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Splitboarding Education Series

Splitboarding: What's In My Pack

Video: Simon Coward

Hey there, Simon here from Splitboard HQ, bringing you a quick guide on what essentials you should pack for your next splitboarding adventure especially if you're a beginner or intermediate splitboarder. As we venture into the backcountry, it's crucial to be prepared for varying conditions and potential emergencies. So, let's dive right into what you should have in your pack to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

First Up: Day Pack

Let's kick things off with the most fundamental piece of gear: your trusty day pack. When it comes to choosing the right pack for your splitboarding excursions, size matters. I recommend opting for a pack with a capacity of around 35 liters or more. On colder days a larger pack ensures you have enough room for extra layers.

Safety First: Essential Gear

When hitting the backcountry, safety should always be your top priority. Here's a rundown of the must-have safety gear for every splitboarder:

  • Shovel and Probe: A sturdy shovel and probe are non-negotiable items in your pack. These tools are essential for avalanche rescue operations and can be lifesavers in an emergency.
  • First Aid Kit: Be sure to pack a well-equipped first aid kit tailored to your needs. Include items to manage bleeding, fractures, and other common injuries you may encounter in the backcountry.
  • Fire-Lighting Equipment: Carry fire-lighting essentials, such as fire lighters and matches, to stay warm and signal for help if needed. While we hope you won't need them, it's better to be prepared.

Additional Safety Measures

In addition to the basic safety gear, consider these additional precautions to enhance your safety on the mountain:

  • Signaling Device: In areas with limited or no cell service, invest in a satellite communication device like an inReach or SPOT. These devices can significantly reduce response times in case of emergencies.
  • CPR Pocket Mask: Include a pocket mask for CPR in your first aid kit. It's a small but essential item that could make a big difference in a medical emergency.
  • Shelter: For larger groups or extreme cold conditions, pack a group shelter. This lightweight tent alternative can provide vital protection from the elements during rest breaks or emergencies.
  • Helmet: Not everyone chooses to ride with a helmet, but personally, I do about 80 to 90% of the time. If you're like me and prefer wearing a helmet, it's essential to consider your pack's size and features. A larger pack or one with a dedicated helmet sleeve makes it easier to carry your helmet securely. Avoid clipping it on and risking it flapping around; instead, opt for a helmet sleeve or ensure your pack has enough space to store it inside safely.

Gear Maintenance and Comfort

Aside from safety gear, don't forget about items to maintain your gear and ensure your comfort throughout the day:

  • Repair Kit: Carry a repair kit containing spare screws, tools, and duct tape to address any equipment issues on the go. It's better to have it and not need it than to be stranded without essential repairs.
  • Skin Wax and Snow Scraper: Prevent snow buildup on your skins by applying skin wax regularly. Keep a snow scraper handy in your pocket for quick adjustments during transitions.
  • Spare Clothing and Accessories: Pack spare gloves, hats, and jackets to stay warm and dry in changing weather conditions. It's essential to have extra layers, especially in case of injury or unexpected weather shifts.
  • Ski Straps: These versatile straps come in handy during boot packing. Unlike skis, splitboards don’t have brakes, so they tend to separate and can be challenging to carry when in ski mode. Using a couple of ski straps to bind them together makes transportation much more manageable.

Fuel and Hydration

Fueling your body and staying hydrated are essential for a successful day in the backcountry:

  • Food and Water: Pack high-energy snacks and at least a liter of water for hydration. Be sure to replenish your fluids throughout the day to maintain energy levels and decision-making abilities.

Tailoring Your Pack

As you prepare, remember to customize your pack to suit your needs and the specific conditions you'll encounter. Whether it's adjusting for the length of the day or the severity of the weather, having the right gear can make all the difference. So, take these tips, tailor them to fit your preferences, and embark on your next backcountry excursion with confidence.