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Let’s start with the obvious: the pack. Built in back protection, organized pockets for every possible piece of gear you could want, and a well-thought-out ski carry system make this a super smart choice.
The three-antenna Tracker 2 is fast and simple, two things that are important when you’re searching.
BCA Tracker 2
These are super sticky skins that come in a wide range of widths. Because if you’re hiking for turns you should bring your fat skis.
Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS
Good probing skills significantly reduce the time it takes you to hit your target. That’s what she said.
Mammut light probe 240
Because you don’t want to be digging your buddies out with a credit card and your soup spoon. This one is light and streamlined, plus, it has a snow saw—another good tool to have—tucked into the handle.
BCA Arsenal shovel
The backcountry, where you’re miles away from a hospital, is the worst place to crack your head. Bring a helmet, and might as well make it a light one.
Bern Carbon Fiber Baker
Good layering is crucial to backcountry happiness. This thin wool top had a high warmth-to-weight ratio and won’t stink (much) when you start sweating. Take it off when you start cooking on the uphill and throw it back on when you start shivering before you head down.
Io-Bio Signature Longsleeve
There are very few bad situations that a snack can’t improve. The Clif Mojo bars are light and calorie dense without tasting too energy bar-ish.
Clif Mojo Bar
$15 for a box of 12; http://www.clifbar.com
Keep sweat out of your eyes, frostbite off your cheeks, and haters from knowing what you look like. The most multifaceted and necessary piece of gear you could own. Seriously.
Even if it’s cold, you’re probably sweating and dehydrating yourself. The 750 ml KOR Delta water bottle has a spill-proof lid, so it won’t dump, then freeze your pack, and it’s push button opening is easy to use with gloves.
Sunblock, because no one likes cancer; snow study tools, for checking out the hoar; and a first aid kid, map, compass and headlamp, because the Boy Scouts were on to something. —Heather Hansman