Gear List—What to Bring and What to Leave Behind

Backcountry trips are intense regardless of your chosen movement method. They can be especially straining while using Nordic skis—some stretches of terrain will require you to carry the skis and traverse on foot. The high likelihood of this occurrence means you must pack lean and smart. You’ll need everything from emergency gear and avalanche equipment to layers of clothing and a compass.

Below, I have written everything I keep in my “essentials” pack. I add necessary equipment, such as extra food, water, and sleeping supplies, on longer, overnight trips, but every excursion to the backcountry requires these suplies.

  • Skis, boots, poles (obviously)
  • Compass
  • Thermos
  • Water bottle
  • Headlamp
  • Goggles (and/or sunglasses)
  • Small shovel
  • Ski shell
  • Ski scraper
  • Spare gloves
  • Probe
  • Beacon
  • GPS
  • Radio or walkie-talkie
  • Snacks
  • Clothing layers

With strategic placing, you should be able to fit everything into a pack for a day in the woods. Finding jackets and snowpants with easily-accessible pockets is always helpful, especially when storing small and important items like a compass or radio. If you have this equipment, you’re ready for a fun and safe day outside.