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7 ski touring hacks from seasoned Outsiders

Forging your own path on the mountain is a rewarding experience that requires self-reliance, patience, and hard work. Before you take off, check out these ski touring hacks we’ve gleaned from experienced Outsiders. From more energizing snacks to simple ways to reduce friction along the journey, we hope these tips and tricks will help you get even more out of your next backcountry adventure.

Hack #1: Be ready for nightfall

Sometimes, the journey lasts longer than expected. Pack along a headlamp or bike light with a fully loaded battery so you can illuminate your path or mark your tent, plus a lighter in case you need to make a campfire.

Hack #2: Bring a “just-in-case” toolkit

If something breaks in the backcountry, it’s usually up to you to fix it. Leave room in your bag for a multi-tool, extra screws, and spare batteries so you’re ready to tighten bindings, replace avalanche beacon batteries, and fix other essential gear on the fly.

Hack #3: Pack fast and efficient energy

When you're busy making strides on the mountain, you need some quick energy on hand so you don’t have to stop moving and risk getting cold. Some Outsider favorites? Gummy bears, single-portion nut butter, and Swedish chocolate balls.

Hack #4: Stop blisters before they can start

Blisters make the journey slow and painful, and can even cut your backcountry plans short. Prevention is key: try wearing a set of nylon socks beneath your heavier boot socks to reduce friction, and pre-wrap the sensitive areas of your feet with kinesiology tape.

Hack #5: Accessorize after the conditions

Mountain conditions are extremely changeable. Pack a few different lightweight eyewear and headwear options so you can adapt to your needs on the upward versus downward journeys, and make quick adjustments as you face conditions ranging from strong sunlight to heavy snow.

Hack #6: Don’t forget to apply sunscreen… to your skis

Most Outsiders know that applying sunscreen is essential when spending time at higher altitudes, but did you know you can also use sunscreen to streamline your journey up the mountain? If the snow starts to stick beneath your climbing skins, spread a bit of sunscreen on the skins. We recommend using one with a lower environmental impact, like a mineral-based sunscreen.

Hack #7: Organize your gear in zip-lock bags

When you’re ski touring, you want to be able to locate essential gear quickly. To increase visibility and save time while navigating through your backpack, try sorting gear by category inside clear zip-lock storage bags. We recommend reusable ones.

A final word before you take off

Ski touring in the backcountry can be an incredible experience, but it requires preparation and planning to make the most of it. We hope these Outsider-approved ski touring hacks gave you some new ideas for how to save time and energy and be better equipped to handle unexpected challenges that come your way. Remember to always prioritize safety and respect the environment during your backcountry adventures.