Images: Alex Neuschaefer | Skier: Tim Konrad (Founder of Unofficial)
Backcountry ski touring has been exploding in popularity despite the fact that it can be difficult and uncomfortable at times. Here are a few items we have found over the nearly 20 years of touring in the backcountry that has made the sport even more enjoyable for us.
5 Items That Will Make Ski Touring More Enjoyable
We all bring water into the backcountry with us, but busting out a thermos with some warm tea or coffee is a real treat for you and your fellow backcountry travelers. Bring some packs of sugar and small half and half containers for the coup de grâce.
Most backcountry skiers we see on the hill are wearing winter hats or headbands, but we have found that a good wool baseball cap is a great headwear option for ski touring. Ball Caps can be worn in a wide temperature range, keeping you from overheating while also providing a brim to keep the sun and snow off your face.
Following some backcountry ski touring in Japan, we took advantage of the public onsens to soak our cold and tired feet. It felt so good that we knew we needed to bring this good feeling back home. Since public geothermal foot baths are not an option at any North American location we are aware of, we picked up a foot spa for our Adirondacks HQ which is now in nearly constant use. Few things are better after a long day of ski touring than a cold beer and a warm foot bath.
This one is a bit obvious, but we see so many people in the backcountry using heavy frame bindings. Making the investment and going with a lightweight tech binding will make the ups more enjoyable and help to keep your legs fresh for the down. They are worth the investment.
After trying a wide range of ski gloves we have found that cross-country gloves work great for ski touring. Cross-country gloves are designed to be very breathable while providing a snug fit which is great for keeping your gloves on during transitions.