This guide is here to help you get started with backcountry safety essentials

Does the idea of packed runs ruin your day before you’ve even booted up? Are you over waiting for hours in canyon traffic because everyone and their mom is a powder hound these days? Or maybe you’re finally ready to give your knees a break from all the chowder riding over-crowded resorts can bring. Either way, the backcountry has been calling and it’s time to start building your kit and get educated on how to stay safe so you can get out there and see what everyone’s been hootin’ and hollerin’ about all these years. Because this is the next level of skiing, there are additional steps to getting out there that are crucial for a great and safe time. We’ll walk you through the gear in this article, but getting educated is the absolute first step. Check out for a list of groups offering avalanche safety classes in your neck of the woods. The term “backcountry” has become a catch all to discuss any terrain outside of ski resort boundary lines and ski patrol maintenance. On any given day you could ski various types of terrain, between dropping cliffs below the lift line, boot packing fantasy ridge, skiing the Unitas in search of untouched, pristine powder, and solitude. This guide is intended to break it all down for you, a new backcountry adventurer, to make your decision buying process just a tad smoother and even more educational than just a product description. At we believe that gear is just the facilitator and you are the experience maker, so grab your buds, take an avalanche class and get out there because days are meant for exploring, not scrolling.

Check out some of our gear recommendations and pro tips below

Avalanches can happen to anyone, at anytime, inbounds or in the backcountry. Heaven forbid you or a friend will ever get buried in a slide, but in preparation of such an event, always have a beacon or transceiver, a probe, a shovel, and the knowledge and skill sets to use these pieces of equipment properly and efficiently. Practice will always make perfect, and practicing with your touring buddies will make trusting your partners more sustainable. There are more dangers than just avalanches in the backcountry, and you alone are responsible for acquiring the appropriate knowledge to stay safe and make it home after every mission. Before acquiring all the gear you’ll need to start your backcountry adventure, there are a few things to consider: price, frequency of use and ski style.

A ski pack will carry your avalanche safety essentials.

Ski packs vary by feature and weight, as a novice backcountry rider we’d recommend going with a lightweight pack that will carry the essentials for a day trip plus emergency essentials. Any pack between 20 and 32 liters will serve as a great starting point and later serve as your short trip pack if you decide to continue into the vortex of backcountry skiing.


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