Winter Tips and Tricks
We've opened our heads, grab a flashlight and look inside!by Backcountry.com Staff
Winter Tips and Tricks
We've opened our heads, grab a flashlight and look inside!
Here are some pearls of winter wisdom from our resident experts here at Backcountry.com. We've been there, we've done it, we've learned the hard way, all so you didn't have to. And you thought we were just another gear store.
Avoid a sticky situation. Clean the glue
on your skins and reapply where necessary.
Make sure your repair
kit is fully stocked. There are no pro shops in the backcountry.
You'll need a pile of these straps.
If everything else fails, you can strap yourself to the ski.
For warmer touring days skin
wax is a savior.
Don't even think of skiing out the door
without a good first
It's not where you get toasty after a
day of cragging, it's what you use for tough touring climbs: climbing
Dehydration can easily go unnoticed during
winter activities until it's too late. Roll prepared with a
hydration pack, you'll last longer.
There's just nothing more embarrassing than bonking during a backcountry tour. Avoid the faux pas: check out our selection of energy food for a much-needed refuel.
Cross Country Skiing
Take a lesson: you'll have a lot more fun if you know what you're doing.
As with any highly physical activity, don't forget to warm up and cool down properly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is waiting outside too long before they actually begin moving. Have a good plan with equipment, jump out of the car, wax up if necessary, and go! This can be tricky in a larger group so a good coordinator is useful. Stretch after you warm up a bit and again after skiing.
The right wax can make or break your day.
Travel light with a hydration pack. It'll fit an extra layer, an energy bar, and precious agua.
Gear sled or backpack? Go with the sled on long flat approaches, or use it to tow junior. He'll enjoy the ride and you'll enjoy the extra workout. Opt for the pack on rolling or steep terrain.
Replenish with healthy food within 15 minutes of finishing a ski. This substantially reduces your recovery time.
Layer like a deluxe burrito. As you warm up, you'll want to strip off insulation. Heavy sweating soaks your clothes, leading to dehydration and social awkwardness.
An errant screw can screw your whole day. Carry a pocket tool to keep everything tight.
Keep your ride lightweight; apply a thin coat of car wax to the top of your board. It helps keep snow from accumulating, and makes it nice and shiney to boot.
Worn out your pants, but can't afford a new pair this season? Treat them with a waterproofing product to extend their tortured life. Then next season, please, just let them die in peace and pick up a new pair.
Learn to wax her yourself for that new-board smell any time you want.
Traversing the flats got you down? Don't want to compromise performace to ride step ins? Check out Burton's Fusion Binding, with click-in click-out removable sub-frame.
If you hear them bombing for avalanches, get out of bed and go skiing!
Wipe your skis down after a day on the hill. Excess water can cause your edges to rust.
When storing boots, make sure the different layers are folded over each other correctly, and the buckles fastened. This will help them keep their shape.
When planning a ski vacation, search online for discounted lift tickets. Then spend your time skiing, not waiting at the ticket window.
Trekking poles can greatly increase balance, as well as taking some of the load off your legs.
Tell someone where you're going, and when you plan to return.
Carry a wide mouth water bottle, and pack it upside down so if it partially freezes, you can still get the water out.
Leave a dry change of clothes in the car. This can change a nasty, damp slog home into an enjoyable partyride.
If using a hydration pack, be sure to get one of the insulated variety. Frozen hoses lead to thirsty snowgoers.
Avoid cotton. Instead, opt for a synthetic base layer which will wick sweat away and keep you feeling fresh.
Altough sometimes a hassle, double ropes are great for reducing rope drag on pitches with complicated protection, and have lower impact force in a fall.
Set belays in places that are protected from above.
Most important peice of gear: your melon. Protect it with your second most important peice of gear: your helmet.
Place gear at mid-waist level to conserve energy. While a reachy, high placed peice will "protect you longer," the energy you could have saved with a lower placement is better insurance against a fall. Also, try to hang straight-arm while fiddling with gear.
Get some cheap gloves for belaying. Leather works well. Belaying and rappelling kills gloves quickly on frozen ropes. Save those $130.00 jobs for the business.
Take a file with you when you are out so you can sharpen picks that have hit rock. Sharp picks are essential for secure climbing, especially on thin ice.
Learn to place screws with either hand. Few people take the time to do this, but you'll be glad you did. It also allows you to avoid carrying 12 screws on one side of your harness.