What Do You Pack for Lunch When Skiing?

Last Updated on December 20th, 2022

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When preparing for a ski trip, food is a crucial yet often overlooked aspect. Skiing is an extremely strenuous activity, and your body needs to be properly fueled to sustain energy while out on the mountain.


What Kind of Food is the Best for Lunch?

Eating in-house at the ski resort is always an option, but the options are usually unhealthy and also very expensive. The best choice for a ski lunch includes food that is nutritious, easy to pack, easy to store, and, of course, tasty!

The options are endless when considering packing a ski lunch, and this article will provide you with a bunch of options that will work well for a ski day.

However, the first matter of importance is the need to stay hydrated. Of course, drinks alone will not suffice for lunch, but liquids are a huge part of the ski lunch packing process.

Drinks that have electrolytes, such as sports drinks, are an excellent idea since you will be burning calories that will need to be replenished. Water is also an obvious but necessary drink to pack with you on a ski trip.

Skip the sugary beverages or sodas, as these will not energize or hydrate as well.

Man skiing with a backpack - What Do You Pack for Lunch When Skiing?

How Do You Pack Your Lunch for Skiing?

If you are staying at the ski resort, this is an easy one. You can easily take a lunch break sometime throughout the day and head back to your lodging.

Usually, the condominiums or hotel rooms will include, at the least, a refrigerator. This makes almost any food a viable option for a quick break from the mountain!

Those who road trip to a nearby ski resort may be essentially living out of their car for their ski day and making a trip to the parking lot for their lunch break. Food that needs to be kept cool can be packed in a cooler, and snacks can also stay in the car.

Of course, who could argue with stashing a few extra granola bars or small snacks in an empty pocket? Ski jackets always seem to have plenty of those, so maybe that’s their true purpose!


For How Long Can Your Lunch Stay Packed Before It Goes to Waste?

Your food choices can be based on your ability to keep food cold. There are plenty of options that don’t require refrigeration yet still provide great sustained nutrition. The classic PB&J is a great example of that! Keeping it simple is sometimes the best option.

Of course, if you opt for a more complex option, you can bring some sort of cook stove for a tailgate option, or you can keep lunch meats or other refrigerated items in a cooler. Luckily, for there to be skiing, there’s got to be cold weather!

Most of your food options will be totally fine simply being stored in the vehicle, but a cooler will give you extra peace of mind. Unless you are skiing for multiple days, a cooler will be the only food storage that you could need!


How Much Food Should You Bring?

The best rule of thumb is that it is better to have too much food than not enough! If you are skiing for a full day, assume you will want to eat three meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner) as well as extra snacks for the slopes!

While it may be annoying to take off your gear and head to the car or lodge to fuel up, it’s very important to keep your energy up during a strenuous activity like skiing.

Packing foods and drinks that don’t require refrigeration will give you the freedom to bring more than enough (and some to share)!


What Kind of Food Shouldn’t You Bring? 

There is technically no “wrong” food to bring! It is important that the food you choose is not sugary, and whole foods are better than processed foods for sustaining energy, but within those parameters, you will find many viable options.

This is truly subjective to whatever you are comfortable with. Some people decide to eat in a minimalist style, some bring coolers with refrigerated foods, and some go all in with fully cooked meals and tailgate-style cookouts.

It is all up to you and your preference! However, here is a list outlining some of the options. This is not an extensive list, as the possibilities are endless!


Minimalist Skier Lunches


  • Granola Bars
  • Apples/Peanut Butter
  • PB&J
  • Cold Subs or Sandwiches (with optional condiments)
  • Carrots and Ranch
  • Clementines/ Fruit Cups
  • Cereal/Milk
  • Overnight Oats
  • Trail Mix/Dried Fruit


Tailgaters’ Cookouts


  • Soup/Chili
  • Hamburgers/Hot Dogs
  • Vegetable/Chicken Kebabs

Final Thoughts on Packing Lunch for a Ski Trip

Different skiers do lunch in different ways. Whether you’re tailgating in the parking lot or making a trip back to the lodge, every skier stops for a lunch break.

There are potential options that take no prior planning other than a quick trip to a local grocery store or gas station, and there are also options that require grills or cook stoves and methods of refrigeration.

Overall, focusing on health and energy-sustaining options and drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated is necessary.

After all, skiing is extremely strenuous, and fueling your body to keep your energy on the mountain is one of the best ways you can prepare for an enjoyable and successful ski trip. Snacks are also an important factor to consider!

Filling a small pocket for snacks on the slopes is also a skier hack to keep up energy on the slopes.