The alps spanning Europe are incredibly beautiful, and in winter they just come alive! However, it can be very cold with temperatures ranging from 2 degrees Celsuis to -3 degrees so packing the right clothes is essential!
That is why I’m going to be giving you the ultimate packing guide for winter in the alps. I visited the French alps (in a place called Morzine) every year as a child and teenager, so I’ve got the packing down to a T and I hope you’ll find this useful!
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Before we dive in, I mention a few brands throughout the post who I have personally used and loved. Most of them are available throughout Europe but for those viewers on the other side of the world, check out this post.
Thermals are a necessity for staying in the alps in the winter, especially if you want to go skiing or snowboarding. You’ll want to wear these during the day when you’re doing activities to keep the chill from getting to your skin.
I love wearing fleeces in winter because they’re so fluffy and warm, which is exactly what you need in the alps. If you don’t like fleeces then just make sure you get a jumper that keeps the wind out and dries fairly quickly.
They’re really helpful when you get hot while skiing because they keep the wind off you.
Even if you aren’t doing an activity that requires you speeding down a mountain on a piece of wood, you should still bring waterproof trousers. Most places have outdoor seating and the chairs get pretty wet from all the snow.
However, if you are skiing or snowboarding, then I recommend getting bright coloured trousers so you’re easily visible. I’ve been caught up in a snow storm before and it’s practically impossible to see where you’re going so bright colours are a must.
My recommendations for a skiing jacket are very similar to that of waterproof trousers. They are usually worn for everyday use because it does get really cold.
Try and keep this a bright colour! If you’re going out and adventuring with others then ensure you remember what colour or pattern everyone is wearing. Why? Because everyone looks the same when you’re going down the slope!
You’ll mainly need thick socks if you’re heading up into the mountain, either for skiing or hiking. The boots you wear can get pretty uncomfortable so having enough padding is the difference between a nice day out and going home grumpy and in pain.
Gloves, Hat & Scarves
I recommend two types of gloves when packing; knitted ones and waterproof ones. You’ll be surprised at how wet everything gets in the winter so knitted ones are good when you want to get from one place to the other, but they aren’t very good when you’re doing an activity.
Knitted hats are a must! Cold ears suck, and locals know this so there’s always a plethora of hats you can buy when you’re there. Also, they look cute so that’s a bonus!
If you go skiing or snowboarding, your face will get sooo cold! The wind can really sting, especially if you’re going quite fast, and also the sun is a contender that most people don’t consider because it’s cold.
You can actually tuck these under your goggles so your whole face is covered.
When I say boots, I mean the fur kind with good grips and waterproof. It can get very icy at wintertime so try to get boots with some traction on the bottom. Unfortunately, trainers won’t cut it in the alps. They will get soaked through and make you even colder.
Trust me when I say that the sun is blinding! A pair of sunglasses will actually give you the chance to see the beautiful mountains. Also, you’ll want to see the grooves in the snow so you stay more stable as you go down the
Many an accident have happened on ski lifts where sunglasses have fallen and never been seen again, so get a strap to keep them around your neck! I’m not sure if I’ve been forgiven for knocking off a pair or Ray Bans a few years ago.
Suncream & Lip Balm
As I mentioned earlier, not many people recognise how dangerous the sun can be when travelling somewhere snowy. However, the sun is still very powerful and you need to stay protected so pack lots of suncream!
Lip balm might seem random amongst the other items on this list but you’ll thank me! Every time I’ve been to the alps, everyone’s lips get chapped and dry so be prepared!
And that is the ultimate packing guide for winter in the alps!
The list of specific things, anyway, to bring when packing but don’t forget about your normal clothes and underwear!
I hope that you enjoyed this guide, and if you did then be sure to like, share and subscribe. If you’ve got anything else to add then leave it in the comments down below.