Nine things you need to do to get ready for your first day out.

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 11/05/19 •  4 min read


Not skiing yet? Me, neither. If you’re not among the lucky who are skiing at the handful of areas that are currently open, you’re probably still in a getting ready for ski season mode. Hopefully, this will change in the not-too-distant future. But for now, I’m still dreaming about my first day out. It will come, and when it does, I’ll be ready.

How? Easy: by taking care of all the stuff listed below. In the past couple months I’ve posted about what you can do to make this the best season ever, as well as how to get your head in shape for ski season. And while these are important, they’re also pretty ephemeral. There are a lot of things you need to take care of so you’re not scrambling around at the last minute.

So here’s what you need to do before your first day out:

Get in shape. No, it’s not too late because it’s never too late. There are all sorts of studies that say exercise is good for preventing all sorts of diseases, so if you haven’t begun a work out program, skiing is a great excuse to get started. Exercise should be something you do all the time, and if you make it a part of your regular routine, your skiing will be better and a lot more fun. You can take classes, work with a fitness trainer; there are lots of books, videos, and apps out there can help get you going.

Buy your pass. Generally speaking, the earlier you buy, the better, and to be honest, the best deals have come and gone. But there are still some good deals to be had, if you act fast. We have a thread on TheSkiDiva forum where we post ski deals all year long, so that’d be a good place to start. And there are discount ticket sites, like Liftopia, or ski clubs that offer discount tickets to members.

Check your gear.  Is your helmet in one piece? Boots and skis still functional? Are you missing mittens? Is it time for a new jacket? What about goggles? Make sure you have everything you need before you load up the car.

Choose your app. If you’re so inclined, there are apps you can use to track your number of runs, elevation, speed, days on snow, etc. I only track the number of days I ski (I use Slopesquad for this), but some people want more. So start looking around for an app you like now, and learn how to use it before it matters. No one wants to wait for you while you try to figure it out.

Try on your clothes. Maybe you’ve, ahem, put on a few pounds. Maybe you’ve shed a few. Or maybe you broke a zipper or just your tastes have changed. Oh, and if you haven’t washed them from last season? Go ahead and do that, too.

Get your skis tuned. Make sure your edges are sharp and your bases waxed. Most important: get a binding check so you’ll be safe out there.

Check your ski racks. Are they still working? Where’d you put the key? Get them on the car before you need them. It’ll save you a lot of hassle.

Got your boot bag? What are you going to use for a boot bag this year? If you need one, I reviewed Kulkea’s Talvi X boot bag here a few weeks ago, so you might want to check that out.

Get all your crap together. You know, your chapstick, your glove liners, all the peripheral equipment you need to get by. Better now than later.

One more thing: get stoked by going to your local ski show. I’ll be appearing at the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo’s women’s ski exhibit, The She Shed, on Friday, November 15, from 7-9PM and Saturday, November 16, from 10AM-12PM. Stop in, say hi, and talk to me about skiing!