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First time family ski-ing - what to pack? clothes to buy?

(65 Posts)
NextDoor2017 Wed 10-Jan-18 12:47:37

Have booked to go ski-ing for February. I have never been ski-ing before so have no idea what to expect, neither have my two primary school children. DH went ski-ing as a child, but can't remember much.
We have booked a private group lesson (so that we can all learn together).
But, what do I need to pack in terms of clothes? Shall I hire or shall I buy? And if so, ca anyone recommend any online retailers please?

SueSueDonahue Wed 10-Jan-18 13:52:00

Are there washing facilities where you are going?

As a basic guide, each person needs to own:

2 sets of thermals each (trousers and long sleeved top).
2/3 pairs of ski socks
Ski Jacket
Waterproof trousers
Waterproof gloves
Neck warmer
Goggles
Snow boots

Things you can hire:
Ski boots, skis, sticks, helmets

Aldi and tkMaxx are great places to look for clothing. Also look on Facebook groups or eBay for outgrown kids ski wear. And ask friends with older children who ski.

If you have zero washing facilities, you'd need another set of thermals and more socks. Being a beginner is hard (hot! Sweaty) work.

You won't need many non skiing clothes. Jeans, tops and an extra hat is about all I take.

Swim stuff is there's a pool/hot tub.

NextDoor2017 Wed 10-Jan-18 15:00:36

Thanks very much for your list Sue.
there's no washing facilities (it's a hotel), so I imagine I'll have to double the amount of thermals and socks you suggest?

We live in central London, so no Aldi or TKMaxx close-by, FAcebook pages aren't great either. Any other suggestions where I might be able to buy online?

Had forgotten about swimwear for the pool smile

LIZS Wed 10-Jan-18 15:05:42

Might want a lightweight fleece or roll neck cotton top as an interlayer. Hotels are so warm you can usually rinse socks and thermals through and hang in shower to dry overnightHowever they will usually do more than one day. You might want another set of gloves for snow play so the other can be drying out. Sunglasses and a mini combi sunscreen/lip salve each.

LIZS Wed 10-Jan-18 15:06:56

Woolly hat for non skiing outdoor time.

Withhindsight Wed 10-Jan-18 15:14:29

If it's a hotel there should be a drying room and you may be able to use radiators to dry gloves, socks, thermals etc overnight as well as outerwear. Sunscreen is also a must. Also a cheap fleece mid layer fleece each, so wearing base, mid and coat. Mountain warehouse do good base layers and fleeces, if you go for merino wool content in base they are very warm and keep sweat smells down, consider 2 sets of gloves for kids re loosing them/ getting soaked and unable to dry overnight. Small backpacks to carry snacks, spare bits, but not a must as beginners you won't be too far away. Always take spare loo roll in your pockets as often ski stop loos run out. Boden ski stuff said to be good so you may be lucky with sales and cheaper costs, also dare2b range not too expensive and see lots of people wearing it on slopes so must be ok or they'd be indoors😀. If putting kids only in ski school labelling your stuff is a must, there is so much dressing up/down/toilet stops a lot can get mixed up- have fun

LIZS Wed 10-Jan-18 15:21:24

If you are in London there are a number of outdoor retailers between Covent Garden and the Strand - Ellis Brigham, Mountain Warehouse, Blacks etc - Snow and Rock near Southampton Row and Sports Direct/Lillywhites at Piccadilly Circus. John Lewis will do the base and mid layers and brands like Trespass (who are also online) and try Gap and H and M for their kids skiwear. There are a few branches of TK Maxx dotted around too, including Covent Garden.

LIZS Wed 10-Jan-18 15:23:47

Uniqlo good for layers too, especially their heatech range.

NextDoor2017 Wed 10-Jan-18 15:26:22

Thanks for all your thoughts.
And, also thanks for all the shopping suggestions, Lizs - I never thought of Sports Direct and all your other suggests!
Will check out the TKMaxx in Covent Garden, but have heard it isn't as good as the ones on the outskirts of town.

Doublechocolatetiffin Wed 10-Jan-18 15:37:40

Ooh how exciting your first trip. People have already covered what to take, but I thought it might be worth mentioning Decalthon - good value especially for children.

Also there is a little pocket of ski shops at the south end of Covent Garden (Southampton Street) mountain warehouse has loads of cheaper ski stuff, the other places are more expensive but there is lots there.

