Ten things to do to get ready for your first day out.

Ten things to do to get ready for your first day out.

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 11/09/20 •  4 min read


Not skiing yet? Me, neither. Like most of us, 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 things listed below. In the past 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’s plenty of stuff you need to do so you’re ready when the season begins:

Get in shape. No, it’s not too late because it’s never too late.  Study after study shows that exercise helps prevent all sorts of diseases, so if you haven’t begun a work out program, skiing is a great excuse to start. 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. Walk, run, or even take virtual classes online. There are all sorts of apps that can help you get going.

Know before you go. Thanks to COVID-19, this ski year will be much different from any that’ve come before. There are restrictions relating to travel, dining, and lodging. Some ski areas are requiring reservations, all are requiring masks and social distancing. So check with your ski destination and know what to expect before you arrive.

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 it’s time to 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, and so on. 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, gained a few pounds during quarantine. Maybe you’ve even shed a few. Or maybe your tastes have simply changed. And if you haven’t washed your ski pants or jacket from last season, go ahead and do that. Here’s how.

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 last year, so you might want to check that out.

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

Get charged. I don’t know about you, but it’s amazing how much of my ski gear is battery-driven. My boot heaters, electric gloves, and audio system need power, and all need to be charged before I get to the hill. If you use Hotronics, remember that the batteries need to be charged for 48 hours before their initial use.