Backcountry skiing is a great outdoor activity for all ages, skill levels and fitness levels. Although the terminology is often different, most skiers use a similar set of equipment, designed to minimize the potential for injury. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common pieces of backcountry skiing equipment, as well as some variations on those basic models.
A good mountaineering helmet protects the head and face in case of an accident, and is critical backcountry ski advice. Most ski resorts require that you wear a ski helmet when on the hill, but keep in mind that they don’t have any rules requiring it when off the mountain. Even so, if you’re traveling with a fully equipped helmet, it’s wise to make sure it’s in good condition. Don’t take chances – proper equipment and safety are the keys to a safe and enjoyable experience.
Primary Pieces Of Backcountry Skiing Equipment
The two primary pieces of backcountry ski equipment are the skis and the bindings. The skis are responsible for vertical and horizontal movement. The bindings help secure the skis to the snow, preventing them from sliding or shifting around. Different bindings have different weights, and you need to know your weights and abilities before buying. Consult your ski guide or the ski shop to find out which model will best suit your style of skiing and your physical condition.
Skis Are Divided Into Three Categories
Park, Free, and Walk. Park boots have a built-in heel strap to keep the skis secured in the snow. While they’re great for fast descents and longer freestyle runs, park boots aren’t ideal for using on the gentle slopes. Free boots allow for more flexibility when it comes to motion but also aren’t ideal for fast downhill movements. Walk boots are the perfect compromise. Designed to be used on gentle slopes and for moderate downhill movements, they’re a good choice for beginners and experienced skiers alike.
Another essential piece of backcountry gear is the voila (pronounced “woo-ee”) binoculars. They’re used mainly for watching other skiers and the environment, but can come in handy when trying to spot an animal or other unique feature in the environment. A supercharger is a device used to charge the voila binoculars. The supercharger makes the viewing experience more realistic, allowing you to watch animals as they perform their actions in the wild. Most models of the supercharger resemble those found on cars, with the exception of the lenses, which are replaced periodically for a more accurate view.
One thing that may be a little more challenging to find at the local sporting goods store is a ski frame binding, especially if you’re looking to use heavier boots. Many ski shops have been selling high-quality frame binders made from carbon fiber since the mid 1980’s. The carbon-fiber frames require a little extra strength and support, so ski shops often sell them as tech bindings. Tech bindings provide a bit more support to the inside of your boot, extending the area where your toes are locked in.
Important Backcountry Skiing Equipment
One important piece of backcountry skiing equipment not often thought about is a pair of black diamond skis. Black Diamond skis are built with the best material and technology and were originally developed for mountaineering. They’re great off the ground, but even better when they’re packed into a soft bag for quick storage. The black diamond skins are wide and very thin; they offer very little protection and can’t even handle the hottest of conditions.
Finally, the most popular piece of equipment among new backcountry skiers is a Volkl DPS Pagoda Tour backpack. The DPS Pagoda Tour backpack was developed specifically for mountaineering and quick, day-long hikes. It comes with a special compartment designed to carry gear and has over-sized, water-resistant paddle holes on the front end. The back end of the backpack has two straps with attachment points that allow it to be strapped on or unstrapped without taking the backpack off. This feature is great for people who want to carry a complete set of gear but don’t have a lot of extra space.