Backcountry Skiing Checklist

  • Skis, snowboard or splitboard
  • Boots
  • Poles
  • Goggles
  • Helmet
  • Climbing skins
  • Ski wax, skin wax, waxing tools
  • Crampons/ski crampons
  • Pack
  • Avalanche transceiver
  • Snow shovel
  • Probe
  • Slope meter and snowpit analysis kit
  • Avalung or avalanche airbag survival pack
  • Multifunction watch (with altimeter)
  • Whistle/signaling mirror
  • Ice axe/Whippet self-arresting ski pole
  • Route description or guidebook

The Ten Essentials -- For safety, survival and basic comfort

1. Navigation

  • Map (with protective case)
  • Compass
  • GPS (optional)

2. Sun protection

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses, goggles or glacier glasses

3. Insulation

  • Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat (see Clothing)

4. Illumination

  • Headlamp or flashlight (plus spare)
  • Extra batteries (kept near body when cold)

5. First-aid supplies

  • First-aid kit (see our First-Aid Checklist)

6. Fire

  • Matches or lighter
  • Waterproof container
  • Fire starter (for emergency survival fire)

7. Repair kit and tools

  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Duct tape or other repair items

8. Nutrition

  • Extra day's supply of food

9. Hydration

  • Water bottles or hydration system (insulated)
  • Water treatment system

10. Emergency shelter

  • Tent, tarp, bivy or reflective blanket

See our Mountaineering Checklist for other gear options.

Clothing:

  • Wicking base layers (synthetic or wool)
  • Fleece jacket or vest (insulating mid layer)
  • Fleece pants
  • Insulating jacket (down or poly-fill)
  • Waterproof/breathable jacket (or soft shell)
  • Waterproof/breathable pants or bibs (or soft shell)
  • Insulating hat, cap, balaclava or headband
  • Bandana or Buff (neck or face gaiter)
  • Sun-shielding cap or hat for bright days
  • Gloves, mittens and/or overmittens
  • Light gloves (for high-energy activity)
  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Liner socks
  • Gaiters

Personal Items:

  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitation trowel and/or WAG Bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Quick-dry towel

Other Options:

  • Lunch
  • Energy food (bars, gels, chews, trail mix)
  • Energy beverages or drink mixes
  • Vacuum bottle (for hot drinks)
  • Insulated sitting pad
  • Handwarmer/footwarmer packets
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Permits/passes
  • Two-way radios
  • Personal locator beacon
  • Cell phone or satellite messenger
  • Credit card/cash/photo ID
  • Notebook and pen or pencil
  • Music player with headphones
  • Post-activity snacks, water and beverages
  • Towel and post-activity change of clothing
  • Trip itinerary left with friend + under car seat

 

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