The recent icy-blast that swept across the East Coast of Australia got us adding extra doonas to our beds and thinking about our winter holidays. Which seems like the perfect opportunity to introduce our resident Kiwi, Gabi, who’s part of Team Flip here in Australia. As a Queenstown local and avid skier, Gabi shares her well-honed packing tips for what to wear to the snow for an epic trip (where you don’t spend the whole time complaining about the single-digit-temps).
First, a little intro to Gabs…
When did you join Flip and what have you been up to since?
I joined Team Flip in March 2022, right as summer was winding down and winter was winding up. In my short 3 months, I’ve worked on so many things, but I’ve especially loved being part of three events we’ve sponsored - Brisbane Cycling Festival, The 1440 race and a Snow Expo. It’s been a busy time!
What do you get up to in your spare time?
In winter, I ski. So I’ve learnt the hard way about what to wear skiing. In summer, I go on a lot of hikes. All year round, I practice yoga, go to the gym, bike, play tennis and have recently taken up sailing cause one day I want to sail across the Mediterranean!
How’d you get into those activities?
I went to an outdoor pursuits school in Wanaka, NZ, for a year where we learnt a lot about orienteering, surviving in nature as well as a tonne of amazing experiences. A few highlights were making, and sleeping in, an igloo for a night, skiing at least three times a week for the school curriculum. During my time there I realised how alive I felt in nature, and it gave me a lot of introspective opportunities.
So, here’s what to pack for snow
The right gear can mean the difference between a truly average holiday or a great ski trip. I invest in items I know I’ll have for a very long time, and always think of quality over quantity! If you’re on a budget, there’s always cheaper alternatives - just check the material details tag on the inside or online, so you know you’re buying warm materials like wool, merino, alpaca or cashmere blends.
Make sure you’ve got your basic ski kit covered:
- waterproof gloves (waterproof is a must because there’s nothing worse than cold, wet fingers)
- ski jacket and pants
- a helmet.
I never leave for a snow trip without these:
- Quality thermals, long sleeves and bottoms, that you can wear underneath your ski kit and for layers under your off-the-mountain wear
- Woolly socks, which are more breathable and dry quicker than cotton or polyester so you know your tootsies won’t start freezing
- Exercise gear - I love alpine walks when I’m having a day off up the mountain
- My Patagonia windbreaker, easily layers and protects from the elements
- A puffer jacket, North Face and Uniqlo have a great range
- A wooly jumper that’s fashionable and practical. Zara has some great options - just check the material details like I’ve mentioned
- A good moisturiser and lip balm (‘cause the air gets so cold and can dry your skin out)
- SPF because sunburn is still a factor winter, especially on bluebird days where the sun's out and the snow is bright.
If you’re wondering what kind of shoes to wear in snow
- A good pair of boots (Timberlands, RM’s or Hunter boots are all winners) paired with woolly socks. Sneakers don’t really cut it in winter, the cold goes right through them!
- Walking shoes for those hikes
- Good slippers! Ugg boots! 100% necessary after a day in ski boots - for warmth and comfort.
Golden rule: what to pack for a ski trip
There’s lots to consider but my golden rule has been the same for years and it’s top of mind when I’m piling everything into my suitcase for any winter trip - cotton is rotten. It doesn’t protect you or keep you warm, so leave it at home.
And one more thing
Thankfully the only accidents I’ve had out skiing are light tumbles, but there’s always a chance things could go wrong. And working for Flip has only made me more aware of the possible risks. So now, when I’m at the Aussie or NZ ski fields, I’ll be turning my Flip cover on before I hit the slopes for that extra peace of mind.
Flip advice is general in nature. We don’t take into account your personal circumstances, so please consider how appropriate it is for you before taking action. It’s important to read our Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide and Target Market Determination before signing up, too. Issued by HCF Life.