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Ask Outpost: Essential backcountry, skiing, & snowboarding items

There is a lot to remember to pack on your trip into the snowy wilderness that is most of Colorado’s backcountry and mountainsides this time of year, and more than likely you’ve forgot something at one point in time. Here’s to remembering everything!

The essentials are typically no brainers, jacket, pants, warm base layers, gloves, goggles, helmet, avalanche beacon and probe, and a snow shovel. It’s those discrete items that are often lost in the back of your mind until it’s too late.

Not to worry, we put together a list of some things you might not think to take with you but should throw in your pack for the day that’ll make a world of difference during your epic escape from the city.

Should you forget some of the below, including the essentials like a jacket or gloves, check with the resort or ski patrol, they might have loaner items you can borrow for the day. And, as always, please stay safe out there!

Sunscreen. And lots of it. Many often ditch their fear of nasty sunburns during the winter, you shouldn’t. Those bluebird days are killer, until you look in the mirror and realized your face is the color of a ski patrol jacket. Besides goggle tans not being the best look, your risk of getting skin cancer increases as well.

Outpost - Winter Sunscreen

Liquids. Though you might not be sweating much, you still need to take in plenty of fluids. Plan on taking enough water and then some. You never know when you’ll need the extra and, staying hydrated is important for your body’s performance.

Snacks on snacks. Speaking of energy, you’re burning lots of calories when you’re out playing in the snow and your body needs to be refueled, snacks are key. Energy bars, snack mix, fruits, nuts, or any other favorite snack, will keep your body fired up to keep you moving.

Let there be light, in more ways that one. It is especially important to pack a headlamp and a fire-starting tool if you are spending any time in the backcountry. Should you become lost, trapped, or the sun goes down before you get back to your camp/vehicle, you’ll need a way to see what is in front of you. And in the unfortunate event that you are stuck and need to keep warm, your fire-starting tool is your key to survival.

Music. A playlist full of your recent favorites, and some of your favorite oldies, will keep your energy up for a full day of tromping around in your snowshoes. It’ll at least make the downtime on the lifts fly by.

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