketchum in August, booked your lift tickets, and lessons in September, and decided to stay at the Limelight in October (yay). Being a planner certainly pays off, especially when planning ski vacations! Now that we’ve had a dusting of snow on the slopes, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack. As always, I’ve got you covered.

A Bathing Suit

I know, it seems counterintuitive to have a bathing suit at the top of this list, but it’s the one thing that my guests always forget. They’re so busy packing extra hand warmers, that they forget the item that is key to sustaining multiple days on the slopes. It doesn’t take up any space, the hot tub is waiting, and your sore muscles will thank you!

Base Layers

You may have heard the saying “cotton kills.” And in the backcountry, that can be true. Cotton stays wet once it gets wet, so whether it’s dumping snow or you’re sweating on a bowl hike, cotton items are a no-no. Instead, check out Corbeaux. This super stylish line of base layers is designed by Aspen locals and made in the USA. Corbeaux is fashionable enough to take you from Spar to the bar and functional enough for the most extreme skiers. Owners Adam, Darcy, and Harlan are known for their athletic pursuits. They’ve designed this stuff because they know what works. An added bonus? Their Vida line (my go to) is made of 95% Bamboo. Bamboo is renewable and antimicrobial, so it’s good for the planet and won’t stink after one use.

Outerwear

Clearly Aspen is an entrepreneurial place, because I’m going to vouch for another local line. Strafe Outerwear is designed by two more local athletes, John and Peter Gaston. Like Adam and Darcy, the Gaston brothers live in this stuff and wear it all over the world. The first step to skiing like a local is looking like one, right?

If you’re skiing in Ketchum, see the best places to rent or purchase gear.

A Helmet

This isn’t optional. The best of the best wear helmets. Our ski patrollers and ski instructors wear helmets. Even if you only ski a few days a year, you’ve invested a lot on this trip, buying a “brain bucket” is just a drop in the bucket. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to thank me for this tip.

A Ski Hat

Helmet hair is real. Do everyone at apres ski a favor and get yourself a cute hat to cover up that mess! This doesn’t have to be on your packing list though, because if it were me, I’d wait and buy one in Aspen or Ketchum; what better souvenir? Keep it local by dropping by Heidi Hat to pick up something from Kelly Wade Nemirow. If you want to be extra stylin for that apres ski yoga class, grab a pair of her adorable leggings, I get compliments on my Buffalo Plaid pair wherever I go.

Goggles, Gloves, Gear

I could write about each of these individually for days, but honestly, you need to find what works best for you. I love POC goggles and helmets, Hestra Gloves, Smartwool Socks, and pretty much only ski on Volkls. Head to Four Mountain Sports (Aspen) for advice on any of these items. They know what’s going on and won’t steer you in the wrong direction.

Appropriate Footwear

Stilettos, loafers, sneakers with no tread–these items have no place in ski towns during winter. A good friend of mine broke her ankle rushing to catch the bus home on New Years and ruined her entire ski season. Sorels might not seem chic to you city dwellers, but they are a lot better than crutches.

No matter which ski town you end up traveling to, the above ski packing list is the base of what you’ll need. Need help renting equipment? Limelight’s concierge can help once you arrive in town.