errrkaI just moved out west and really want to get into touring. I've done it once before (about 4 years ago) and I've been hiking a bit up through snow, but want to make life a little easier. The main problem is that I don't know really anything about the gear part of it. I know that light is better, but that's about it. I'm also definitely on a budget.
If anyone can give me advice on what kind of ski/binding setup I should look into that would be awesome!
Well since you are on a budget, it means you probably will not want to get new boots, bindings, skis, skins, beacon, probe, shovel, and probably pack.
Therefore start off with the following
Bindings-You are a girl, so I assume you are small. You have a few options.
1. Marker F12 or F10
2. Salomon/Atomic Guardian/Tracker 13
3. Head/Tyrolia Adrenalin or Ambition
4. BCA Alpine Trekker
The Trekker is just a little contraption that clicks into normal alpine binding and allows for touring. For longer tours they suck, but for an introduction they are cheaper than a full setup. However, they are called day wrekkers so if you want to tour a lot I would look elsewhere.
I did not include any tech bindings because you are on a budget, and those require new boots alongside a cost of upwards of $400 for bindings.
Skis-This is all personal preference on the type of skiing you will be doing, i.e. jibbing, charging, powder fields, etc.
Skins-You buy them and then trim them. A lot of people go with the Black Diamond. Not all skins are the same. Some provide better uphill traction while others allow for better gliding. Below are two popular skins:
1. Black Diamond Ascensions
2. G3 Alpinist
Beacon-Learn to use it. Do not go without it. Do not skimp out and by an old one. The new ones are much better. I would advise you to go to your local store, and ask if you can get a demo to see which one may be easiest for you to learn with. Below are just a few examples. The Tracker 2 is an EXTREMELY popular and reliable model.
1. BCA Tracker 2
2. BCA Tracker 3
3. Mammut Pulse Barryvox
4. Ortovox 3+
Probe and Shovel- Just look on Backcountry, read reviews. Try to stick with metal shovels (Voile makes an awesome one)
You can find almost all of this gear (skins, bindings, skis, packs, shovels, probes, and beacons) on the TGR forum for sale for relatively decent prices.
But in order of necessity/importance I would go like this.
You can probably buy a ski+skin+binding setup used on TGR for less than $1000 in half-decent condition.