"Parent" doesn't need to be synonymous with "pack mule".
We all like to be prepared when heading to the mountain, because going back for things is a pain. Even worse is having to pay full retail at a mountain kiosk for something you forgot. Hand warmers and a snack for my brood could set me back $25 or more. No thanks. I'd rather save that money to tip the ski instructor or use for apres ski.
Do you fill your pockets with stuff for the entire family? "Parent" doesn't need to be synonymous with "pack mule". Let your kids take responsibility by carrying a few things.
Whether you are sending your child to ski school, or spending the day with them, it doesn't matter. They should have most of this stuff in their pockets:
Sunscreen & Lip Balm - A face stick will double as both. Use whether it is sunny, cloudy or stormy to protect against sunburn and windburn. Re-apply often.
Tissues - Say a prayer they will use them, and not their clothing.
Hand Warmers - Don't let cold weather ruin the day. Keeps those hands toasty!
Granola Bar - Or any jacket sized snack to fend off hunger and squeeze in a few extra runs before lunch.
Candy - Starbursts or M&M's are a Snowmamas secret weapon! Keep them happy now, brush the teeth later.
Cash - $5 - $10, enough to buy a drink and a snack.
Cell Phone (or two-way radio) - For older kids responsible enough not to lose it. Give them a little independence, and you a little peace of mind.
Last, but not least:
Identification - Parent's names, cell phone numbers, and emergency phone numbers. Include any important medical information such as allergies, medications or special conditions. A little note will do as a reference sheet for your child or the mountain staff that finds them. I'm sure you would never lose your child...it almost never happens to us. But just in case!
Reminders for Your Kids About the "Stuff"
NEVER open pockets on the chairlift. Wait until you are off the chair, standing in a safe spot off to the side, visible to skiers coming off the lift or down the hill.
Don't litter. Pack those wrappers or tissues back up in your jacket until you reach a garbage can.
Have a plan to use the emergency information should you get separated. Designate a meeting spot, and point out the mountain staff uniforms (ski patrol, instructors & lift attendants) so that your child knows who to go to if they are lost.
For The Adults
To the above, add a credit card, some Advil or Motrin, and a Band-Aid. I carry a health insurance card and driver's license, but please, make sure these are in a pocket where they can't fall out. I lost the rental car keys during a blizzard a few years back. Not fun.
It's a rare family ski vacation that doesn't find a kid hungry, thirsty, or cold at some point. Even worse, you could be *briefly* separated. As a parent, you could carry all of this stuff for your kids. Personally, I have a tough enough time looking slender without granola bars for six in my pockets. Have everyone carry their own provisions and you should be prepared for just about anything!
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' authors have or will receive a paid trip to Park City Mountain Resort or will receive other compensation for their participation as an author.