Thu, 10 Dec 2020

Tailgating Tips for the SkiBig3 Resorts

By Michelle Brazier

Canadians have many things to be proud of, most especially our capacity and enthusiasm for cold weather activities.  This season, SkiBig3 encourages you and members of your household to embrace your love of the outdoors and winter by choosing to dine Canadian al fresco at campfire spots at the ski resorts or a tailgate picnic at your car.  Here are some essential tips for a safe and enjoyable outdoor dining experience at the SkiBig3 resorts this winter. Please remember, tailgate time cannot turn into a social gathering, until further notice you must only picnic with immediate household members. Remember to always maintain physical distancing with others who may be picnicking near-by.

Tailgate picnic at Mt. Norquay. Photo by Will Lambert. Photo by Will Lambert.

1. Make a Plan

Know what to expect.  In advance of your trip, consult the website of the resort you plan to visit to get a better idea of what is available to guests. This is also a great time to get caught up on the latest safety protocols and procedures.  Come prepared for a self-sufficient day spent outside, with limited access to indoor spaces.  Check out these tips for how to enjoy the SkiBig3 resorts during Covid-19.

2. Choose Your Food

Whether you’re having a tailgate picnic or bringing your own backpack lunch, you want to look forward to your meal, so make it delicious yet easy. Familiarize yourself with local grocery stores in Canmore, Banff, or Lake Louise and investigate which local eateries are open and what they have to offer. If possible, prepare your food the night before and organize it into user-friendly containers. Bring simple kitchenware and reusable cutlery and dishes. Alternatively, you can pick up grab-and-go options or local supplies en route to the hill. Remember to stick to your household-cohort when meal-planning and sharing food.

Tailgate picnic groceries and meals. Photo by Will Lambert. Photo by Will Lambert.

3. Pack Smart

To keep your food at its best temperature, transport your meals in coolers and thermoses - vessels that will be sure to keep your cold food cold, and your hot food hot.  When eating outside in the winter, it’s comforting to have something warm to eat or drink, so bring a camp stove to boil water for soup or hot chocolate.  Similarly, to keep you at your best temperature, pack blankets and insulated down or synthetic jackets in addition to your ski or snowboard outerwear.

4. Leave No Trace

Tailgate picnic at Mt. Norquay parking lot. Photo by Will Lambert. Photo by Will Lambert.

Remember that Mt Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Banff Sunshine are all situated within Banff National Park. We share it with each other as well as a variety of species of wildlife. As such, the area is protected by law for public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment, so please do your part to help maintain it for future generations. You are responsible for everything you bring with you. If you pack it in, pack it out. When possible, please use designated garbage bins to dispose of waste properly, being mindful that anything left out could be detrimental to wildlife.

5. Prep Your Checklist

Much like skiing and snowboarding, forgetting a couple of simple items can have a big impact on the success and enjoyment of your day. Here's a sample checklist of what to bring for your next tailgate picnic.

  • Hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes
  • Masks
  • Water
  • Paper towel
  • Plates, utensils, and cups (preferably reusable)
  • Resealable bags and reusable containers
  • Garbage bags
  • Large plastic tub for dirty dishes
  • Camp chairs
  • Camp stove
  • Blankets
  • Hand and toe warmers
  • Small foldable table


The success of this ski and snowboard season depends on how we choose to manage ourselves while engaging in our favourite snow activities.  A tailgate picnic or backpack lunch is a safe and entertaining way to enjoy your time at the ski resort.  To help ensure a long and healthy season, please be respectful to other users, maintain a 2-metre distance from people, and remember to have fun with it.  Be the reason we keep our season!


While operations look a little different this winter, you can count on finding amazing ski terrain across 8,000 acres and 3 mountain resorts. SkiBig3 has always been known for its wide-open, uncrowded slopes and this year is no different. Being active and outside is guaranteed to provide some respite during this challenging time. This winter could be the best time to experience all the outdoor adventures that make this place special. Mid-week is the ideal time to visit to enjoy lots of extra space.

In the spirit of keeping things flexible, SkiBig3 is committed to keeping you updated with ongoing health & safety information. Should you need to cancel or change your plans this winter our no-questions-asked cancellation policy allows for free changes and cancellations until 3-days prior to arrival. To book your winter ski vacation, call 1-844-754-2443 to speak with a reservation specialist or go online to access to some exceptional Ski & Stay Package deals and Short Stay Escapes.