Okay, so we’ve been receiving a lot of emails asking this question and it would seem people aren’t happy with what’s already out there so here's our take on things.
But, this isn’t an exhaustive list and we’re not going to break down every bit of clothing you need; there’s actually plenty of shit blogs online which list all that…
Whatever you think you need, half it, re-evaluate it and then half it again. You really don’t need all them clothes. It’s something that we learnt the hard way. We took TWO 20kg bags plus 10kg hand luggage plus 20kg ski boot bag…EACH!! And it was insane. That’s 8 bags between two people and we had to get a £100 taxi to the airport because we couldn’t fit it in our parents car. I had clothes I didn’t wear and shoes I wouldn’t dare touch in the snow. Learn from our mistake!
Besides, what you think will look cool out there won’t be cool when you get there. The seasonaire ‘fashion’ is a strange one. The messier you look, usually the cooler you look too. And it’s pretty hot as well. That air of ‘Oh, these old clothes? I just threw them on before coming out’ really has an attractive vibe about it (within reason) as long as you match it up with a bad ass beanie and snow boots.
Think oversized jumpers, oversized (and under ironed!) shirts, jeans and leggings, beanies, hats and snow boots.
Plus, you’re going to be tempted to buy a new wardrobe of clothes out there anyway when you hit the stores so save you’re money whilst you’re in the UK!
Do not take heels or wedges. Do not take pretty dresses. Do not take expensive jewellery. Don’t take anything that you’d be pissed about getting ruined.
Inevitably too, you’ll lose (or more likely, have stolen!) your coat so take a couple. At least one you like, but don’t blow the budget.
More often than not, you’ll be in uniform anyway so it’s only the evening soiree gear you need but remember you can mix and match the shit out of your stuff so heed my advice, don’t go overboard.
That said. Socks. Lots of socks.
Oh, and if you’re looking for advice on what skiing gear to take then you may need to re-think doing a season. That shit should already be nailed.
For those of you that aren’t lucky enough to have a professional chef in your chalet then there’s a couple kitchen essentials I’d advise you get.
Knives. Yes, the simple essential. Your chalet will come equipped with this but my god will they be shit! They are likely to be the same knives as when the chalet was bought. They’re probably older than you! Ours couldn’t even cut through an aubergine, but in training we were the only ones with enough foresight to bring our own. Everyone else followed suit via amazon. Believe me, the right knife set will save you so much time, hassle and stress. They don’t have to be incredibly expensive, just sharp. I think ours were a £15 set from TK Maxx! Yes, they fell apart come the end of the season (much like most of the staff of our company), but they did the job well.
Electric chopper. My god this was an absolute stroke of genius from Miss Chalet Couple!! Have you ever finely cut 16 red onions (even with your shiny new knives as set out above)? Have you ever made nut roast and bashed the shit out of all those nuts with a rolling pin? Well worry no more!! £30 on amazon and it was best piece of equipment we could have taken and the best advice I could give you guys! It saved so much time. Bosh them in, click the button, ready to cook. Easy as piss. Obviously, don’t take it out with you though, make sure you know your future address and get it delivered for your arrival! We ended up having room to bring ours back too and it still gets used every day in our household!
Some of our colleagues found a cheap 5 euro handheld, wind-up set out there that they swore by though so if you’re looking to save some dough, one of those will still save you hours of time!
I read a lot about taking multi-plug adapters but realistically, in a couple you have your own room and should have at least a couple electric sockets. If you don’t, then you can amazon it! Don’t waste precious space and weight taking these things. If you can’t rotate and manage your phone, ipad, laptop, gopro, toothbrush and camera chargers then you’re a fucking retard. We managed so you can too.
And on that subject, don’t even bother with your expensive DSLR camera. Yeah, the shots are pretty epic but I guarantee the day you take that out in your pack with you will be your shittest day out. You’ll be so stressed about it being in your bag either 1) falling out on a lift 2) getting stolen or 3) crushing the hell out of it on a fall that you’ll ski safe. You’ll be boring and you’ll be miserable. The mountains are about having fun, losing yourself and pushing your limits. Don’t be held back by a fucking camera and the perfect Instagram shot.
