Backcountry skiing is the fastest growing genre of our sport. Having the right equipment is important; having the right amount of experience and education is vital. Listed below are 10 pieces of gear that I recommend for sidecountry skiing or short backcountry day trips. This is the gear I use know works well. Gear is never a substitute for avalanche education. Make sure you get educated before you head out into the backcountry. Learn where to take avy classes here: AIARE
If your thinking about heading outside the gate, even for a quick minute, you need a Beacon. The BCA Tracker is a simple, tried and true avalanche beacon that won’t break the bank but will save your life.
The second pivotal piece of equipment: the shovel. With the light weight and large head of the K2 Speed Shovel, you won’t notice it’s there…until you need to.
The third essential: a probe. It’s easy to fall into a false sense of comfort skiing sidecountry terrain, but avalanche danger is a real issue. Carry the Ortovox 240 Probe, and stay light and safe you there.
Even though its lift accessed sidecountry skiing, chances are you’re going to have to hike out at some point. With the Lange XT, you can charge the resort with all the functionality of an alpine boot, then pop her into walk mode for the hike back.
For a binding the doubles as a resort and backcountry binding, and has withstood the test of time, check out the Marker Duke. Redesigned for 2013 with a wider frame for greater stability and less issues with freezing up.
If you’re out slaying the sidecountry goods, you need the right sword. Surf through pillows, slash spine walls, and stay on top of the deep stuff with Volkl’s Shiro do everything ski.
Heading out you need something to keep all your gear in order, do so with the DaKine Heli Pro backpack. It’s low volume enough to not hinder your resort skiing, but still has a home for all your essential safety equipment.
Keep things bright and fresh with the Scott Team Issue ski pole while you’re out getting steep and deep.
Want style and functionality wrapped up in one brain bucket? The Smith Vantage is the coolest helmet to hike, based on both temperature and steeze factor.
When stepping outside the security blanket of the resort, keeping your body safe becomes more important than ever. Keep your spine safe on that next huck or straight line with the Poc IPS back protector.
Have fun out there and enjoy the deep!