The backpack is the essential companion of the skier, either on the ski slopes or outside of them

To prepare properly for a ski trip, the mandatory safety elements, as well as the technical equipment and clothing necessary for the trip, must be incorporated into the backpack. We can fix the skis in the external fixing systems, especially in the case of pedestrian access to a path outside the slopes. Finally, it can also serve as a back protection in case of falling.

Brands offer a wide range of backpacks, suitable for all skiing practices. Our choice must consider several criteria: ergonomics (specific for each), comfort, useful volume, weight, the presence or absence of an airbag system …

Choosing the correct backpack for an out of bounds ski trip

As for the litres, it will be difficult to go below a minimum useful volume of 15 or 20 litres for a short off-piste departure in the immediate vicinity of a ski resort, having as a result great difficulties when closing the backpack when trying to contain (by force! …) any item of clothing.

A bag with an average capacity between 20 and 35 litres seems enough in terms of useful volume, for all types of “day trips”.

It is very important to understand the need to choose a bag wisely, depending on the type of trip and the needs of each one.

What to put in your backpack?

The bag may contain (non-exhaustive list):

  • The basic safety elements of a skier, namely: shovel and probe (the DVA is placed directly on the skier). Many bags have a compartment specifically dedicated to them, which facilitates their access in case of avalanche investigation.
  • A “backpack bottom” with technical spare materials: second pair of gloves (loss, wet gloves, etc.), suitable sunglasses (loss, fall, breakage, etc.), clothing material (hat, thermal inner layer, etc.)
  • A small pharmacy kit.
  • Sunscreen and chapstick.
  • A repair kit: multifunction wrench (leatherman type), adhesive tape, strong adhesive tape (for the possibility of sticking it on a strip around the ski pole), knife.
  • A mobile phone (charged!).
  • Identity documents protected in a plastic bag.
  • Water (water bottle / thermos)
  • Food
  • Emergency radio (depending on the mountain in which you are)
  • Some money (checks, cash, credit card)
  • A small headlight (in case of incidents or late return)

For ski hikers / free skiers:

  • Ski skins
  • Pair of snow knives (adapted to the width of the ski skate)
  • Toilet paper

For the more adventurous, depending on the technical level of the trip:

  • Harness
  • Rope
  • Carabiners
  • Descenders
  • Piolets
  • Crampons
  • Ice hooks
  • Cords (2/3 meters 6/7 mm)

For the most far-sighted:

  • “Walkie-talkie” (allows contact with group members no matter the visibility …)

In a backpack with a sufficient volume you can contain all the material that is listed in this article, as well as part of the clothing material that used that day and that we will want to store, such as a gore tex jacket, the first or second thermal layer …