9 Skiing Essentials for Beginners | What to Get

Whether you’re taking a trip to Alaska or Switzerland, there are plenty of places to go that let you experience the beauty of winter. From taking a helicopter tour through the mountains to going sledding or sipping cocoa on a sleigh ride, there are plenty of exciting ways to get outside, even if it’s cold.

Skiing is one the best ways to get out and enjoy fresh air during the winter. If you’re thinking of skiing on a trip, there are a few items that you’ll need to buy, but a lot of the hardware you need can be rented at resorts. Here’s our list of skiing essentials for beginners.

What to Get | Skiing Essentials for Beginners

Base Layer

Your base layer is the clothing that goes right up against your skin, formerly known as thermals. You’ll want to make sure that you purchase long underwear, rather than just wearing an old long-sleeved shirt and pants. Long underwear will wick away moisture, keeping sweat and water from drying chilling you.

Mid Layer

Depending on how cold it is, you’ll want to wear either a lightweight down jacket, a fleece, or a sweater. When in doubt, overdress—you can remove items on a warmer day, but you can’t put on what you haven’t brought.

Ski Jacket & Pants

Make sure you think about what kind of coat will work best for you—take into consideration the shape, brand, and technical information. Look for coats that are waterproof and breathable and have ventilation zips. As a new skier, you’ll be spending a lot of time falling, so you need to get ski pants that can handle getting thrown around. Pants especially need to be waterproof, otherwise you’ll leave with a wet backside.

Neck warmer

Neck warmers are optional and can be replaced with a scarf from home. However, a nice neck warmer will have breathable fabric and keep you warm without being too heavy. If you’re skiing in especially cold areas, you’ll want to get a thin balaclava that fits underneath your helmet. This ensures that your neck is protected from harsh winds.

Skis, Poles & Boots

Don’t buy these until you know that you love skiing and will do it often. Resorts allow you to rent out all of this hardware. Make sure to check with the employees so they can tell you what size fits best.


Choose goggles instead of sunglasses when it comes to mountain activities. Not only will you protect your eyes from the sun, but if you fall, you won’t have broken sunglasses in your eyes. Make sure you try on before buying or borrowing so you can see if they fit.

Ski Helmet

Everyone needs a helmet when they ski, especially beginners. You can often rent a helmet when you rent your other ski hardware, but you can also buy one. Make sure that it fits snugly and think about getting a cap for underneath the helmet itself.

Gloves or Mittens

Normal gloves and mittens will get soaking wet when you’re skiing. Opt for waterproof and breathable ski gloves and mittens instead. If it’s really cold, use mittens with glove liners underneath.

Ski Socks

Similar to ski gloves and mittens, you’re going to want waterproof and breathable ski socks. These are going to be around mid-calf to knee-high. Make sure they aren’t too thick—you want space and cushion room in your boots.

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Written by Logan Voss

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