You have successfully planned and booked your family ski vacation to South Lake Tahoe! The last step before you depart your house is to decide what to pack. Here are our winter packing tips for your visit to South Lake Tahoe.
Layers, Layers and More Layers
- Base Layers: The best way to prepare for a whole range of temperatures is to bring layers. Make sure you have something that is NOT cotton, but rather a moisture-wicking material. This will keep you both warm and dry.
- Mid Layers: Vests, light fleeces, nano-down jackets are great mid-layers. They can be worn alone if the weather is really warm, or layered under a waterproof shell for those chilly days. You can always take it off if it warms up.
- Wool Socks: Make sure you wear wool socks, rather than cotton ones. Once cotton gets wet, it will only make you colder. Ski and snowboard specific socks are a great option as they have extra padding where you need it, and are tall enough to go above a boot.
Waterproof Outer Layers
- Waterproof Pants and Jacket: Outer layers that are not waterproof won’t do you much good if you are planning on being outside at all. If it is snowing, you will definitely need this to stay dry. But if you are playing in the snow (think, sledding) you will also want something to keep you dry.
- Waterproof and Insulated Boots: If your feet are cold and wet, the rest of you will be cold too! Spend some money on a good pair of snow boots that will last you multiple seasons. Make sure they have a good sole, so that you don’t easily slip on icy surfaces.
- Hats, gloves, scarves and mittens: You can’t have a successful snowball fight without a pair of waterproof gloves/mittens. And keeping your head warm will help keep the rest of you warm too! If it gets hot, you can always put it in your pocket!
- Hand-warmers: If you are not going to be moving around a lot, why not grab some handwamers (they are cheap) just in case your fingers or toes start to get chilled.
- Sunglasses: When the sun is out on those bluebird days, you are going to want to protect your eyes. Trust us, always have sunglasses on you!
- Sunscreen: Don’t forget we are at higher elevation, and the sun is a lot stronger. If you do not apply sunscreen, you will get burned. And although goggle tans are popular, you don’t want to be a lobster on vacation.
- Chap-stick: The mountains are very dry, and your lips will feel it instantly! Bring up a good lip balm. If you forgot yours, stop buy our office and grab some of our Buckingham all natural lip balm!
- Water bottle/Camelback: The best way to fight elevation sickness is to drink lots, and lots of water. If you are going sledding, bring a few watterbottles for the car. If you are out on the mountain, investing in a Camelback-type backpack is a good idea.
Equipment For the Mountain:
- Ski equipment (skis, boots, poles) and snowboard equipment (board and boots): You can’t do much on the slopes without skis or snowboards. Don’t forget that you can rent your ski gear from one of our trusted partners! This will save you the hassle (and space) of flying or driving with equipment.
- Helmets: Don’t even think about going up the mountain without protecting your noggin. This is a MUST.
- Goggles: Your eyes will thank you if you choose goggles over sunglasses.
Equipment for Off the Mountain:
- Sleds: If you own a sled, bring it with you otherwise you will want to buy one when you get to town. There are so many great hills that you can ride down when you have your own sled. Otherwise, you can visit a managed sledding hill and rent one for an hour or two.
- Snowshoes/XC Skis: A great way to get out and explore the winter terrain is on snowshoes! If you have some, bring them up and gear up for a trek on the Tahoe Rim Trail, or just right out behind your vacation rental.