Ski gear list


This is a gear list I use for an average day of backcountry skiing. Some of it is individual, some of it group. Light is great, depending on how much risk you are willing to take. As Art so much likes to say, "Fast and light, cold at night."
Sub in snowshoes if needed (and then add gaitors).

Ski stuff

  • Skis
  • Boots
  • Poles
  • Skins + skin wax
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Repair kit w/screwdriver, knife, tape, pole sleeve or splint, couple screws, spare cable, skin wax, something to bend with (pliers or tiny cresent wrench)- this depends on how far you are going, how far you're willing to ski one-legged, etc.

Avy stuff

  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Saw marked w/inches
  • Avy beacon
  • Inclinometer (some compasses have this feature)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Thermometer
  • Notebook w/pencil

Other basic gear

  • Pack
  • Camp chair/foam pad (optional if you are willing to sit on your pack)
  • One or two water bottles (w/lukewarm liquid, in an insulated sleeve, and/or carried upside-down so the threads don't freeze)
  • Thermos of your favorite hot libations
  • First aid kit, including handwarmer heat packs AND MATCHES


  • Pants, some sort of stretch-woven (and/or goretex shell with side zips for venting)
  • Wool uns, or longies if it's really cold
  • Light zip t-neck top, either wool or Capilene
  • Medium pile jacket
  • Vest if it's really cold
  • Socks (whatever fits in the boots, but knee-high to prevent seam rub)
  • Jacket- stretch-woven and/or goretex shell
  • Puffy insulating jacket
  • Hat and neck gaitor (unless your jackets have hoods)
  • Gloves/mittens- I like shells with multiple liner sets


  • Map and compass
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and lip stuff
  • Camera
  • Bivy bag or space blanket
  • Baby headlamp
  • Radios?