Doing a winter season in the mountains? Want to know what to pack, apart from the obvious kit for riding? Snowboarding contributor, Faye Young, has done five seasons and is, therefore, a pro-packer. She is on the case.
Check out the 10 essentials Faye packs in her boardbag. Whadya mean you were planning on taking only one pair of ski/snowboard socks?
1) ENGLISH CHOCOLATE AND TREATS
Dairy Milk, Chocolate Digestives, Galaxy, Jaffa Cakes. If you are driving out to the resort then fill your car. If not take as much as you can carry. It's also imperative to employ your family members to post out parcels of supplies throughout the season. It's not only for your benefit, these treats can gain you some serious brownie points with roommates. Stash them away for the first month or so and. when people are getting desperate, you can make them do your share of the cleaning for the week in exchange for a packet of biscuits. Bisto gravy is a good idea. too. Your housemates will love you when it's your night to cook.
This sounds really weird but when you think about it, you will be wearing ski/snowboard socks pretty much everyday for the next five months so taking extras with you is not the worst idea ever. On those slushy spring days when your socks haven't dried in time from the day before you will be glad you squeezed a couple more pairs into your suitcase. Also handy packing tip: stuff your packets of biscuits (see above) in the socks for travel to avoid a suitcase full of crumbs.
3) A CAMERA
If you can afford it then you should invest in an action camera; they really are so much better than your mobile. You're going to be living in the most beautiful place ever and when your family asks you what you have been doing with yourself for the past few months just show them the visual evidence. Also, it gives you some motivation to learn new tricks or find new runs to film.
4) SWIMWEAR AND SHORTS
This is something you never really think of when packing for a winter season. Once March arrives, though, temperatures get pretty high in the mountains and you will be glad you packed some shorts! My first season ended with me cutting off all my jeans because I was melting. Ski resorts, generally, have really good swimming pools too, so it's handy to pack a bikini or some boardies.
5) UK/EU/USA ADAPTER
Don't forget to pack an adapter. You will get stung at the airport if you end up having to buy one on the way out. Ideally, you should take a couple of these with you because you will want to charge your laptop, phone AND camera, inevitably at the same time. When living in shared accommodation things can, sometimes, go walkies, too, so it's good to have a backup. Taking a multiplug is also a great idea because if you do only have one adapter you can still charge all your gadgets at once.
6) HARD DRIVE / NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTION
Seasons are a good time to commit to a TV series because, on bad weather days, you will have nothing else to do. Invest in a hard drive so you can swap films/series with your friends or sign up to Netflix. Warning: you will become addicted to at least one TV series while you are away for the winter. I try and avoid starting to watch a series until I go away because then I can have a marathon and watch loads of episodes without having to wait for the new ones to come out.
7) ADVENT CALENDAR
If you're away from home over Christmas, you owe yourself a little festive treat. It's, also, a good excuse to eat a bit of your favourite chocolate every morning before riding.
8) SKATEBOARD / LONGBOARD
It might take up a bit of room in your bag (or strap it on top) but a lot of people like to skate or learn to skate on down days or in the spring when the weather is nice. If you live far away from the supermarket you can make your life easier by skating there, too.
9) COLDS AND FLU MEDICINE
Stock up on those 20p packets of Ibuprofen from the supermarket before you leave for the season. If you end up having to buy these when you are abroad you can find yourself paying a small fortune for six tiny tablets, which isn't ideal on a seasonaire's budget. Cold and flu medicine is always a good call, too, because catching a cold on a season is inevitable. If you're living in a house full of people you will be glad you brought supplies with you.
10 LAPTOP / TABLET
Let's face it, you want to be able to brag to all your mates back home that you are having the best time ever and rub it in by uploading snowy pictures every week to Facebook. You can edit your GoPro footage on there too and keep in touch with family via Skype or FaceTime. This is when you can ask them to send out supplies if you forgot - or run out of - any of the above!