trail maps.for my students to look at in my classroom. Because of my school's demographic and socioeconomic level most of those kids will never see a mountain. But they love to hear about my trips when I come back from one. I always show them a slide show the next school day.
PINS???? what was I thinking???
If you ski Utah you can bring a new wife home from each resort!!!
Now trust me on this one, your kids will never forget and always talk about the ski trips to Utah when they get older!!
Recently (past 3-4 years) I have been buying pins and saving lift tickets from the new mountains I visit. Pins are fun, not always available though, when not,. I go with patches.
Lift tix are great because they usually have the date on them and you're already paying for it, so why not keep it?
Anytime I would go somewhere without my GF (she does ski, but doesn't go on the "guy" trips) I used to get her a coffee mug, pint glass or shot glass. Ufortunately she is a clutz and breaks them. If I go on any trips without her any time soon, she is getting a hoody.
Try to get at least one photo of your group in front of something distinctive about each place or trip. Examples: famous trail markers, distinctive lifts/trams, historic lodges, summits, the heli (I wish), the nightmare hotel, aid shack where the patrollers took Jimmy, neck-deep pow, sitting on rental car stuck in snow bank, etc.
I saw a funny video of a guy that went all over the world and danced the same stupid dance in exotic and mundane places. Maybe you could develop your own special "pose" to repeat in various exotic locales.
Don't collect snowballs. They don't last.
Sometimes I buy them, sometimes I chav them from a bar.
All of the above and then the ONE thing I make sure I bring back is............a rock. Sounds funny but Florida doesnt have rocks (lots of sand tho) so I get one and put em in the garden. I take my dremmel and mark em with Steamboat, Alta, Bretton Woods, Killington, Winter Park, ect ect.....let just say I have a lot of rocks that reminds me of sking and the places we've been to.
Just made my first trip west at age 44 and I brought back my lift tickets, trailmaps, and got a helmet sticker from the 4 resorts we skied. I'm going to use the trailmaps to decorate my ski tuning area in the basement and will pair up the lift tickets and a picture from that day of skiing to be framed for display somewhere in the house.