So you’re going on your first ski adventure. Destination? Japan! Flight? Booked. Hotel? Done! Next, what to pack for a Japanese winter getaway?
Packing for your first ski adventure should take some thought and planning, if you want to get back from your vacation in one piece. While the prospect of winter weather conjures up calm and rustic scenes of gently falling snow and cozy cabins, the reality is that weather can be unpredictable with blizzards and bitter cold.
Nevertheless, your skiing adventure will surely be the best vacation with the right gear and enough preparation.
So what should your checklist be like? Here are a few ideas:
Essentials for your Japan Skiing Adventure, A Beginner’s Guide
Definitely leave the jeans and cotton clothes at home. For your winter trip, you’ll need some thermal and water-resistant fabrics. Layering is the most convenient way to keep you as cool or as warm as needed – you could just remove or add clothing as the weather changes.
Bring underwear that you can be comfortable in, much like what you would wear at the gym. For women, sports bras are recommended for that much-needed support. Bras with wider straps keep you more secure for those runs down the hill. For men, there’s the option to go with a one piece build of thermal underwear that can cover the entire body for maximum protection.
#2. Base layer
This used to be long johns, but modern skiers now go for separate tops and bottoms. Choose thermal, tight-fitting leggings and fitted long sleeve tops to keep you comfortably warm.
#3. Second layer
This can be optional depending on the time of the year. The peak season from December to February would be the coldest, so if you plan to ski then, wear additional fleece or wool material over your base layer to keep out the cold. As an added bonus, these materials also wick the sweat off you to keep you dry.
#4. Ski Socks
These are thermal socks that are high enough to fit over your boots to keep from slipping. Make sure the socks fit your feet and are not too loose to prevent you from stepping onto extra material that could be quite uncomfortable, especially when you go skiing.
#5. Ski Jacket
It’s imperative that you choose a jacket specifically for skiing. This type of jacket has features like insulation, water-resistance, closeable cuffs and hem that are designed specifically to keep you warm and safe while skiing. Another feature that would be unique to ski jackets is the powder skirt that’s built-in around 6 inches from the hem. This feature protects your back from the cold wind while skiing and also prevents snow from entering your jacket if you happen to fall over. Another great feature is to look for air vents that can be unzipped when you feel overheated.
#6. Ski Pants
As with the ski jacket, you would need to choose specialized ski pants, designed with a built-in powder cuff that keeps snow off your legs. Make sure your pants fit well and are comfortable to move in while skiing. In addition, it’s a good idea to get pants with deep pockets to store your phone, credit cards and other valuables, so you don’t lose them.
Other Skiing Accessories Include:
#7. Ski Boots
These are specially designed to clip into standard skis. Like any other footwear, choose your boots carefully. It should fit comfortably with your socks on, but not too loose as it would slip off during runs.
#8. Ski Gloves
These thermal gloves includes rubber lining on the outside for added grip. Although these gloves are thick, they should also be flexible enough for your hands.
Wearing goggles is essential to keep wind from your eyes and to protect them from harmful UV rays.
#10. Hat or Helmet
Depending on your run, you will generally need to have your head covered to prevent the loss of heat and to protect your head if you fall. Ask your ski instructor if you would need a helmet for your ski run.
#11. Sunscreen and lip balm
Even on a cloudy winter day, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate and harm your skin, so be sure to load up on sunscreen before going outside.
Surprisingly, credit cards are often not accepted, especially in Hokkaido, so be sure to bring enough to cover your trip.
#13. Ski Equipment
If you’re a beginner, you would want to know how much you like the sport before you fully commit and buy the equipment. It’s best to first check out the rentals from your ski resort or other facilities nearby.
I hope this skiing equipment list is helpful for your trip. While you are still in Japan, make sure to check out these best and natural hot springs. You will be amazed by its beauty and the relaxing feeling you will get after skiing.