Last year I put together a backcountry checklist to help make my backcountry ski routine easier and safer. This is the new, improved, and updated version, with new gear and new questions. Its purpose is two-fold. The top half is for me to use as I try to get out the door, it lets me run a checklist of what gear I have, and what I'm forgetting at quick glance. The bottom part is for my roommates, the information I fill out there lets them know where I'm going, what I'm doing, and when I'll be home. And, if I've filled out the top portion, and am overdue, the checklist up there helps my roommates communicate to rescuers what gear I have and how prepared I am.

How to use this checklist

Click this link for a full high res download of the checklist. You can tip me if you want, but no pressure, I'm not in the ski industry to get rich. You can even enter a fake email address if you don't like sharing your real one.

That link will allow you to download two full-res .pdfs. The main one is designed to be printed on an 8.5x11" sheet of paper, and then laminated. Your local print shop can do this. If you don't think you have a local print shop, you might have a local Fedex shop, which can also do this for you. Or you can get crafty and print it on your mom's printer and cover it with clear tape. However you do it, the goal is to create a shiny surface that you can write on with a dry erase marker. Throw it on your fridge, or on the wall of your gear room, somewhere you'll remember to fill it out every time you ski. Get a dry erase marker, and fill it out every time you head out into the hills. Wipe it off when you get home, crack a beer, repeat.

The smaller .pdf file is a shortened version that cuts the top checklist, and instead focuses on the info you'd want to leave friends or roommates. Get this printed on a sticker or magnet (your local print shop can do either, local print shops are really cool) and stick it somewhere obvious. Fill it out every time you go ski, and feel a little safer.


I hope you find this useful!