Introducing The Skicnic – Saving Cash on the Mountain

15 Awesome Gifts for Campervan Skiers and Snomads

If you’re here looking for guide books and melamine crockery, you’re going to be disappointed. This is stuff for true snomads and is all about the mountain picnic AKA the Skicnic. We’ve all spent a mint on mediocre tartiflette and soggy lasagne. We’ve all caved into a €10 beer at 2000m and given ourselves a bombardino bill induced heart attack whilst admiring the view from a south facing terrace.

Enough of this nonsense! We’re here to solve all your problems and give you the tools to be the BEST gift giver for the mountain lover in your life. In fact, you don’t even need a van to appreciate this stuff – whether you’re up for a splurge or looking to save, we’ve put together a mega list of Skicnic tips and stuff for every skier or boarder.

Here’s what we’re covering:

  • Couloir Coffee Breaks
  • Telecabine Tipples
  • Snowdrift Skicnics


You can click on any of the images or titles for an Amazon link.

Couloir Coffee Breaks

It’s not even funny how much coffee can cost on the mountain and if you get drawn into some sort of ‘round’, you might even find yourself bankrupt before you even need a Ski Patrol Medivac. Even in Italy where it’s extremely reasonable, there’s still an element of faffing involved with a coffee break – for a start, you have to be at a mountain restaurant at the precise moment you want a coffee – who can be bothered with that kind of organisation?

So here are the three ‘brew your own’ solutions that mean you can have a coffee whenever and wherever you fancy.

Bodum French Press – practical stocking filler (if you have super fancy stockings!)

The flagship French Press company – ironically a Danish outfit – has now caught up with the hipster need for ‘proper coffee’ whilst on the trot. You’ll need a thermos for this too but as you’ll see a little further on, this is essential Skicnic gear.


Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker – all the stars

You’ll recognise this coffee maker from every outdoors YouTube channel on the planet. This is because it’s awesome and makes really decent espresso style coffee – better than the Bodum if you like your caffeine hits short, but a tiny bit more involved by the rate of a couple more steps in the process. Nothing that relaxed snomads are going to be concerned about.


KISS KISS FISH Travel Mug – sexy and techie

If you ignore the fact that this is WAY sexier than the other snomad coffee solutions, this is also has a totally brilliant gadget that should be on the McDonalds Apple Pie. The brewing timer and thermometer make this an awesome gift, for the cost of 4 mountain top Café au Lait.


Wacaco Minipresso – for all the pain-in-the ass coffee snobs

If you know someone who’s a full-on coffee snob, you might just get away with this one. It’s passed a blind test on the most pedantic Italian we know so it’s safe for gifting.


Jet Boil – Swiss Army functionality

We don’t make a secret of the fact that we love our Jet Boil so we take any opportunity to sing it’s praises The thing we really like about the jet boil is the game where you blow people’s minds with how fast it boils water. It must defy physics.

It’s by far the most expensive solution but, if you’re a committed Skicnicer you’ll also be considering doing a mid-morning full English with the other accessories you can get with the Jet Boil. Also consider that if you have one of these onboard, the chances are that at some point in your motorhome ski life, it will save you from certain death.

Winterised Tips for Mountain bevies

Not usually ones to encourage thievery of any kind – we reckon that if you’re purchasing a few service station coffees as you travel to the mountains, then hording a few more milk and sugar sachets than you need is no real crime. You can even start now and by the time you’re cooking up a brew on the side-piste you’ll have all the condiments you could need to lay on a well-equipped coffee station.

Telecabine Tipples

Winterised Skicnics

Silly idea. Drinking and snow sports. Really, if you think about it, it should be outlawed but until it is, we’ll all still find ourselves sledging on our faces down a blue run after what felt like an unremarkable 2 Steins but turned out to have had their impact somewhat intensified by altitude.

Also a bank breaker – drinking on the mountain takes up far too much time. We should do it on chair lifts and telecabins when in ‘recovery’ mode.

Here are our top gifts:

Hip Flask – Hipster style

Hip flasks are so last season… unless you are the type who needs the occasional source of Dutch courage and if you don’t, you’re probably not doing it right. This one is special because it is Thermos – that means hot toddy at 3pm – don’t mind if we do. It’s not so much hip flask but a juicy baton.


Le Creuset Bottle opener/ Waiters mate

It’s Le Crueset which means it justifies the expense and is fancy enough to be a very nice gift. This is the perfect gift for someone who has just graduated from opening bottles with their teeth and might be moving onto wine with corks.


Mulled Wine Sachets

You are going to be forever grateful for this Skicnic hack. Thermos full of warm wine (or heat it up with your trusty jet boil, lob one of these in and a few runs later, on the hop vin chaud – by the litre. Can’t believe you didn’t think of it before right?


Thermos flask – Family Style

A whopping 2 litre capacity – enough to do the super noodles, coffee and hot chocolate for the whole tribe. This, or one like it is the lynch-pin of all the best Skicnic set ups and if you can remind people the BYO mug, you’ll get a lot of brownie points over a week…



Hole Hog – the backpack drinks despensor

This is ONLY for people who have some sort of sound emitting devise about their person when they are playing in the snow. If you have one of those, you’ll like this. If not, you’ll think it’s something for killing the weeds.




Winterised Tips: You know you can get wine in mini tetrapacks?

Snowdrift Skicnics

Winterised Skicnics

Now we’re getting serious. Snackage. This is all to do with looking the part rather than resorting to a Snickers and a packet of Mini Cheddars – we’re encouraging you to adopt a more continental approach to relieving the mountain munchies.


Opinel Nomad Kit

Opinel ownership is really a rite of passage – and an essential part of any picnic – be that in a car park, at the safari park, on a beach… in a layby. This is a really good gift. We’re not going to fib, you don’t really need a potato pealer for your Skicnic but it also doubles as a hobbit shovel or a thing for picking ice chunks out of your bindings.


Kneeling Pad – Ladies, this one is for you

James and I disagree on this one – so maybe it’s for girls. I think it’s blummin marvellous – he says you don’t need it but my bum gets frozen sitting on snow for anything more than 5 minutes.


The foam is terrible and hasn’t got anywhere near the same insulation rating as these more dense ones. You can also use it for working at the galley area in your motorhome because for some reason in many motorhomes, they’re higher than the standard height making them uncomfortable to work at.


Skicnic Backpack

Why this one as apposed to the millions on the market? This one is more practical and doesn’t assume you need a special compartment for plates and champagne flutes. It’s also waterproof which is the holy grail of snomading gear. The down side of this is that you need to get someone else to carry the family style thermos as it won’t fit. Every cloud.


Food Flasks

This is for those who are a little more organised or know their way around dehydrated noodles. Again – always a good investment is a thermos device. We took left over risotto and tartiflette out on the mountain but these guys reckon you can put chicken nuggets in them and have them toasty warm hours later – who knew (that’s a YouTube experiment right there).



MRE – for the lazy

For the uninitiated – MREs are dehydrated meals in a sachet (Meal, Read to Eat) and are a military solution to combat rations – now carried by ramblers in Oxfordshire (in case of emergencies) and Heston Blumenthal – because how else can you have haggis and strawberry pie with truffle tonic – on-the-go?

These have come on quite a way since they were first dreamed up but they still lack an aesthetic that is appetising – however – as a gift for the frugal powder hound or intrepid backcountry skier, six days lunches for the price of a croissant and a coffee ain’t to be sniffed at!

We hope you’ve found our Skicnic ideas useful – we worked out that with good Skicnic game, you can get an extra week on the mountain each season with these savings.

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