My first time packing for a snow trip was a HUGE learning curve. Living in sunny Queensland with only moderate winter temperatures, I really lacked the necessary items to go to the snow. All I really had that was appropriate for minus degrees was the outerwear items I had purchased online. The problem with that is I started to notice that there were going to be multiple occasions when I would have to wear something else such as for dinner, drinks, walking around the village, lounging in the apartment, doing touristy things etc. I didn’t think to plan my outfits a little more carefully and I panicked a little at the last minute and packed way too many items that I didn’t wear because they weren’t warm enough, didn’t match each other or were a little impractical for the snow.
For my net snow trip, I was determined to pack smarted and halve the number of items. It has been a few years now and I can admit that I was a serial overpacker, because I like to be prepared (is that the scout’s motto?) for all occasions. I have learnt a lot over my last few adventures and especially in preparation for my one year abroad (Blogs to come soon). I found being “fashionable” in the snow really depends on which country you come from, but pretty much anything goes, as long as it is bright. This included whole families in the exact same neon pink and green onesie ski outfits. The parents weren’t losing those kids! My outfit consisted of dark purple snow pants and accessories and a green patterned jacket.
There is no real dress code on the slopes as long as it keeps you warm and you aren’t blending in with the snow. You want to stand out, especially as a beginner, so people can see you coming and friends can spot you if they need to wait. When you are not on the slopes, it is common to see jeans and jackets with ugg boots or wellingtons. For most occasions, jeans, a top and a beanie were perfectly acceptable attire. At night, I often wore thermals under jeans, a thermal singlet and top and then my snow jacket over the top with gloves, a scarf and a beanie. When I wanted to dress up a little more, I had a warm long sleeve dress that I wore with thick thermal tights.
The temperatures during the day in Niseko sit around -10, dropping to -15 at night but I found 2-3 layers was enough for me. In saying that, I do find that I am a ‘hot’ person and don’t have trouble keeping warm so if you are not so lucky consider a fleece middle layer. Most people wore their snow jacket over everything to walk around outside, it is the most convenient and warmest, waterproof option. Once you go inside, the snow will melt and soak your clothes, so the jacket is helpful and you can leave it hanging in the cloak room until you leave.
I might type a comprehensive packing list up that I now take use for my snow trips somewhere in the near future. My friend Lauren is a master of the packing list, so I might coerce her into helping me compile one. In the meantime, there are a range of lists that you find online and then modify to get you started.