Backcountry Skiing Gear Checklist

Recommended Gear Checklist for Backcountry Ski Touring Trips.
by Updated March 21, 2020

Below you'll find a backcountry ski gear checklist for some of the most common gear you'll want to have in your backcountry arsenal when setting out on various backcountry ski tours. Keep in mind, the clothing and equipment you decide to bring on a tour will ultimately depend on the type of ski touring you're embarking on, as well as the (ski) weather conditions, the ski tour location (distance) and the duration of your ski touring adventure.
Essential Gear Checklist for Backcountry Skiing:



  • ☐  Skis (lightweight skis & alpine touring bindings / telemark skis / splitboard)
  • ☐  Poles
  • ☐  Skins
  • ☐  Ski Boots (alpine touring ski boots)
  • ☐  Helmet
  • ☐  Goggles (sunglasses)
  • ☐  Backpack (35+ liters - Mammut Trion Pro)



  • ☐  Jacket (soft or hard shell)
  • ☐  Down puffy jacket (light weight)
  • ☐  Pants (ski touring pants)
  • ☐  Gloves (at least 2 to 3 pairs, more is always better)
  • ☐  Liner gloves
  • ☐  Mittens (or just Mitten shells) (or both) depending on weather
  • ☐  Hat (warm)
  • ☐  Helmet hat liner / skull cap (merino wool)
  • ☐  Buff (merino wool, or regular)
  • ☐  Facemask (Seirus Neofleece combo)
  • ☐  Socks - ski socks (merino wool)
  • ☐  Extra pair of light weight ski socks (wrap them in a ziploc bag)
  • ☐  Baselayer top (Rab Meco or merino wool)
  • ☐  Midlayer (Patagonia R1 fleece hoody, BD Access LT Hybrid Hoody, etc.)
  • ☐  Underwear (merino wool)
  • ☐  Long underwear bottoms (merino wool) (optional)
  • ☐  Super Warm down jacket (bivvy jacket for frigid temps) (Mountain Equipment K7) (optional)
  • ☐  Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack (large/x-large) for putting wet gloves or layers into (optional)



  • ☐  Avalanche Transceiver / Beacon w/ working (Duracell) Batteries
  • ☐  Shovel
  • ☐  Probe
  • ☐  Avalung
  • ☐  Air bag backpack
  • ☐  Crampons (depending on terrain)
  • ☐  Ice Axe (depending on terrain)
  • ☐  Ski Mountaineering GEAR (harness, rope, caribiners, etc.) (terrain dependent)



  • ☐  Cell phone (preferably a Smartphone w/ a GPS app installed)
  • ☐  Emergency Locator / Satellite Communicator (Garmin inReach, Spot Device)
  • ☐  Battery backup to charge smartphone and/or rechargeable Headlamp
  • ☐  GPS device (secondary device in case smartphone stops working)
  • ☐  Extra batteries (Duracell) (for GPS device and/ or Headlamp)
  • ☐  Map (topo map of area)
  • ☐  Compass (a real one and also know how to use Compass app on your mobile phone)
  • ☐  Print out on paper: Trail information / route plan / GPS coords (of parking area / summit / ski zone / etc.)  ALWAYS TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING, PARKING and WHEN YOU PLAN TO BE BACK HOME.
  • ☐  Pencil / paper
  • ☐  Emergency phone numbers (rangers, park service, resort, local area, etc.)



  • ☐  Headlamp
  • ☐  Lighter (mini BIC) and/ or waterproof matches / flint + steel firestarter
  • ☐  Knife
  • ☐  First-aid kit
  • ☐  SOL Emergency bivvy
  • ☐  Whistle
  • ☐  Mini Stove / Pot / Fuel (MSR Pocketrocket 2 Mini Stove Kit)
  • ☐  SAM Medical Splint / Roll (optional)



