I get asked all of the time about what I bring into the backcountry for ski trips. This post is a comprehensive gear list of what I take with me into the back country every time I go out.
Helly Hansen Warm Run Long Sleeve Merino/Poly Hybrid Top.
Helly Hansen Warm 3/4 Tights, Merino/Poly Hybrid–3/4 do not interfere with ski boots/socks
Lululemon Active Underwear. Best I’ve tried. Legs are long enough and do not ride up and chafe.
Smartwool PHD Light Cushion Compression Merino Ski Socks–Amazing–Use these socks.
Helly Hansen Odin Series Guide pant–Softshell, get out of your Gore-Tex Paradigm and wear soft-shell pants, breather better and more comfortable. I cringe when I see people wearing shell pants on bare skin, nasty.
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Soft shell jacket—I can wear this on the ups and downs, 95% wind resistance, quiet (no crunchy hard shell noise) and BREATHABLE—Real world active breathability not hardshell barely breathable.
Helly Hansen Odin Guide Jacket—Hardshell used for super wet conditions (West Coast!) This is the finest hardshell out there. Supple stretchy material and top notch breathability for what it is.
Helly Hansen Odin Isolator PrimaLoft Jacket—Insulation
Black Diamond Gore-Tex Gloves, Leather palm.
La Sportiva Spectre Alpine Touring Boots—Widened Toe Box, Heat molded Montrail Footbed—Get these boots.
Outdoor Research Mt Baker Mitts and Primaloft Liners—A must have for every ski tourer. I have issues with cold hands all of the time and these are go-to hand ovens.
Thin Merino Beanie (Up)
Thicker Merino Beanie (Down)
Buff Merino Neck Gator
Outdoor Research Folding Hat.
G3 Empire 115 Skis and Onyx Bindings (no Brakes)–I like wide skis (these are 115 mm underfoot), I usually break trail and this wide, reverse camber powder ski is the way to go for climbing traction and floatation. Skis everything with ease. Lots of fun for when the snow gets deep and you have a heavy pack on.
G3 Alpinist Climbing Skins and Twin tip connectors—The skin glue is a miracle of modern science.
G3 Bone Saw for snow study
10 X Loupe for snow study
Garmin GPSMap 64s with Topo Maps
Suunto Vector Altimeter Watch
1 Litre Water Bottle
0.5 Litre Vacuum Flask (Green Tea only)
Cough Medicine Flask
Oakley AirBrake Googles, Yellow lens, works in all light conditions.
Julbo Bivouac Glacier Mountaineering sunglasses—PhotoChromatic and Polarized. These things are amazing. CAt 4 darkness, not even legal to drive with!
BCA Tracker 3 Avalanche Transceiver—The smallest, smartest easiest to use on the market.
Black Diamond Shovel
BCA Avalanche Probe, 320 cm
Emergency Lightweight Bivy Sack
Tool Kit with: Satellite Beacon, Binding tools, multitool, fire starter, stainless wire, binding mount screw, ski strap and other odds and ends
First Aid Kit, with extremely strong tape (can peel off your skin)–only thing that stays put for hot spots, high strength pain killers, bandages, petroleum jelly (prevents crack chafing!), sunscreen, lip balm, gold bond cream.
Sog Automatic Knife
Back Pack: ABS Avalanche Airbag with Dakine 40 L bag. 40 L is minimum size for me as I can’t stand it when the pack is stuffed full and you cannot get anything out without emptying it first.
Net bag for food (keeps it together in the pack)
I did not include food on this list, but I usually bring sandwiches or wraps, pepperoni and chocolate.
Also not included but are additions depending on terrain are: Crevasse rescue gear, ropes, harness, pickets, ice axe, helmet ect….
Total pack Weight (excluding food): ~24 lbs.