Not long from now, I’ll be heading out to the Colorado mountains with my snowboard and some warm clothes to play in the snow for a little while. I’ve been doing this winter trip for over 10 years, and it’s the only consistent time that I ever vacation in cold, unpleasant weather.
Packing for a cold weather trip is more challenging than my usual warm weather vacations simply because you need to take a larger volume of clothing. One positive aspect of cold weather is that you don’t sweat much, so items like jeans can be worn for longer periods of time between washes as long as you can keep them clean.
This is also one of the rare times that I check a bag. I’m a short guy, so renting a snowboard would not work out very well for me. I prefer a shorter board relative to my height, which most rental places do not carry. Why the short board? Maneuverability and control at the expense of speed. I really have no interest at all in flying down the mountain in a blur due to my general clumsiness and high likelihood of getting myself injured.
The key to packing efficiently for a trip like this is getting all my winter clothes into the snowboard bag. I purposely bought a high quality, durable snowboard bag that is oversized relative to my snowboard so I can fit a bunch of extra stuff in there.
In addition to my board, I can fit in my boots, helmet, gloves, goggles, socks, sunscreen, and snowboard jacket & pants so that everything I need for the mountain is in one self contained unit.
The only other bag I carry is my usual backpack with my standard packing list. The main difference here is that I take one pair of shorts and two jeans instead of the other way around. I can wear the jeans for 3 or 4 days easily before needing to wash them, and usually with ski trips there’s a washing machine to be found somewhere nearby if I don’t feel like washing and drying my thick cotton jeans by hand.
I also take a regular warm jacket for when I’m not on the hill. If I get too hot on the airplane, I can easily squeeze it into my backpack instead of wearing it.
It’s definitely a hassle traveling with all this big stuff compared to how I usually pack, but by getting all my winter gear into a single convenient oversized sack, everything is at least kept well organized and easy to maintain.