camping-BASED SKI TOURING GEAR LIST
You need to have everything on the list!
I can provide safety gear such as shovel, probe, transceiver and climbing gear. Let me know as soon as possible if you need any of this.
I provide transceiver rentals for $80/week, all other equipment I provide free of charge.
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVERS – IMPORTANT
Your transceiver has to have been manufactured since 2001 (so it meets EN 300718 standard). It is best if your transceiver is less than 10 years old.
We only allow modern digital transceivers on our trips.
Modern transceivers can have compatibility issues with transceivers manufactured before 2001 and any analog transceivers even if they work on the same frequency.
The manufacturer should have tested your transceiver within the last 3 years. If this hasn’t been done you must have tested your transceiver yourself for distance in both transmit and receive modes – it needs to have a signal at a minimum of 30 metres.
No "analog" transceivers are allowed. We also do not allow some older style digital transceivers.
The following transceivers are not allowed on this trip:
- Ortovox: F1, M1, M2, X1, D3, Patroller, Patroller Digital
- SOS: all types
- Pieps: Vector (recalled) and Freeride
- Others: any transceiver manufactured before 2001
I can recommend the Pieps DSP Sport or Pieps DSP Pro as an excellent transceiver with "marking" functionality.
There are many other transceivers available. If they are sold by MEC they are acceptable. However, I do not have extensive experience in some other types so will not be able to help you learn about them as well as the recommendations above.
Let me know if you would like more information on transceivers.
If your transceiver does not meet the specifications above you will not be going skiing!
COMMON EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS
Issues we see with ski equipment include the following. Some of these problems might end your ski week or at least make life very frustrating! Make sure you have these things sorted out before the trip.
- Slow skis/boards. Make sure your bases are smooth and waxed! A tune-up for your skis/board is well worth the investment.
- Inappropriate backcountry skis/boards: too heavy, too narrow or skis/boards that are not backcountry specific. Try to keep your set-up as light as possible. Ski width under your foot should be in the 95-105 mm range, give or take. Narrower than this and you may have issues in deep snow or crust conditions, wider than this is often too heavy.
- Old skins. Make sure your skin glue is in good shape and get them fixed if the glue is dirty, in clumps, or the glue has worn off at the edges or ends of the skins. If your skins don't work you can't go skiing. Some shops can replenish or re-glue skins for you or you can do it yourself. Here are a couple of tutorials: Replenishing Re-glueing
- Boot problems. Ill-fitting boots will give you blisters. And all boots have bolts and rivets that may come loose. If your boots are brand new or well-worn make sure fittings are tight and in good shape. Bring specific tools to tighten the bolts/screws on your boots and check them a couple of times over the week.
- Binding problems. Beware of the following bindings:
Make sure all ski gear is in good shape and you are familiar with its use.
- AT touring skis or telemark skis or splitboard
- Understand that telemark and snowboard bindings may not be releasable and greatly increase your risk if caught in an avalanche.
- No snowboard/snowshoe combinations, splitboards only.
- Ski crampons
- Boots: If they are new ensure you have the fit worked out! I recommend a professional boot fitting.
- Digital avalanche transceiver. See recommendations above.
- Avalanche shovel
- Avalanche probe (see a G3 probe recall here)
- Skin wax: I find a simple candle works fine, or you can buy the more expensive wax marketed for this purpose.
- Water bottle and/or thermos
- Small headlamp
- Small personal first aid/repair kit: band aids, blister kit, headache pills, hand and toe warmers, extra batteries for transceiver and headlamp, duct tape, pocket knife, special binding and boot parts.
- Toilet kit: toilet paper, baggie for used paper, hand sanitizer
- Large backpack. All your gear and clothing must fit in your pack. Nothing should be strapped to the outside. For shorter trips a pack in the 60+L range should work. For longer ski traverses a larger pack maybe needed (70+L capacity).
- Small backpack (optional). A smaller day pack (~30L capacity) that rolls up into a small package may be advantageous for some trips where day climbs up peaks will be made.
- Optional safety gear: Avalung, balloon pack. Some airlines will not allow the canisters for balloon packs on the aircraft. Please check with your airline well before you arrive at the airport. Click here for info on how you can fill your own canisters when you get to Calgary.
climbing gear - only required for some trips, please ask if unsure
I can supply this equipment if required
- Helmet (ski or climbing rated)
- Ice axe
- Foot crampons
- 3 locking carabiners
- 2 non-locking carabiners
- 2 prussiks - 5 meters long, 6 mm diameter
- 1 - 120 cm long sewn sling
- Petzl Microtraction (if you have one)
- Petzl Tibloc (if you have one)
- Several thin layers are better than fewer thicker layers. No cotton!
- Long underwear tops and bottoms - wool or synthetic
- Ski pants – softshell or light hardshell pants both are fine
- Thin windbreaker/softshell - for walking uphill in warm conditions
- Warmer softshell jacket – I prefer a hooded jacket but it’s not absolutely necessary
- Shell jacket – to keep the wet out, Gore-tex or similar seems best
- Shell pants – to keep the wet out, Gore-tex or similar seems best
- Down or synthetic jacket - this should be quite warm
- Lightweight gloves – for walking uphill in warm conditions
- Warm gloves – 2 pairs (mittens are optional but recommended if you get cold hands)
- Hand warmers if you get cold hands
- Balaclava or neck tube – essential for cold conditions
- Sun hat
- Camp booties
- Sleeping bag rated to about -15 C
- Mattress (Therm-A-Rest or similar)
- Bowl and spoon
- Insulated mug with a lid
- Ear plugs
- Reading material (optional)
The guide(s) will provide:
- Cook stove, pots and fuel
- Group first aid kit
- Group repair kit
- Emergency toboggan/shelter
- Radio and/or satellite phone and/or SPOT transmitter
- GPS, compass, map etc
- Good looks and bright personalities