Essential equipment for a Polish mountain holiday

We are spending eight days in the beautiful Polish mountains to use up as much of the school holiday as possible. None of us are expert skiers, in fact I don’t ski at all having ripped my left leg into a thousand pieces skiing in Austria on a school trip when I was about 15 years old. M & Z are learning and doing well but have not progressed past the gentler slopes as yet and as we don’t venture out skiing more than once every couple of years we have not bothered investing in our own equipment.

There is however quite a list of more or less essential equipment that the seasoned skier would expect to either bring with them or find in the resort. We wouldn’t want Polandian readers to feel out of place on the slopes this season so here’s the POLANDIAN TOP 6 guide to what the Jones’ will have:


It’s simple, if you don’t have one of these, or something similar…..


….then you shouldn’t be here.

Winter in the mountains is the only time that owners of these vehicles get to feel they made the right choice of car so they like to come and show them off. Of course, it doesn’t stop drivers of all kinds of cars coming and getting around just as easily but having one these gives you a sense of satisfaction in knowing that IF you wanted to drive off the road and down the mountainside you would get at least 50m further than your mate would in his Mondeo before getting stuck.

On the POLANDIAN SCALE OF ESSENTIALITY – the big car gets a 5/10



The perfect winter accessory because not only is it fashionable but it keeps your hands warm, or, if inserted down the trousers, it can be used to keep other parts warm too!

Whilst generally hard to spot during warmer months, these things are easily identified in the winter. Just look for fashionable ladies holding shivering, yapping balls of fur, if it isn’t one of those Furby toys it’s a Yorkie.

On the POLANDIAN SCALE OF ESSENTIALITY – the yappy dog gets a 6/10


hairy hatIf you want to be in with the in crowd this season what you really need is a hairy hat. We appreciate that the thrifty among you will be thinking that training a yappy dog to sit on your head will suffice. In this case we’d suggest first of all dying the dog a nasty shade of green, blue or pink.

On the POLANDIAN SCALE OF ESSENTIALITY – the hairy hat gets also gets a 6/10


hitech ski

With all sports it helps to be good at it, or, if you’re pretty average, then it’s essential to look a lot better than you are. There is this huge yawning gap between outright beginners and professionals and this is fertile ground for those wishing to sell you something that will make you and others think you’re turning pro next season.

You could go down the slope on a couple of wooden planks and wearing a wooly jumper but you’d be far happier going down wearing a few thousand Euro’s worth of thermo-nuclear underwear, colourful performance outerwear, bionic boots and go-faster skis wouldn’t you!

On the POLANDIAN SCALE OF ESSENTIALITY – sexy equipment gets 7.5/10



There’s this romantic idea that throwing a bunch of spices, bits of wood and fruit in a pot with some cheap wine or beer and warming it all up makes for a great winter drink. Hmmm. What it does is get you drunk quickly and make you regret it all later.

Where we are staying they have a big pot of something called “Hot Bull” for 8 PLN a glass. Wasn’t tempted to try it but I asked the barman what it’s like and he was less than complimentary.

Whatever, say what you like, a yukky hot drink is an important part of any winter scene.

On the POLANDIAN SCALE OF ESSENTIALITY – sickly hot drinks get 8/10



Has to be said up front that if you don’t have kids then the babcia thing is not important at all, in fact, it might be a bit of a handicap. But, if you DO have kids then there’s nothing handier than a babcia. You can use them in one of two ways:

1/ Pack your bags and put them in the car. Invite babcia round to stay at your place for a while. When she gets there, give her the kids and then run for the hills. Call later to say how long you’ll be away for and where you left the vodka.

2/ Take babcia on holiday with you and allow her to spend copious amounts of ‘quality time’ with the kids while you spend better quality time on the slopes. This second option is slightly less abrasive with the babcia but is more expensive as it requires room and expenses for her in the resort.

All the best people have holiday-kid-minding babcias and for that reason…


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4 thoughts on “Essential equipment for a Polish mountain holiday

  1. DeCoy says:

    Some other useful items may include:

    – Life saving alcohol in spirit format (vodka, whisky, etc.), for when you have been standing around so long you cannot feel anything below the nose. (I too am not much of a skier, with an old knee injury ending my hopes of Olympic gold in the giant slalom in Vancouver).

    – A 20 year old map of the mountains: “I mean, how far can a mountain have moved in 20 years?”

    – Your laptop: So you can test out your mobile internet connection while hurtling down the slopes, just like in the Era advertisement.

    – Insurance certificate: For when you crash into a tree while browsing your laptop.

  2. daa says:

    always thought a babcia drinking vodka is not the standard issue. Any I know in Poland, incl. mine, would rather drink some good hot peppermint tea.

  3. Brad Zimmerman says:

    I’m surprised that those asinine “hairy hats” have not yet gone the way of Hypercolour shirts. It is a fashion item that is not only unfortunate but downright ugly when viewed in hindsight.

    I am grateful that I own absolutely none of the “essentials” in the article, other than a grandma, which isn’t necessary as I have no children. Do own some skis and boots, though.

  4. teresa says:

    so lovely!! You really keep my spirits up! Thank you

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