Final tip - go for bright colours. Don’t blend in with the blacks/reds/browns on the ski slopes. It’s so much easier to spot friends in bright wacky colour combinations!!

trixymalixy Wed 10-Jan-18 15:47:24

Don't skimp on the gloves. It's miserable having wet hands.

FloraFox Wed 10-Jan-18 15:54:28

Slippers / indoor shoes for in the hotel.

Top Shop has ski wear.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Jan-18 15:58:40

Book kids in to morning kids group lessons and adults.to adult beginners group
The kids will learn way quicker.
You can practise together in pm

Ellis Brigham Covent garden is next door to mountain warehouse. Check both.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Jan-18 16:00:50

Trespass online has cheap packages complete sets

cestlavielife Wed 10-Jan-18 16:07:14

Also it .might be worth you booking a session at snow centre Hemel Hempstead snow place they do learn to ski two or three hour sessions so you can be more prepared. Especially the adults ! Or Milton Keynes snozone. Trains from central london. Or book a private lesson for all of you there so you can see where you all at after couple hours.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Jan-18 16:10:37

P.s you will need more than one lesson! (You said you booked "A private lesson") so group lessons most days separate kids adult groups for two hours may work out best . Then do your own thing together in the pm.practice the slope you did In the morning etc.

petitdonkey Wed 10-Jan-18 16:16:20

I bought M&S thermals for my children - they are perfect as a base layer and they use them as PJs for the rest of the winter so it seems like less of an outlay here

Footwear is also a pain as there is a good chance they won't get worn again - I buy Timberlands for this reason as they at least wear them at home. If you know anyone at all that skis with children, beg or borrow anything you can as it's all very expensive. I try to buy neutral clothes for the children so that they can be passed down from boy to girl..

Navegante Wed 10-Jan-18 16:23:44

Definitely pack two pairs of gloves each so you have a dry pair.
A neck gaiter is really good too.
A small rucksack to wear during lessons and a water bottle.
Boots that you can walk in the snow/ice without slipping over.

MikeUniformMike Wed 10-Jan-18 16:27:46

Factor 30 lip balm.

Always pack swimsuits regardless of holiday. They take very little space in your luggage and it's a complete PITA to find you haven't got any if there's a pool.

BikeRunSki Wed 10-Jan-18 16:34:32

Decathlon is good for budget ski wear.

If you are tempted by an all in one ski suit, make sure you also take a separate jacket for when you are not skiing.

Attach gloves to jackets too. Many ski gloves and jackets have clips/loops for this purpose, or use elastic through the sleeves, but keep it short so it doesn’t get caught in the lifts. Or attach wrist loops to the gloves.

LIZS Wed 10-Jan-18 16:37:03

Is there still a indoor slope and Decathlon near Canary Wharf?

ChocolateRaisin Wed 10-Jan-18 16:42:47

I would definitely advise a neck gaiter. Also goggles and sunglasses. Lipbalm with spf and sports sun cream.

Comfy clothes for the evenings, I always take a couple of pairs of joggers, hoody/ sweat shirts and then also clothes for dinner.

Mary21 Wed 10-Jan-18 16:57:21

Was also going to suggest Decathlon at either Canary Wharf or Wandsworth. If you venture out to Wandsworth there is a TKMaxx and Trespass store there too. With the kids Ski Jackets pick something they would where in the uk too other wise it’s expensive for 1 weeks wear.
We have had great goggles from Aldi
The whole families jackets and salopettes from TKMaxx and all thermals either Aldi or Lidl.
Do you have any other skiers in your family. When our DC were younger we always inherited ski gear from cousins then passed it on when they out grew it. Reality is Salopettes had still only had 6 or 7 weeks wear.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Jan-18 17:14:57

Mountain warehouse does the neck gaiters on 3 for 2.

NextDoor2017 Wed 10-Jan-18 18:04:28

Thanks for all these suggestions - really useful.
Has anyone ever hired skiwear for the week? I am thinking of doing this as it might work out cheaper and less hassle shopping wise?

Also, we have booked group private lessons for all of us - 2 hours per day for the whole week as I had thought it might be fun to all learn together. Reading all your comments, should I change that to separate group children's beginners and group adult beginners?

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