Baring the soul of your repair kit is like skiing in a speedo in front of Grant Gunderson’s glass, but I’ll take the plunge. Below is what I carry for average to short trips fairly close to civilization. For bigger remote trips, I’d add in a few things and coordinate with partners to eliminate redundancy. For super short laps above parking and trailhead, I sometimes simplify things more by carrying a smaller knife and less fire starting gear.
Top row from left to right: Film canister with aspirin, ibu, prescription drugs, etcetera; screw driver bits that fit multi-tool; case for all (padded pouch from early Pieps transceiver).
Middle row from left to right: Chunk of bicycle inner tube for fire starter; duct tape; cordage; spare tiny Ion headlamp; CPR mask; list of frequencies programmed in my amateur radio.
Bottom row from left to right: Waterproof matches and lighters; compass, smaller multitool with driver socket welded on plier handle; spare lithium batteries; high power folding reading glasses.
Bottom left to bottom: Ski and skin wax (also used for fire starting); Inka pen.
For longer trips I sometimes add a spare pole basket, athletic tape, antibiotic ointment, malleable wire, and blister treatment items.
Other items that double for repair or first-aid but are not in kit: Voile straps; bandanna; plastic bags and food wrappers; ski goggles; belt; climbing gear; sunscreen; lip balm.
It’s worth mentioning that since we do guite a bit of skiing close to trailheads, I keep a complete emergency kit and rescue gear in our vehical. This winter I’ll be keeping all that stuff in a “go bag” so it can be transfered from one vehical to another. Items in the “go bag” include spare clothing, beacon, goggles, probe, shovel, blanket, radios, batteries and food items. Having this stuff has come in handy many times, mostly as loaner gear for people who forget essentials. That alone provides a huge improvement in safety, as instead of aborting their trip skiers will frequently take the risk of traveling without an item of gear they left at home.
What do you guys carry? Comments on!
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.