Backcountry Skiing – Packing for the Trip

There are two packing lists on our blog for backcountry skiing, one for day trips and one for what is needed for living in a lodge. This post discusses some points about packing for the lodge.

When helicoptering into a backcountry lodge, weight is crucial, so only take what you really need. Leave the fashionable outfits at home. Take comfortable, warm clothes. Sweats or yoga type clothing will be just fine. Depending on your inclinations, even leave the swimsuit for the sauna at home! Indoor shoes or slippers are a must. PJs might be a good idea if you make middle of the night runs to the bathroom.

On the morning of the helicopter ride to the lodge, dress in your ski gear – all of it. Right down to your ski boots, pants, jacket, mitts, toque and goggles. It saves weight if you are wearing all your gear, plus there is work to be done once you land at the lodge as all the bags and boxes of food and skis have to be hauled from the helipad to the lodge. For bags for our Mistaya trip, I had one smallish duffel type bag and my pack, although both were stuffed to capacity.

We left our “car clothes”, which we wore on the drive to the mountains, in a bag in our car, ready to don on our return. It is more comfortable driving home in jeans than in ski pants.

Toiletries are toiletries. Gotta have them. But ladies, don’t bring all your hair products and makeup. Skiing all day and recovering in the evenings do not require fancy hair and makeup!

Murray was at Blanket Lodge this year and the sleeping was communal. Four guys to a room. Earplugs and a sleepmask are a good idea in a situation as this.

I packed a very healthy first aid kit for Mistaya to deal with smallish injuries, blisters and sickness. This is not a necessity, but I feel better having access to these items if I really need them.

We have found that using liquor store boxes to transport food in works well for packing the helicopter. They are small and fit in all the nooks in the chopper. Thought needs to be put into quantities of food taken as you do not want to haul out too much excess food.

When we packed for our Mistaya trip we used both the “Day Trip” and “Lodge” packing lists as they go together and do not overlap too much. We also had a food packing list that was specific to what meals we were providing.


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