Your guide to better skiing

No 14. Don't forget... to check your baggage

Who could be stupid enough to arrive in a resort with skis but no poles, and return home with poles but no skis? Me. True, only the absence of the poles was my fault: I forgot them. The thief who took my skis was responsible for the floppiness of the ski bag I carried home - it contained nothing but the new pair of poles I had bought.

Who could be stupid enough to arrive in a resort with skis but no poles, and return home with poles but no skis? Me. True, only the absence of the poles was my fault: I forgot them. The thief who took my skis was responsible for the floppiness of the ski bag I carried home - it contained nothing but the new pair of poles I had bought.

For most of us, a year passes between skiing trips. So it is easy when packing to forget important things (and usually quite difficult to find the things that you remember). Last week, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I conducted a straw poll among shop staff to find out what skiers most commonly forget to bring. Not surprisingly, it is the smaller items: goggles, socks, and particularly gloves. But Taras, who works in the Sportstalker store, had a tale of amnesia on a grander scale: he once reached the top of the mountain to discover he had left his skis behind.

With the season fast approaching, here's my own packing list, which may serve as an aide-memoire. It includes boots, helmet, face mask, fleece, gloves, goggles, hat, knapsack, lip balm, neck wrap, painkillers, skis and poles, ski-jacket and trousers, ski-pass toggle, socks (and inner socks), sun cream, sunglasses, Swiss Army knife, thermal underwear, travel insurance document and woolly pullover (I'm old-fashioned).

If I've forgotten anything, please let me know, preferably before next week's trip to St Moritz.

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