**This gear is only as useful as the person carrying it. Make sure you know how to use your gear before actually going backcountry skiing. I recommend taking an AIARE I course to familiarize yourself with snow safety. If you live in Colorado, I can’t say good enough things about the Climbing Life Guides course in Estes Park. Eli Helmuth is the man.
Our backcountry skiing expert shares what he keeps in his pack for a day-long backcountry skiing tour—the 20 Essentials.