Warning: Do you really need it? (Of course. Why do you think I bought it?) Here’s a list of accessories that range from the helpful to the necessary.

1. Goggles. The double-lens ski goggles resist steaming up inside better than the single-lens kind. Most important, especially at high altitudes, according to Dr. Barry Chaiken, a New York ophthalmologist who also happens to be an avid skier, is to wear only those that filter out damaging ultraviolet A and B rays. A lens coating - technically known as UV400 - is generally but not always applied to ski goggles today. It blocks more than 99 percent of the UVA and UVB rays. Make certain your goggles have this coating.

You can buy goggles ground to your eyeglass prescription, if necessary. However, if you already have prescription sunglasses you might consider, as I do, wearing goggles with a clear lens over them.


2. Sun block. Use only one with an SPF factor of 25 for young and sensitive skin at high altitudes. Apply per directions.

2a. Sunburn ointment.

3. A boot bag. Every member of the family should have his or her own. The bag, usually with an outside zipper pocket, is designed to hold one pair of boots. Add a small bag that can slide into the bag with the boots. Add a small bag that can slide into the bag with the boots. The small bag should be large enough to hold your cap, neck gaiter or face mask, ski gloves, and goggles.

Our family policy is that, as soon as we walk into the front door after a ski trip, each of us is responsible for assuring that all his or her equipment is cleaned, dried, and repacked before the bag - fully ready for the next assault on the slopes - is put away.

3a. The side pocket. I carry a small pair of pliers, one small regular and one Phillips-head screwdriver, a tube of fluorocarbon ski wax, a hand-held edge sharpener, a cable ski lock, a couple extra bags of the hand - and foot-warmer chemicals sold at every ski shop today, a pack of safety pins, a tiny hand-winding table alarm clock (the battery never runs down), a small waterproof flashlight (always stocked with fresh batteries before a trip), a candle and matches sealed in a plastic pouch, two self-stick wall hooks (to slap onto that condo bathroom or closet door

that has no wall hangers for guests), and assorted undeterminables. Someday I’ve got to clean out that pocket.

1. A ski bag. Ski bags come in several styles. There are the tough fabric bags that completely enclose one or two sets of skis. There are full-length plastic tubes for one or two pairs of skis. And there are halfsized fabric bags that cover only the ski bindings, to protect them when the skis are mounted on a car. Better fabric bags, both for bindings and for complete skis, are lined with padding.

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2. Car racks. It’s fairly standard for a set of car racks to carry four pairs of skis. If your rack doesn’t lock in the skis, follow the old adage: Man, don’t let ’em out o
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