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A Quick Ski Camping Checklist

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Here's a quick checking of what to bring ski camping from evo a Seattle retailer who knows about outdoor and backcountry gear.

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This is a sponsored post about what to bring ski camping from evo, a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, skate, camp, and lifestyle retailer based in Seattle, Washington, USA

Camping is fun. Skiing is fun. It stands to reason that combining the two should also be fun. And it is, if you’re prepared with the right gear. If you’re not though, get ready for a long, cold, wet night. The Pacific Northwest offers countless opportunities for ski camping, from the Olympics on the peninsula to the entire Cascades range. We’ve put together this checklist to help you make sure you’ve got everything you need to spend a comfortable night out in the mountains.

The most important part of ski camping is equipment management. You’ll have a lot of gear, both your camping gear, and your ski touring gear and it’s key to keep everything organized, dry, and usable. The easiest way to make that happen is to use small stuff sacks to organize your gear. You can find these at any camping store, and they’ll help you make sure you have everything right where you need it. We’ve broken down this checklist into five sections: backcountry ski gear, clothing, shelter, food and water, and sleep system. Before you head out, go through each section, and make sure you’ve got everything in it, and that all that gear is repaired and working properly. And before you head into the backcountry, always make sure you’ve got the education, knowledge, and gear required to make it back out safely.

What to Bring Ski Camping

Backcountry Ski Gear

what to bring ski camping avy safety gear

You’re not going skiing without your ski gear. Make sure your backcountry skis have been waxed recently, and it’s not a bad idea to take them in for a full ski tune up to make sure they’re running smoothly. Check your bindings, and transition them from walk to ski mode and back, to make sure they’re working. Pack your skins, skin wax, poles, your ski boots, and your liners, along with your helmet and goggles. Make sure you’ve got your beacon, shovel, and probe, along with extra batteries, and a couple of headlamps. Don’t forget your med kit, and a small repair kit with a leatherman, zip ties, duct tape, and any fasteners you might need. And make sure your ski pack has the capacity for all your winter camping gear. Finally, pack any accessories like sunglasses, or buffs that you’d usually bring skiing.

  • Skis
  • Skins
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Skin Wax
  • Headlamps (2)
  • Spare Batteries
  • Avy Gear
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Sunglasses
  • Buff
  • Med Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Repair Kit
  • Pack


what to bring ski camping

It’s important to strike a balance when packing clothing for backcountry camping. You want enough spare warm clothing to stay warm if you get wet, but you don’t want to carry around a bunch of clothes you’ll never even wear. So pack sparingly, with two situations in mind: your time skiing, and your time at camp. Light waterproof ski outerwear will keep you dry both while skiing and around camp. Bring at least two pairs of gloves, some warm, insulated ones, and lighter liner gloves to wear around camp. It’s a good idea to bring both a light puffy jacket to wear skiing, and a bigger, warm jacket to wear around camp. Bring at least two pairs of wool ski socks, and two sets of base layers. That way you can change into warm, dry base layers to sleep in. If you tend to run cold, a pair of down pants are awesome around camp and when sleeping. Finally, down booties pack down small, and make hanging out at camp much more comfortable.

  • Shell Jacket
  • Shell Pants or Bibs
  • Warm Gloves or Mitts
  • Glove Liners
  • Spare Hat
  • Insulated Med Layer
  • Camp Puffy
  • Two Sets of Base Layers
  • Ski Socks (2+ pairs)
  • Insulated Pants
  • Down Booties


what to bring ski camping tent outdoor gear

Many ski campers just spend the night in a normal tent, and that’s a fine way to go. Just make sure you’re camping in an area protected from wind, and you keep the top of the tent from collapsing under new snow. However, if you’re looking to save space, a pyramid style shelter works really well for winter camping. These lightweight tarps combine with a ski pole to provide a waterproof shelter. You can then dig out underneath them and carve in whatever kind of beds and seats you want. They are lighter, and more flexible than a traditional tent. No matter what kind of shelter you choose, make sure you’re camping outside of avalanche terrain, and designate areas to get snow to boil that are far from the bathroom areas.

Food and Water

camping coffee mug

One of the best parts of winter camping is that you don’t need to carry much water. Instead you can just boil snow. But to do that, you need to have a good stove that works well in winter, and plenty of fuel. Prepare to spend much of your downtime in camp boiling water. Some tea bags are an easy way to help yourself drink more water and stay hydrated. A thermos can keep water, and you, warm for hours after you’ve boiled it. There’s nothing to raise the spirits during a long day in the backcountry than a swig of hot tea.

snow melt

For food, there are a lot of options, but the most foolproof are backpacking instant dinners. Just add boiling water to the bag and let them sit for a few minutes and you’ll be good to go. They pack down small and have plenty of calories. Be aware that most fruits, and many other foods may freeze. It’s a good idea to bring plenty of snacks that don’t need to be cooked, and that can’t freeze.

When you’re winter camping, make sure you’ve got a few different ways to start a fire with you. It’s a good idea to carry both a lighter and matches. A handful of dryer lint makes a great fire starter.

  • Stove
  • Spare Fuel
  • Tea Bags
  • Backpacking dinners
  • Fire Starter
  • Extra mugs and cups
  • Snacks that don’t need to be cooked

Sleep System

Finally, your sleep system. Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the overnight lows where you plan to camp. Pair it with a good insulated pad. In the winter, it’s a good idea to stack a couple of sleeping pads to keep all your warmth from leaching into the snow. A bivy bag makes a nice addition, and keeps you a little warmer, while also keeping any condensation from the tent from dripping onto your sleeping bag. Finally, don’t forget a stuff sack to fill with clothes, or an inflatable pillow.

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Bivy Bag
  • Pillow

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