  • ☐  Viole Ski Straps (2-4 rubber ski straps)
  • ☐  Paracord
  • ☐  Multi-tool



  • ☐  FOOD / SNACKS (Trail mix, Honey Stingers, Peanut M&M's, Snickers, Gels, etc.)
  • ☐  Bag for food (waterproof)
  • ☐  Water (hot), Gatorade
  • ☐  32oz. Nalgene bottle w/ Insulated Carrier (and/ or Collapsible bottle or Camelbak)
  • ☐  16oz. Thermos Insulated Stainless (for hot chocolate, coffee, or soup)
  • ☐  Spork
  • ☐  Napkin / paper towel
  • ☐  Plastic bag for garbage (small grocery bag) 



  • ☐  Tissues / toilet paper
  • ☐  Hand sanitizer (optional)



  • ☐  Hand warmers / Foot warmers  (at least 2)
  • ☐  Boot Glove (optional)



  • ☐  Video camera w/ Chest strap or Helmet attachment (GoPro, Sony Action cam, etc.) 
  • ☐  Charge camera battery (don't forget Micro SD card or extra battery!)
  • ☐  Point and shoot camera (optional)



  • ☐  Change of Clothes / Socks
  • ☐  Food / Snacks / Munchies
  • ☐  Gatorade / Water
  • ☐  Favorite Après ski Beer(s)
  • ☐  Extra set of Car Keys (give extra set to ski partner, or hide a key, or leave in car just in case you need to break a window)



ALWAYS let someone know where you will be going, where you will park and when you expect to return. YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON SOMEONE ELSE KNOWING WHERE YOU WILL BE. 

DO NOT RELY ON TECHNOLOGY: Do not depend solely on electronic technology (like an iPhone) in the backcountry, especially in cold weather.  Batteries can shut down quickly in cold temperatures. Cell phone coverage is often spotty or non-existent and GPS signals can be poor if tree cover is heavy. 

ALWAYS carry a compass and a map of the area you are entering – and know how to use them.


  1. K2 Shuksan Skis (174cm) with Dynafit Radical bindings
  2. K2 Mohair skins
  3. Voile Ski Straps 9 Through 25 inches
  4. Backcountry Access Tracker 2 Avalanche Beacon
  5. Leki Aergon 2 Condor Backcountry Ski Poles
  6. Grivel Air Tech Evo Ice Axe w/ Easy Slider (58cm) with Protogear insulated handle
  7. Black Diamond Super Tour Probe 265
  8. Dynafit ski crampons (90mm)
  9. K2 Rescue Shovel Plus
  10. Salomon Custom Air Helmet
  11. Oakley E Frame Snow Goggles with clear lense
  12. Original Buff from
  13. Seirus Neofleece Combo Scarf face mask
  14. EMS beanie hat
  15. Lightweight hat (extra / just in case)
  16. Patagonia thin liner hat (for helmet or hat)
  17. Outdoor Research Alti Mitts
  18. Outdoor Reasearch Mt Baker Shell Mitts
  19. Hestra Guide gloves
  20. Kinco Lined Grain Pigskin Gloves
  21. Black Diamond Mont Blanc Liner Glove
  22. SmartWool Ski Socks
  23. Darn Tough Padded Ultralight Ski Socks (extra pair / just in case)
  24. Flylow Quantum Jacket (hardshell)
  25. Mountain Hardwear Hooded Desna Jacket
  26. Marmot DriClime Windshirt Jacket
  27. Rab Meco 165 Long Sleeve Zip Tee
  28. Mont Bell UL Hooded Down Jacket (recommend: Mountain Hardwear Hooded Ghost Whisperer)
  29. Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Ski Pants
  30. Dynafit Mercury AT Ski Boots with Intuition Pro Tour Liners
  31. Grivel G12 Crampons - Cramp-O-Matic
  32. Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottle (32oz) with Nalgene Bottle Carrier
  33. Nissan Stainless Steel insulated thermos (16oz)
  34. Map and Compass
  35. Garmin GPSMAP 62s
  36. Outdoor Research Dry Bag (for food) with Sea to Summit Spork
  37. Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack (small for repair kit, batteries, headlamp, etc.)
  38. MSR PocketRocket stove with MSR fuel canister (4oz or 8oz)
  39. TOAKS Titanium 600ml Pot
  40. Waterproof Matches
  41. Kleenex Tissues pocket pack
  42. First Aid Kit
  43. Emergency Blanket





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