Resort Skiing Experience with a Backpack: Tips for Comfort and Safety

Resort Skiing Experience with a Backpack: Tips for Comfort and Safety

For several years now, I've been hitting the resort slopes with a backpack, and it has become an indispensable part of my skiing. Let me share with you the reasons behind my choice and the valuable benefits it brings, from enhanced comfort to emergency preparedness. It also eliminates the need to carry items in my pockets, free from the discomfort of bulky or potentially hazardous items.

Unexpected Weather Challenges:
One pivotal moment on the mountain, where a sudden rainstorm caught me off guard without my rain layer, led me to consider resort skiing with a backpack. This decision proved to be a game-changer, allowing me to carry a rain layer and ensuring I never have to cut short my skiing due to unexpected weather again.

Convenience and Comfort:
I decided to Utilize an Osprey backpack, initially purchased for day hiking, to streamline my skiing experience. Contrary to initial concerns, it didn't hinder my skiing performance and was convenient on lifts. Now, I can effortlessly bring along extra layers, adjusting my clothing to stay comfortable. This is crital to using clothing the way it was designed. Too many layers on you, you sweat which sucks. Rain jacket with no rain… you sweat which sucks. No rain jacket in the rain… you get wet, it sucks. The pack allows you to change things up based on the conditions. 

Emergency Preparedness:
Beyond convenience, my backpack serves as a lifeline in unforeseen situations. I carry an Individual First Aid Kit, (with an extra tourniquet), providing the capability to respond effectively to emergencies on the mountain. Being prepared for the unexpected has allowed me to contribute positively to the safety of fellow skiers vs. be that dickhead bystander filming an emergency for extra views on his/her social media page like a shitbag. I highly recommend only buying a medical kit from a trusted source. Companies I trust are Dark Angel Medical, North American Rescue, and Officer Survival Solutions. Just buy the standard Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK), as long as you have two tourniquets you're in much better shape then you were. 

Officer Survival Solutions Medical Kit

SWAT Tourniquet 

Additionally, a compact survival kit from SOL containing essentials like a compass, emergency blanket, safety pins, and fire-starting material ensures I'm equipped to handle unexpected challenges, from getting lost to weathering an unexpectedly long delay on a ski lift.

SOL Emergency Kit

Durable survival blankets

If nightfall catches you on the slopes, having a dedicated hands-free light source becomes essential for navigation and signaling, far superior to relying on a cellphone flashlight that drains your battery reducing your ability to communicate or call for help. I like Petzl. Look for a model with a secure lockout feature to prevent accidental burnout and choose lithium batteries for optimal performance in cold weather. 

Petzl Headlamp 

Versatile Clothing Options:
Carrying a Primaloft Gold vest from Outdoor Research, compressed into a stuff sack, offers a lightweight and compact solution for sudden drops in temperature. This versatile addition ensures that I can quickly adapt to changing weather conditions without compromising on warmth. Choose a vest with a synthetic insulator so if it gets wet, it’s still warm, unlike down. 

Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Insulated Hunting Vest

Hydration and a Class Six (booze) option:

Skiing with a Yeti with hot coffee, bourbon, and Baileys, not only takes the edge off the first lift ride. This also ensures a smoother, more enjoyable skiing experience. It also helps your ski buddy out. 

Yeti Rambler 26 oz 

Carrying a Nalgene 1000ml bottle with Jocko Salt packs helps me stay hydrated, especially at high altitudes, minimizing the risk of altitude sickness. The durability of the Nalgene bottle and its leak-proof design make it an ideal companion on the slopes.

Nalgene 1000ml Bottle

In conclusion, resort skiing with a well-equipped backpack has become a non-negotiable part of my skiing. From added comfort to emergency preparedness, it significantly enhances the overall skiing experience. Whether adapting to weather changes, ensuring safety, or simply enjoying a hot drink on the slopes, a backpack has proven to be an invaluable companion for any skiier.

For more info on the bag I now use for resort skiing, check out the article on the Hyperlite Daybreak 17. 

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