Spring Backcountry Skiing Tip No 7 — bring your essentials!

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 19, 2005      

Spring Backcountry Skiing Tip #7:

While preparing for spring ski touring, it’s easy to become complacent and begin leaving essential items at home. It’s warm out, the days are long, you want a lightweight pack… But some things should be as part of your pack as its very fabric. If you ski tour near forested terrain one such is a small “survival” kit that includes a butane lighter, waterproof matches, and perhaps a bit of “kindling” material that makes it easy to start a fire.

Outdoor stores sell various kindling such as fire “paste” in a tube and small flammable bricks. Go for the bricks, they store better than the tube of paste. Or if you like multi-purpose gear, you can kindle a fire using shavings from your wax block (see tip #5 below) combined with a wad of toilet paper. Our kindling of choice is cotton balls saturated with vaseline, stored in a ziplock in our fire starting kit. Once you decide on a fire kindling system, test it once or twice before your life depends on it.

Other essentials:Eye protection, adequate clothing, sun protection, the usual avalanche safety gear, small first-aid and repair kit. We recommend always carrying a bit of food, even if the trip is two hours, in case you get caught out longer.

And remember your cell phone or inReach — or at least a SPOT unit.

Tip 1&2
Tip 3
Tip 4
Tip 5
Tip 6
Tip 7
Tip 8
Tip 9
Tip 10


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version