Backcountry gear

Backcountry ski gear needs to be durable and fit for purpose.

The following gear is recommended for ski touring and backcountry trips:

  • Backcountry skis, splitboards or snowshoes should be lightweight, durable and good for a wide variety of snow conditions

  • Backcountry boots and bindings - the major choice for is Free Heel (Telemark) or Alpine Touring setups.

  • Ski skins and ski crampons - for climbing slopes

  • Helmet - with adjustable ventilation. Check your goggles fit it.

  • Poles - with self arrest grip(s) if steep slopes will be skied

  • Avalanche kit - avalanche transceiver, snow shovel and avalanche probes

  • Pack - 20-30 litres is a good size for day trips. A tool compartment for probe and shovel, googles pocket and ski attachments are very handy.

  • Clothing - outer waterproof shell layer (jacket and pants) and multiple inner layers to regulate warmth

  • Gloves - warm pair for cold conditions and lighter pair for warmer conditions

  • Googles - magnetic interchangeable lenses are very handy

  • Sunglasses - snow rated

  • Headlamp - suitable for skiing at night

  • Ski straps - good for securing skis on packs, can be used for emergency repairs

  • Whistle - pea-less and loud

  • Navigation equipment - map, compass, GPS

  • Sun protection - sunscreen and lip balm

  • First aid kit - lightweight

  • Water bottle or bladder - drink tubes should be insulated to prevent freezing

  • Lighter or waterproof matches

  • Food - meals and high energy snacks

  • Mobile phone - keep the battery charged [more information]. A small powerbank is good to have too.

  • GPS and maps for navigation

  • Emergency shelter - bothy shelter, bivvy sac, lightweight tarp or emergency blanket

  • Repair tools - multi-tool or knife, duct tape, compact Pozidriv screw driver

Optional equipment

  • Personal locator beacon - for remote area trips with limited or no mobile reception [more information]

  • Binoculars - a light pair is handy for spotting people and terrain in the distance

  • Insulated sitting pad - handy for stops and emergency shelters

  • Smart watch - can be used to assist navigation, check altitude, track progress etc.

BCA Stash 30 pack
Black Diamond Transfer 3 snow shovel
Ortovox avalanche probe
Mammut Barryvox avalanche transceiver