What to Pack for a Backcountry Ski Trip Overseas

Packing for a backcountry ski trip takes more prep time than any other adventure I’ve planned – especially when it’s overseas. Choosing the correct gear, food, and clothing is crucial to both your safety, survival, and overall enjoyment of the trip. There’s also the additional challenge of how to make everything fit in your bags without them being overweight for the airplane. It’s strategy, folks. Pure strategy.

I just got back from a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ski the Lyngen Alps in Norway (a concentrated area of mountains and fjords way up north on the arctic ocean). The unique thing about this trip is that we were sailing and sleeping on yachts the whole week. This influenced my packing, as I didn’t need to bring a sleeping bag and we were able to cook breakfast and dinner on the boat.

A lot of friends message me to ask what gear I use and how I pack for trips, so I thought I’d share my packing list from this trip to Norway. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and testing equipment to find the gear that works for me. In my experience, it’s difficult for women to find beta on gear that’s specific to females in this rather male-dominated sport. So without further ado, here is my packing list for a week of backcountry skiing & sailing in Norway. I hope it’s helpful!

 

What I Packed for 7 Days of Backcountry Skiing & Sailing in Norway

Food

First thing’s first – planning nutrition for 7 days of ski touring on the mountain. This includes snacks for hiking, meals, and hydration. For lunch on the mountain I brought a thermos with me and cooked Backpacker’s Pantry dehydrated meals. I also brought plenty of PROBARS and snacks, which are linked below. I used the ski boot pockets of my ski bag to pack all of the snacks because I always carry my boots onto the plane with me!

Pre-planned food:

Backpacker’s Pantry lunches (8)
Oatmeal packets for breakfast (8)
Trail Mix Packets
PROBAR Meal Bars
PROBAR Bolt Energy Chews
Insulated Thermos
Water Bladder

Equipment

Choosing the right lightweight gear takes time and experience. I’ve finally arrived at a set-up that I really love. It’s of the upmost importance that you bring all of your snow safety gear with you on trips like this. You never know what you can buy in other countries and sometimes even stores in the USA won’t carry your specific size. Make sure you purchase all of your gear well before your trip and practice using it at least several times before you leave. This will keep you moving fast on the mountain. It will also keep you and your group safe :)

Equipment list:

Ski bag
Skis with lightweight AT bindings (I use Armada TSTw’s & Marker Kingpin bindings)
Skins
40L Pack with ABS bag
Packs-into-itself duffle bag (to stay organized after taking things out of your ski pack)
Boots (always carry-on plane in case your checked bags are lost)
Poles
Ski Crampons
Boot Crampons 
Beacon
Shovel
Probe
Self-rescue Axe
Helmet
Goggles
Ski Touring Sunglasses
Sunglasses
Swiss Army knife
Duct Tape

Clothing

When food and equipment are squared away, it’s time to consider what clothing to take. I always try to pack as little as possible and wear base layers with quality material (like merino wool) that can withstand several days of sweating. I packed an assortment of clothes that would work on the mountain, boat, and a few tourist days around Norway. Some of my favorite items are linked in the list below.

Clothes List:

Mesh-back trucker hat
Goretex Shell Jacket
Goretex Shell Pants w/ stretchy belt
Insulated Mid Layer Jacket
Thermal Top & Bottoms (2 sets)
Socks (2 sets)
Face mask
Long Down Jacket
Sweatpants
PJ’s
Underwear (8)
Sports Bras (2)
1 Normal Bra
Bikini
Beanie Hat
Lightweight Down Hut Slippers
Athletic Sneakers
Snow boots
2 Casual shirts

Electronics

And by electronics…I mostly mean camera equipment. I bring a bag of GoPro equipment on every adventure trip. The bag includes cameras, batteries, mounts, and accessories. In this list I also include a few additional items like a bluetooth speaker or spare batteries for your beacon.

Electronics List:
GoPro Hero5
GoPro Hero4
Frame cases for both cameras
GoPro Batteries
GoPro Charger
Assorted mounts (helmet, handle, chesty, mouth, and suction cup)
Thumb drive
Portable charger
Spare batteries (for your beacon or friend’s beacon)
Bluetooth speaker

Toiletries

I had the luxury of packing more products because I could store them on the boat! I don’t pack makeup outside of a tinted CC sunscreen and tinted chapstick, but I do like to take really good care of my skin while traveling. Everything I bring is super hydrating because my skin dries out so easily in the cold. I also love buying mini travel bottles – they are crucial if you’re trying to pack everything in your ski pack.

Toiletries:
Emergency first-aid kit
Advil
spf 50+ sunscreen
spf chapstick
Blister band-aids and Neosporin
Face moisturizer
Face cleanser
Body lotion
cc cream
Toothbrush & mini toothpaste & floss
Mini deodorant
Dry shampoo
Baby wipes
Baby powder
Hair oil
Packet of laundry detergent
Zip-lock bags for traveling or storing trash

For the Plane

Packing for a long plane ride is often something that people forget to prepare for. I like to prep a small bag filled with everything I need for the journey. This way it can slide under the seat in front of you and you don’t have to spend any time pulling things out of your tightly-packed ski pack.

Items for the Plane:

Passport & Wallet
Neck Pillow
Compression Socks
Headphones
Kindle
Earplugs
Emergen-C
Pen (for immigration forms)
Eye-cover
Water bottle
Power Adapter or Converter
Melatonin
Audiobooks on my phone

And that’s all, folks! Everything packed up into my bags and nothing was overweight (though the ski bag was JUST at the limit). If you have any questions, please comment below! I love spreading the knowledge :)

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