Top 5 essentials to have in your back country ski pack
You are going into the back country, either to tour around or to summit a peak. In addition to your skiis, poles, boots, appropriate clothing, and a backpack, the question is what should you have in your pack?
There have always been 3 things that no back country skier would ski without. An avalanche beacon, a probe, and a shovel. However, back country skiers need to have two other essential things in their pack. 1) Ski straps and 2) a way to get out.
Voile ski straps aren't just used to hold your skiis together but also can be used for attaching blown skins to skis, emergency repairs to bindings and boots, first aid splinting, and host of other 'daisy chain' uses. You should always carry at least two, if not more in your pack, perhaps two smaller ones and two longer ones to be on the safe side.
The most important thing you should carry in your pack is a way to get you or a friend out of the back country after an injury renders them unable to ski out.
While we pride ourselves on being prepared for an avalanche, the majority of injuries in the back country are not avalanche related. Avalanche or not, once someone is injured it is important to get their injury stabilize and get them out of the elements and to help as soon as possible.
Not all back country destinations are cell-phone accessible, and perhaps the locations themselves aren't accessible by helicopter either
Using your ski straps in conjunction with your poles or tree branches can make a splint, and those straps used with the Snap Evac TM device, will convert your skiis into an evacuation sled in a matter of minutes.
Of all the devices or DYI options, the Snap Evac TM is the most efficient, lightest, most compact, and easiest to use device out there to help convert your skiis into an evacuation/rescue sled.
We make every preparation to make sure we have what we need to go into the back country, we need to also consider how we will get out.