The infamous Norwegian phrase is so true: “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. But don’t worry, you’ll be prepared for a day full of adventure with this ski trip packing list.
Skis, boots, and poles are the obvious necessities for your day ski trip. Depending on the type of route you are heading out on, there are different skis that will improve your experience. There are skate or classic cross-country skis, mountain skis and randonée skis and they all serve a different purpose.
Cross-country skis are generally more narrow and are best used on the prepared tracks: the groomed and well-marked trails. They require a regular application of wax depending on the temperature or the air and snow.
The mountain skis, or “fjellski”, are normally wider, do not require wax, have steel edges and are great to use on “off-trail” routes. Instead of wax, mountain skis have a synthetic material that is permanently adhered to the bottom of the ski which helps grip the snow. Since they are wider and have sharper edges, you have better balance and grip on the snow.
Randonée skis, also known as back-country or touring skis, look very similar to alpine skis but have very different bindings. Randonee skis are used to hike up a mountain and ski down like an alpine hill. They have synthetic “skins” that are adhered to the bottom of the ski which helps grip the snow on the hike up and are then peeled off at the top of the climb. The special bindings allow the skier to hike comfortably uphill and have control on the downhills.
Wax is a necessary piece of equipment if you are using the cross-country skis that require it. Tthere are many different types of wax depending on the outdoor temperature and snow conditions. Take a look at the useful temperature chart (below) created by Swix to find the appropriate wax to use on your trip. Some skiers like to wax their skis immediately before skiing and others choose to wax prior to leaving home. Be sure to wax the skis outside in the cold air temperature and remember to bring extra wax and a cork out on your ski trip to apply any extra layers. If you have waxless skis, don’t worry about the wax and enjoy the trip!
Layers are important but you’ll most likely need to shed some clothing once you start to get moving. If you know you are going to have a high heart rate during your ski trip, it may be smart to start with less clothing since you will warm up in a matter of minutes. But always remember to bring a change of clothing so you don’t become cold when you stop to take a break. If you know you are going to enjoy a more leisurely ski trip, start with more layers and remove them as you become warmer. It is always better to come over-prepared.
Start by wearing a thermal top and pants made out of merino wool or synthetic material. These materials help the sweat wick away from your skin to keep you warm, unlike cotton will make you cold when wet.
These are the extra layers that will keep you warm. You can have many middle layers as you would like or none at all. A popular type of middle layer can be a light down jacket or another layer of wool. It all depends on how cold you tend to be.
This layer should be windproof, yet breathable. You should be able to have enough stretch room too. A good material for this to be made out of is polyester.
In addition to thermal pants, wear softshell pants made out of polyester that is windproof. Added bonus if there is mesh panel behind knees for extra comfort.
Wool or synthetic socks. When wool gets wet, it still keeps you warm-unlike cotton. Keeping your feet warm is the key to good blood circulation.
Hat & gloves/mittens
When it’s cold, your extremities (hands, ears, etc.) are usually the first to notice the drop in temperature so always have something to cover these areas. It is also smart to bring a neck warmer.
Backpack or Fanny pack
It is important to carry an extra change of clothing, so having a backpack to carry all of your gear can be very useful. It is also very useful to have somewhere to put all of the layers you remove once you start getting warm on your ski trip.
The effects of the sun in the wintertime become even stronger since the rays will be hitting you from two different directions: from the sun and from its reflection in the snow. Also, the sunlight is much stronger at higher altitudes where the atmosphere is thinner and therefore provides less protection. So wear sunglasses and sunscreen, even if it’s a cloudy day.
If you are skiing in Norway, you’ll most likely pass a DNT cafe or cabin. Here you can warm up near the fire as well as purchase hot beverages, sandwiches, or even cinnamon buns.
If you prefer bringing your own food, make a “matpakke”, the Norwegian “packed lunch”. Usually, a “matpakke” consists of bread, cheese, meat, and other toppings like cucumber or peppers.
Other popular snacks for a ski trip in Norway is an orange and Kvikk Lunsj, thin wafers covered in chocolate. Apple, carrots, cucumbers are also easy snacks and provide some quick fuel. Pack more food than you think you’ll need since you’ll most likely be burning lots of energy and it is better to come prepared.
Although you can buy drinks at the cafes in the forest, it’s a good idea to at least bring one full water bottle. Bringing a thermos full of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa, can be a great treat on a ski tour but it will be extra weight that you need to carry. Avoid alcohol or very sugary drinks, which will dehydrate and make you tired.
As we have already mentioned, it is better to come prepared. So, we highly recommend bringing plasters (Band-Aids), anti-bacterial solution, painkillers, and anything else you may need even if you get only a minor injury.
Phone and extra phone battery
To ensure you’re able to follow Outtt’s route and track your own adventure, bring an extra phone battery in addition to your phone.
The Norwegian Mountain Code – Fjellvettreglene
It is very important to put safety first even if you are planning a short trip. Take a look at the important Mountain Code, the “Fjellvettreglene”, that Norwegians are very good at following.
Remember: “It’s better to have and not need, than need and not have”. Good luck!