Want to shift from lift lines to backcountry lines? Thinking about a winter hut trip? Use this list to bring what you need without getting too weighed down to float some turns while you’re out there.
Things to note: daylight hours in the winter are scarce, so good lighting and spare batteries are essential (lithium works best in the cold). Bring lots of calories to help keep yourself warm. And if you’re out in the spring, be aware that sun reflecting off snow can be super-intense and can burn the underside of your chin and the bottom of your nose if you forget to put some sunscreen there.
Avalanche training skills
The most critical thing to have in your winter backcountry quiver is knowledge about the conditions and the skills to assess the terrain around you. Learn avalanche training skills from Avalanche Canada or Avalanche Quebec before you hit the backcountry.
- Skis or splitboard
- Transceiver (sometimes called an avalanche beacon)
- Snow shovel
- Snow study kit
- Snow saw
- Skin wax
- Ski crampons
- Daypack or avalanche pack
- Ski straps to keep them together
Depending on conditions, in glaciated and crevassed terrain, you may also want to bring a [lightweight harness](/en/products/climbing/gym-climbing-and-indoor-training/climbing-harnesses/c/957?filters[custom_fields.ideal for]=backcountry skiing), rope, an ice axe and a crevasse rescue setup.
- First aid kit plus blister protection
- Knife or multi-tool
- Repair kit
- Route guide and map
- GPS / compass
- Headlamp + batteries
- Sunscreen and lip protection
- Bivy, tarp or survival bag or blanket
- Insulated jacket
- Soft shell or waterproof-breathable jacket and pants
- Base layer top and bottom
- Mid layer top and [bottom](/en/products/clothing/bottoms/pants/fleece-and-sweatpants/c/275?filters[custom_fields.ideal for]=backcountry skiing)
- Warm hat
- Sun-protective hat and sunglasses
- Liner gloves and waterproof, insulated gloves or mitts
- Liner socks and thermal socks
- Hut booties or slippers
If you’re not sure what to bring, learn about how to create a clothing layer system to move moisture, insulate and offer protection from the elements.
- Toothbrush and toiletries
- Toilet paper
- Biodegradable soap
- Travel towel
- Phone or communication device
- Hand warmers
- Food and energy bars, plus extra
- Water and water bottle
- Vacuum bottle and hot drinks
- Insulated pad for sitting
For winter camping, check out the equipment found in our winter camping checklist, and remember additional cold-weather gear like:
- Sleeping bag liner or overbag
- Winter-rated sleeping pad or an extra pad
- Big pot for melting snow
- Extra fuel
Be safe, and have a great trip!