piste to powder ski guides st.anton arlberg equipment check list

OFF PISTE SKIING – What do I need for a day on the mountain? What should be in my rucksack?

Getting out quickly in the morning, its important to know what to pack so there’s no stress on the day when you want to be focussed on the fun and freeriding! So we’ve compiled this quick checklist of what always should be in your bag.

First you need a bag that is big enough to take the safety equipment 20-30litres, with some space for the spare thermal items and snacks for the day. your choice of bag is up to you, but lots of side pockets for easy access is great and ski carry straps are important for short hikes.

You’ll need a backpack (minimum 20 liters) with a ski carry system.

The ski carry system is essential when hiking and accessing the backcountry and untouched terrain via some of the short hikes. Those ski backpacks are also specially designed and developed for our purpose and have all all the features you need for entering backcountry terrain or also a day on the piste with friends and family.

If you’d like to rent a backpack or an ABS backpack, please go to our rental site.

If you’d like to buy a ski backpack, we can offer one of the following packs which you can collect at your first day of skiing with us, just let us know via our enquiry form.

piste to powder mountain guides st anton arlberg ski guides

piste to powder mountain guides st anton arlberg ski guides backpack ski carry system

This backpack offers 22 litres of usable space and is ideal for small day tours, downhill freeriding and out the gate trips. With a flexible lightweight fit its great for airheads who enjoy small jumps. It 4 main storage compartment where you can easily store extra base layers, ski jacket, lunch and more. A fleeced line goggle pocket allows you to protect your goggles from fluff or dirt. Store your mobile phone, camera or energy bars within the two hip belt pockets. For maximum safety there’s installed a Recco Reflector to the top of the backpack, this allows search and rescue patrollers to find you in the case of an avalanche emergency.


Let’s start with the essentials that should always be in your off piste backpack:

Safety Equipment

  • Modern digital 3 antenna transceiver
  • Shovel
  • Probe

It must be metal and best are the ones that allow you to lever with your foot.

The 10 Essentials

  1. Spare pair of sunglasses in case your goggles get broken or for those lunchtime huts  (to avoid the Goggle look!)
  2. Spare gloves – lightweight is fine and they will do the job if you lose one
  3. Spare warm layer or lightweight down jacket. Your body temperature will fluctuate through the day depending on whether you are hiking or skiing or eating and also for emergency first aid use.
  4. Small First Aid Kit – your guide will have a full first aid kit but always carry a few plasters, triangular bandage, chocolate or  dextrose sugar tablets in case of shock, and copy of insurance policy. Include a lightweight aluminum bivy bag for any emergency.
  5. Nourishment: Make your own high energy snack pack  with a small pack of almonds, dates, raisins, cashews, and pieces of chorizo sausage and maybe a mini bounty/snickers bar!
  6. Something to drink, 0,5-1 litre of water is sufficient – any more gets heavy and bulky  in your pack, aluminum water carrier or camelbak, small thermos of tea for the British!
  7. Credit cards, cash for the guide, lunch and any taxis, lifts pass, insurance details (scan these also to your phone) and EHIC card
  8. Mobile and quick charger (your phone goes down quickly in the cold) with emergency numbers 112 and 140 saved,  plastic bag to protect phone (e.g. airport travel bags) or you can buy a cheap waterproof case
  9. Extra handy sun cream stick and lip protection (50+) , you can buy the sticks at any of the ski shops.
  10. Beanie for lunchtime or apres
  11. Nowadays, bring a FFP2 Mask

Touring Kit – Day touring

For day touring refer to list above but you also may need extra snacks and water plus sunprotection is vital here.

  • Touring gloves – lightweight with grips
  • Touring skis – 94mm minimum under foot, go lightweight for multiple day tours – look at range provided by Black Crows including Navis and Orb combined with a touring binding such as Fritschi or Dynafit. Or for day touring it is also fine to use your standard alpine boots just ask at Jennewein.
  • Ski crampons to fit your touring skis  important for any ice, these really will make a difference and secure you in touring
  • Touring or Hybrid Boots: Well fitting and comfortable is key here else you will have blisters. Like hiking boots Its a good idea to have worn these in. Hybrids are not as light as touring boots but an excellent option if you only want one pair!
  • Skins and touring poles
  • Lightweight Peaked Hat for the hot days – option with removable neck and face flap or wide brimmed floppy hat for greater 360 protection, strong sun protection 50+ – slather it on!
  • Additional sandwich/snack for the summit

Freeride Ski Equipment

  • Freeriding you need a wide powder ski something around 100mm underfoot for easier flotation in the powder, we recommend Black Crows which you can rent at Jennewein with 10% online discount. As a rule of thumb, headheight for length and more flex for easier turning. Jennewein will talk through what you need.

Any questions here please, we’re happy to help 🙂