Before you go out on the beautiful day of skiing or mountaineering it is vitally important that you check your ski gear. Since your life could be riding on it, literally at times. For the early morning trekkers this includes more than the novice skier, but the overlap is considerable. In this article, we’ll map out some of the most common gear that you should bring with you on any expedition.
First and foremost you have to start with the layers. In order to be properly outfitted you need to check the weather. For a summer excursion to the summit of a local peak, all you may need are some comfortable hiking pants and a jacket, possible a windbreaker or parka in case in rains. For winter time accents, you will need not only a set of long johns, but a full get up of winter outdoor gear, from the boots to the hat. An emphasis is made on the external portions of your body. Investing in a high quality pair of gloves, boots, and a hat or hoodie to fit with your coat can be wise, since these regions will be the first to get cold. Just as critical is staying warm, is staying well ventilated. The best way to contract hypothermia within a suit is to sweat. It is good to be warm, but not too warm. High quality snow pants and coats will have ventilation sections. For this reason a good snow suit is a critical component of any set of ski gear.
Now onto the fun stuff, the actual ski gear itself. Poles, skis, boots, and safety equipment are all necessary components to a well-prepared skier. The most obvious pieces of gear that you’ll need are the poles and boots themselves, but the piece of gear that will keep you alive is not so commonly remembered. Many large sites around the world use beacons and transponders to verify a person’s position with radio signals. Officials at the various resorts around the world are prepared to respond to whatever form of radio equipment you utilize, in most cases. It is pretty simple to check with the resort that you’re staying at. Their safety team, or ski patrol will have information on what their specific version of transponder is as well as their response times and danger zones. All of this is important in making sure that you are fully prepared for the conditions on the slopes. People die every year from these hazardous conditions, but there are also numerous resource centers that are devoted to forecasting the potential for hazards as well as classes that will educate you on avalanche awareness and rescue. Radio reflectors as simple as a sticker can be used as avalanche safety and ski gear, and everyone should be equipped with some form of it.