For ski enthusiasts, this is the most wonderful time of the year. While many of us are buried under blankets, sitting by the fire and clutching a cup of coffee, backcountry skiers are hitting the slopes and exploring the wilderness this winter. If you have been backcountry skiing before, you probably know how to pack your sack, but if this is your first time, we’ve shared some tips from an article by Joe Jackson for OutsideOnline.com to make you have everything you’ll need before setting out.
- Keep Your Safety Tools Separate and Easy to Access: Jackson says this is a fundamental rule because “you’ll need quick access to your shovel and probe in an avalanche rescue.” A backcountry pack like the Mammut Nirvana Ride, which features a dedicated safety-tool pocket, is recommended. Jackson notes it’s also helpful to keep safety gear handy for diagnostic use, which helps skiers avoid avalanches.
- Compartmentalize: Keep the main pocket of the backcountry pack organized, Jackson writes, to avoid having to fumble through a messy bag on a cold, windy ridge. Looking for gear also slows you down on the skin track. Ziploc bags can help keep things – your lunch, first aid kit, etc. – orderly and dry.
- Pack with Your Objective in Mind: Choose only what you need for that given day. Bring a radio if your skiing in spots where you lose line of sight, bring a bivy sack, sleeping bag, and extra food for long trips, and extra water if you’re skiing in the spring when temperatures may rise.
To read the rest of the packing tips, click here to read Jackson’s article in its entirety.
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