How to pack like an Olympic Super Fan for the Winter Olympics — Ultimate Guide to PyeongChang

Ken Hanscom
Feb 5, 2018 · 5 min read

Months and even years of anticipation went into your planning and everything is done — your flight is booked, your rental car and hotel room are confirmed, your WiFi service has been reserved, your itinerary is scheduled and you have lined up your PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games event tickets. The only thing left is your empty suitcase and what to put in it. With Winter Olympics 2018 expected to be one of the coldest ever, what you pack can make a huge difference in your ability to enjoy this experience. Between the cold temperatures and the wind factor, it is critical you are well prepared with proper clothing and accessories.

Keep in mind, my packing trips are based on my actual experience since the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games will be my third having attended both London 2012 and Rio 2016. Given that I go for approximately 3 weeks each time, in order to make the luggage manageable, I pack for 8-day increments which means for 21-day trips, I need to do laundry twice. Another important factor in my packing is that because of my million miler status on United Airlines, I do not have to limit myself to a single piece of luggage or weight. I end up with 4 pieces of luggage — 2 suitcases, and 2 backpacks.

(Public service announcement: Team USA will not have a merchandise store at the Team USA House this Olympic Winter Games. Make sure to get all of your Team USA fan gear before you leave!)

Here is my strategy and approach for packing for PyeongChang 2018.

#1. Focus on clothing first.

You should start by understanding the weather in South Korea. If you are staying in the mountain cluster area of PyeongChang, then you should expect conditions to be very, very cold. How cold? Highs could be in low 20s (Fahrenheit) and lows in the single digits, before wind chill — and PyeongChang is notoriously windy in the evenings. If you are staying in Gangneung, the coastal cluster then you can expected slight more moderate temperatures, 10–15 degrees warmer than PyeongChang.

Still, the most important concept in packing will be multiple layers to stay warm enough when you are outside and exposed to the cold, but to be able to cool down once you have warmed up inside. With that, here’s my clothing packing list:

Clothes list:

  • 3 - Under Armour Cold Gear base layer lowers
  • 3 - Under Armour Cold Gear base upper
  • 1 - Duofold Varitherm heavyweight base layer lower (1 pair)
  • 1 - North Face Heatseeker Boots
  • 1 - North Face snow pants
  • 1- North Face insulated snow pants
  • 1 - North Face PyeongChang 2018 fleece
  • 1 - North Face Thermoball jacket
  • 1 - North Face PyeongChang 2018 jacket
  • 1 - North Face Inlux insulated jacket
  • 1- Wind breaking balaclava for super cold nights (Opening & Closing Ceremonies)
  • 3 - Pairs jeans
  • 7 - shirts (including 4 Team USA)
  • 1 - Nike Team USA running shoes
  • 9 - pairs socks, multiple thicknesses
  • 2 - pairs snow goggles (1 clear for night, 1 pair tinted for day)
  • 1 - pair North Face Kootenai Mittens
  • 1 - pair North Face eTip gloves
  • Running / workout clothes
  • Various Team USA hats, beanies, scarfs, pins, etc.
  • 1 - box Quest Nutrition Protein Bars
  • 1 - box Hothand hand warmers
  • 1 - box Hothand feet warmes

All of this fit in less than 1 suitcase:

#2. Take care of the technology.

Next up, is an important part of staying connected, working during, and capturing the experience of the Olympic Winter Games, so here is my technology packing list. Most of this, since there are Lithium-Ion batteries must go in either my computer backpack or my Canon camera backpack.

Technology List:

  • 3 - Universal Power Adapters
  • 2 - Korea Power Adapters
  • 1 - Power Strip. This is important as often times you may not find enough of outlets in your accommodations.
  • 1 - USB Hub. Ability to connect 6 devices at one for charging and connectivity.
  • Apple Macbook Air 13"
  • Apple iPad
  • Amazon DOT — Alexa is my alarm clock on the road.
  • Portable Hard Drive — for storing all the photos and videos captured on trip in addition to cloud storage.
  • Portable power — batteries drain quick in the cold, so I stock 2 20000Mah bricks and 2 5000Mah cylinders to get me through the day.
  • VaVa Dash Camera — I’ll be driving over 1,000 miles during the Winter Games and no better way to capture impromptu moments while in the car.
  • Canon equipment — 80D camera, with 4 lenses — EF 17–40mm, EF 24–105mm, EF 70–200mm, and a 50mm prime lens. All fit the spectator requirements for entry to venues.
  • GoPro Hero
  • A ton of cables. They seem to grow legs and walk away way too often.
  • Team USA mini backpack for the daytime
  • Team USA lanyard and ticket holder for event tickets
  • Car USB charger that has two USB outputs

#3. All the other stuff you need.

This list are the items that I carry with me on all my international trips and are just a good list of things that will help in almost any unforeseen situation. You may want to consider them:

  • Photo copies of passport and all credits cards.
  • Photo copies of recent utility bills addressed to your house. This can be useful to help prove residence and other details in case of losing passport and other identification.
  • Paper copies of all travel itineraries: flights, hotels, SIM card purchases, ticket purchases, etc.
  • Vitamins and a full box of Emergen-C
  • Melatonin to help with jet lag
  • Protein bars & Cliff bars, you never know when you’ll get delayed, or be somewhere longer than what you expect.
  • Plastic forks and spoons, which can be difficult to find in South Korea.
  • Several bags of Team USA pins to be used for trading.

Now with all of your clothing and gear packed, you are ready to head to PyeongChang 2018 like a superfan.

(From Ken Hanscom’s, Ultimate Guide to PyeongChang 2018 which includes this and other helpful articles for your Olympics Winter Games planning: http://bit.ly/2Dai8Qg) . All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without proper attribution and/or a link to the full article.)

About Ken Hanscom:
Ken Hanscom is a veteran-fan of the Olympic Games and the recognized expert in ticketing, corporate sponsorships, traveling to and experiencing the Olympic Games. In his role as COO at InviteManager, during Rio 2016, Ken worked directly with the United States Olympic Committee, NBC Universal, Anheuser Busch, & Cartan Tours the authorized ticket reseller for 23 countries across the globe on their ticketing & corporate hospitality programs. While in Rio, Ken attended 30 events while guest blogging for the International Business Times, writing for USA Today, The Post Game, and appearing on ESPN Radio. For more information and interviews with Ken on the Olympics and the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 games, connect via Twitter or directly at kenh@ticketmanger.com.

Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang. Covers the latest Olympics business, sponsorship, ticketing, travel, and fan news in the lead up to and during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

Ken Hanscom

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Your guide to everything Tokyo 2020. Olympics planning, tickets, sponsorship, & experiences. COO TicketManger: kenh@ticketmanager.com

Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang. Covers the latest Olympics business, sponsorship, ticketing, travel, and fan news in the lead up to and during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games.