Winter Getaway: Mountain Weekend Packing List

We’re getting a little late in the season and I’ve already got spring posts on the editorial calendar, but I wanted to share a mountain weekend packing list with y’all, just in case you have one last winter getaway planned. 

Every Presidents’ Day, my sister and brother-in-law invite 25 of their closest friends for a weekend at his family’s house in western Pennsylvania, in the tiny town (is it a town? there’s a bar?) of Vowinckel. This year, it was the one weekend where we got a taste of winter — there was plenty of snow on the ground and a formidable chill in the air. This is what I live for during the winter (seriously, I’m happiest in the snow).


Okay, before we get into the packing list, let’s talk group house weekends for a hot second. I have some strong feelings on how to do group vacays right — and I think my sister and brother-in-law have it figured out. How many times have you gone on a group trip where you’re all staying in a big house and someone makes the grocery list, lets everyone add what they want, goes to the store…and comes back with 2 weeks worth of groceries for a long weekend.

You end up paying $100 each for four tubs of hummus no one touched and the extra large tub of peanut butter that went straight into the trash. Seriously, it happens every time.

Well, the way we do it in Vowinckel is that everyone is assigned a meal. Adam and I had Sunday dinner this year. And, you make your grocery list for that meal and that’s it. That’s what you plan, that’s what you pay for, and it’s that easy. We did chili* and cornbread this year, which is the easiest group dinner, plus, it’s perfect for winter.

Okay, rant over, but, seriously, consider that route next time you’re on a group getaway.

*Word to the wise: don’t pour a beer in the chili if anyone has Celiac disease…we were conscious of putting the cornbread on the side instead of making it a potpie crust on top, which was the original plan, but didn’t think about the gluten in the beer 🤦‍♀️


vowinckel, pa - mountain weekend packing list - packing list for mountain weekend


Your key to a mountain weekend packing list is keep it comfy and casual — I like to go for a slightly vintage-inspired, think 80s-90s, vibe. You’re probably not leaving the house to do much besides maybe go to the local mountainside bar, so you don’t need to bring your fancy clothes. But, you do want plenty of layers. I’ll bring slim turtlenecks and tees to layer with sweatshirts, flannel, and vests. I’ll go through several iterations of an outfit throughout the day. Maybe I’ll start with

Sweatshirt: My sister designs a sweatshirt for our Vowinckel trip each year and I’m wear this year’s in these photos. Definitely my favorite so far. But, of course, any old comfy sweatshirt will do.

Dressy Sweatshirt:  By “dressy sweatshirt,” I mean one that you’d wear in normal life, but perhaps it’s fleece on the inside. I have a few from Madewell that fit the bill.

Fair Isle Sweater: Because, seriously, what’s a winter weekend without fair isle?

Slim Turtleneck: I layer turtlenecks under everything from my sweatshirt to flannel to my pajama top.

Flannel Shirt: Sometimes you want to feel a little burly, like you’re a lumberjack who’s about to go chop down a tree. That’s where a flannel shirt comes in clutch.

Layering Tee: I’m wear my Boody long sleeve tee here and it’s one of my favorites for layering under sweaters or sweatshirts (I’m actually wearing it on its own as I type this!).

Quilted Vest: The annual Vowinckel weekend is when I wear my vests that sometimes seem a bit much for city wear, like this fair isle snowflake one I’m wearing here. Of course, a nice plaid or buffalo check is nice too. Go a little crazy here.

Leggings: While we’re at it, double up on leggings. I like to bring a super thin pair of leggings and then a thick ponte pair. This year, I actually wore my leather leggings over thin leggings most of the weekend.

SmartWool Socks: Keep those feet warm with the best of the best socks! Plus, they look cute scrunched up a bit over leggings.

Bean Boots: I’ve talked about my love of the L.L. Bean Bean Boots before, so, if you want more details on the exact pair I have, check out my L.L.Bean Maine Hunting Shoe Review here.

Casual Boots: I have my Bean Boots for walking through weather and then I wear these more casual Eastland boots if I’m not going to be trekking through mud or snow.

Cozy Pajamas: There’s nothing better than a pair of classic flannel button-up matching pajamas for sitting fireside.

Slippers: The Wicked Good L.L. Bean slippers are the cult classic, but I have a pair of (much cheaper) J.Crew flannel ones in a similar style that I swear by.

And, okay, fine, if you do want one *real clothes* outfit, here you go:

High-Waisted Jeans: I’d rather be in leggings, but some people like to put on jeans to feel like they’re can go in public. I get it.

Black Turtleneck: Cozy, but sophisticated. That’s what we’re all about, right?

Fur Vest: This says, “I might be wear real fur from the animal I shot out back, or I bought this for $80 at Zara. You’ll never know.” Plus, it dresses up the jeans, turtleneck, boots look.

So, there you go, a mountain weekend packing list. Hopefully this gets you through the next time you’re invited to get away into wilderness for a weekend and you’re like, “Okay…I live in the city…what do I wear when the closest person is several miles away and we’re not leaving the house for three days?” Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’ve now got it down to a curated science.


vowinckel, pa - mountain weekend packing list - packing list for mountain weekend

vowinckel, pa - mountain weekend packing list - packing list for mountain weekend


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