And cancel your Netflix account. For the love of god please don’t waste your days watching series and box sets. There’s a time and a place for those and it’s called back home in 6 months time. Get the fuck out there. I think I had one day where I didn’t get out on the mountain and thats because I was chucking up bile from one too many the night before. Whiteouts, blizzards, broken lifts, closed runs. We made it out no matter what. It’s what you’re there to do so do it! What’s the point in working your ass off 6 days a week if you don’t ski for 5 hours a day out there!? If you wanted lower than minimum wage and a Netflix series stay at home and be a toilet attendant for all I care!
Other than that, there’s no electrical essentials I would say to take other than the obvious chargers etc. If you want to get fancy and shoot some unreal videos with your gopro then a Gimbal could be worth it (but you pay the price!).
Just don’t forget your actual plug adapters, i.e Europe to UK plugs!!
You don’t need your own board. You don’t need your own ski’s but there are some things I would consider vital.
Boots – be it ski or snowboard boots, gets some of your own and get them properly fitted. You do not want the rentals. They have years of wear and you’ll be able to feel the previous geezers foot imprints in the insole. Not the comfiest. Yeah sure, once the season’s done, that’s pretty much your investment done too. But remember, you’ll be skiing the equivalent of around 20+ ski holidays in your season so it’s pretty good value for money. You can eventually buy your own skis or board (with the best deals to be had in resort!) but the rentals will be fine, it’s the boots that will be the biggest contributor to your technique. Plus, you can change your gear in the shop a couple times in the year depending on whats your bag; the park, the powder or the piste.
And anyway, if you pretend you’re interested in buying different skis in the shops they’ll generally let you try them for free. And if not, chalet cake goes a long way to persuading them. And chalet wine, lots of wine!
Goggles – Nobody wants to be a gaper so get these right. I’d recommend ones for sunny conditions and ones for poor conditions. Even better if you have the fancy switcheroo lenses but my diminishing bank account wouldn’t stretch to that! I actually forgot to take low light goggles and couldn’t see shit for the first 3 weeks when the snow hammered home.
Helmet – this goes with the above. Try them on both together and get it right. Yeah you can also rent helmets but they’re fucking hideous. I know I said above that the seasonairre ‘fashion’ is an odd one but on the slopes, there is an air of snobbery. It doesn’t need to cost a lot, just make sure it does the job and looks half decent.
Gloves - Invest in these! You do not want to be stuck on a lift in a howling blizzard with a single skinned pair of gloves.
Snow boots - Invest in a decent pair of these. make sure they're warm, make sure they're waterproof and make sure they're grippy. They will become your sole shoe. Your hiking shoe, your apres shoe, your drinking a pint from your shoe, shoe.
There’s actually no need to go overboard with this because, well, everyone else will. Unless you’re in a resort on your own you can generally get away with a couple packs of paracetamol and ibuprofen, some day and night cold tablets (for the inevitable chalet flu) and if you can get hold of it, some steroid cream.
Huh? Yep, it’s fucking expensive out in resort but actually very effective for the rashes you’re bound to get (from all the chemicals you handle, you filthy minded people!) on your arms and hands. Someone always gets dermatitis and it could be you!
Not strictly medical, but good quality moisturisers! For your hands, your face, your body and your lips. If you had to narrow it down though, your hands and lips and the ones that are going to chap the most. We took a few bottles each and went through it all. Plus lip balms always go missing, so stock up! You’ll be thankful for them, believe me!
For us, it was cheddar cheese and marmite. For some, it’s peanut butter, others, cadburys. Miss Chalet Couple it was spicy hot sauce. Whatever your home comfort is, fit as much of it in as you legally can. You’ll be the saviour of the resort mid-january when your mates realise you can give them a proper cheddar cheese toastie instead of those rubbery French imitations. Croque-o-shit?
Ski tracks App
Just download it. The full version, the one that costs a couple quid you tight bastard! You won’t regret it when you can prove you hit three figure speeds coming home from the Folie Douce after a jug of beer and 2 jagerbombs.
Im going to stop there now. Looking back I realise this is more a list of what not to take than what to take. But it’s fucking common sense. Pack light, pack the essentials, don’t be too worried about appearance and did I mention a good pair of snow boots? Oh and apparently for girls, you can never take too much makeup. It not easy to go down the mountain to the store, so stock up.
The amount of shit you’ll see that will pass you buy unjudged will rekindle your belief in a humanity beyond money and show. As long as you’re joining in, having fun and shredding the shit out of the mountains you’ll find your groove. The most essential items you’ll need are bags of enthusiasm and the ability to take the piss out of yourself.