Please check your specific ski touring holiday details to check if any of the equipment below is provided in the holiday package. For most of our ski touring trips, we offer the possibility to hire equipment as an optional extra.
For ski touring trips where you will be staying overnight in refuges, we recommend packing as lightweight as possible.
If you are still looking for a ski touring trip to join, have a look at our ski touring holidays.
Ski touring skis with 'couteaux' (ski crampons) and skins, ski touring boots and poles. It is important that your equipment is in good condition, that your boots are compatible with your bindings, your skins stick properly on to your skis and your skis are serviced. If you wish to hire equipment then this is possible to do when you are in resort. Downhill alpine skis and boots are not suitable.
Avalanche safety kit. An avalanche transceiver (with new batteries), shovel and probe are the essential basic kit for all ski touring (some of our ski touring trips include this in the package). It is also possible to get specialised rucksacks with avalanche airbags, but these do not replace the basic kit required and sometimes the rucksack size is not big enough for a tour so it is important to choose these carefully if you are investing - they are not essential but can improve your chances of survival if caught in an avalanche. Avoiding avalanches is obviously the first rule of thumb and there is debate about whether having airbags increases the level of risks people are prepared to take so beware of this.
2 or 3 pairs of skiing socks - proper ski socks have extra padding where you need it the most and are worth getting. For ski touring you will sweat when skinning up so good wicking socks or ski touring specific socks are a good idea.
Waterproof jacket and trousers or sallopettes. A good set of outdoor winter waterproofs with snow cuffs are essential. You will get warm going up hill so a shell with layers underneath is better than padded ski wear. If you have the new stretch waterproof fabrics or mountaineering clothes even better!
At least three layers - thin thermal layer or t-shirt made of wicking material rather than cotton next to the skin, a mid weight fleece and a thicker fleece.
Extra fleece, sweater or thin duvet type warm layer. This is good for putting on when you stop for lunch as an extra protection against the cold!
Fleecy bottoms or mountaineering trousers and /or thermals to wear under your outer trousers. When skinning up, you may just wear these as you will sweat and get hot so it is a good idea to choose bottoms you are happy to wear without your overtrousers. Some people use thermals and a pair of mountaineering trousers or just the mountaineering or fleece trousers.
Gloves, hat, neck warmer or ear warmer. It's worth getting decent waterproof warm ski gloves or mitts and a pair of good fleecy gloves with some grip for when it is warmer or skinning up.
Rucksack (45 litre) to carry safety equipment, skins and ski crampons, harness, helmet, crampons and ice axe (if doing any ski mountaineering on the trip) spare clothing (especially for overnight refuge trips), packed lunch, water bottle, headtorch, and other bits and pieces. If you have a sack that can take skis in the side panels and strap on ice axes, that is preferable.
Good sized water flask or water bottle. A Platypus or similar water system is very handy but in winter the tubes can freeze so make sure you get the insulated protection with it.
Sun screen – please bring factor 50 as the sun is very strong.
Lip salve with sunscreen
Sun glasses - you should make sure they wrap well round your eyes at the sides to protect you from snow glare from the ground
Goggles - good quality googles are invaluable on snowy days
Sun hat or cap for warm spring ski days.
Large plastic bag to put inside your rucksack to keep the contents completely dry. No rucksack is waterproof (too many seams!)
Duvet jacket - not essential but serves as a good lightweight warm jacket for those frosty cold days.
Basic personal first aid kit - blister plasters, paracetamol, antiseptic wipe.. (the guide will have a first aid kit for your trip but it is good to have your own personal one for common items or medication that the guide cannot administer, including paracetamol)
Sleeping bag liner - this is essential in all refuges due to Covid
Head torch - make sure batteries have enough life
Basic toiletries - a small microfibre towel, toothbrush and toothpaste as a bare minimum. If you are going for a long trip and would like to wash we recommend using up samples in small sachets for shower gel, shampoo, face creams etc
Lightweight slippers - some refuges have crocs or flip flops available but these are not guaranteed
Spare underwear and thermals - to stay as lightweight as possible, only take the bare minimum - ie a change fo thermals which you can both sleep in and use the following day.
Snacks - food and snacks in refuges are expensive so you may want to bring your own snacks (but be carful with weight)
Camera, spare film or memory card and batteries.
A small sit mat or bit of old camping mat - not essential but good for a bit of comfort when picnicking on the snow
Games or cards for evenings or a good book!