I love Free Range packs for their quality construction and simple design. The little 25 liter Raven is my go-to pack when I pack minimal gear. With ski strap and no extraneous dodadds, it works well for a quick tour and after three years of use, I can report it’s held up well. 21 oz. MSRP $169.
My style piece is a canvas Free Range pack. It’s not a ski pack per se, but it’s a wonderful lifestyle pack. For traveling, my computer slips in easily and the pack, when stuffed full, still fits nicely under an airline seat. A variety of images are available on Free Range backpack and fanny packs and a portion of the sale goes back to the artist. If you’re looking for a unique gift, I highly recommend checking these out: MSRP backpack $149; MSRP fanny pack $59.
Have an up-and-coming little tourer on your list? Searching For Snowmen is a delightful children’s book written by famed Alaskan guide, Matt Kinney. $2 from the sale of each book through Jan 2, 2019 to the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.
Lightweight jackets are desirable but they tear all too easily. Patches are good stocking stuffers. Find Noso mustache patch here. Or support the excellent female empowerment nonprofit, SheJumps, with a Girafficorn patch. Another brand, Gear Aid Tenacious Tape works well too.
Safety is enhanced with reflective material. I add it to my outfits whenever possible. I find it works well as an outer layer for skiing, especially for an early morning dawn patrol or evening downhill lap under the stars. You may have a headlamp to light your way, but reflective material can help others see you. This can be especially useful for resort uphilling during night hours, when headlamp equipped skiers are coming down from above you. The sooner they see you, the better for your safety.
Vintage Ski World has posters of almost any ski area in the world, in styles vintage to modern. Originals and reproductions available. Shop for ski antiques as well, ranging from wooden skis to clothing.
This is the second year Scott’s E1 avalanche airbag technology has been available. Thus, it’s now over the bar in terms of first-season bugs that ski touring products often have. So for the premium Christmas gift on our list, we include the Scott AP30 pack with included Alpride E1, or Black Diamond’s new packs that license the E1 system.
Every backcountry skier in your life needs bindings. That’s because they’re always wanting to go lighter, or upgrade aged mechanicals, or just look better. The Atomic-Backland ski touring binding has proved itself to be simple, reliable and minimalist. As the saying goes, it just works. Wrap one up. Your loved one will feel like they’re opening a box of jewelry.
The gift of tools indeed keeps on giving. At least until the tools wear out. Even the best screwdrivers have a life span; steel can only take so much abuse. So give the gift of fresh screw-drivers, especially those of the pozidrive persuasion. Shop this link and get both the full-size pozi and the mini, to make the “pozi gift kit!” You can’t deny it: the perfect present.
Highly paid “trend consultants” tell us you are not hip unless you wear your Xtratuf boots to dinner in Manhattan. And for coffee the day after. Clearly, a Christmas gift for the ages.
Consider knives. Cooking, fishing, repairing or just plain enjoying, a new knife is always a reliable gift. Backcountry skiers like multi-tool “knives,” and one such product seems to constantly rise to the top of the heap. That’s the now venerable Leatherman Skeltool. There is more. If you haul a Skeltool, you need a 1/4 inch bit adapter for various “standard” 1/4 inch bits, otherwise you’re stuck with trying to use the stupid Leatherman specific “flat” bits. The solution: For your backcountry repair kit, include a bit extender along with the Skeltool. For a thoughtful gift, combine both in one package. Unless you’re certain your giftee has them, throw in a few pozidrive bits as well.
And finally, a few books you might consider gifting:
For more ideas, see our previous ski touring gift guides.
And for yet more ideas, data mine our massive archive of tool posts.
WildSnow Girl, Lisa Dawson, is the luckiest girl in the world. Also known as Mrs. WildSnow.com, she tests whatever gear she wants. She gives the WildSnow family of websites the feminine voice.