No-Brainer Backcountry Gear for Gals
Women’s gear and accessories doing what they’re supposed to do: make life in the backcountry easier.
Juggling layers and maneuvering equipment while gearing up at trailheads or while transitioning from hike-mode to ski-mode out in the backcountry can be discombobulating. Images of struggling with sticky skins in locales that feel like Gates of Mordor and finicking with goggles and warm layers while standing atop a windy peak come to mind.
But, as we dial in our processes and sort out our ideal backcountry kits, we realize that the best gear is often the gear we forget we love and rely on until we don’t have it. Like a headlamp on a camping trip or a spatula at a barbeque, it’s the simple stuff that’s crucial for success. Here are eight pieces of women’s gear and accessories that are silently changing my backcountry ski game:
TREW Chariot Bibs- The hype around ski and snowboard bibs isn’t just noise. Bibs offer a higher level of functionality in terms of keeping women’s cores warm and the snow out. The extra, easy-to-access pockets at the chest are a perfect place to keep a phone or snacks. The new Chariot Bibs stand out with 20,000 mm waterproof/breathable construction made with Dermizax EV laminate and, wait for it, a built-in dropseat zipper is PERFECT for doing your business in the woods without delayering. These bibs were designed by women for women, hard to beat that. $420
Stegmann’s Original 108 Wool Clogs- These have made transitioning and changing move smoothly. Hopping around on a single foot as you slip off your ski boot and pull on your shoe or vice versa is fun and all but the switch to slip on shoes is worth it. Stegmann clogs are an ideal outdoor slipper with enough traction for you to not slip while you continue loading up your rig and a Tyrolian and Merino wool blend that keep your footsies cozy for après. $125
Gerber Remix pocket knife- Spending time in the woods without a pocket knife or a multitool isn’t necessarily dumb, but it can be wildly inconvenient when you’re in a bind. I’ve had this Gerber Remix knife for over five years, and it sparks joy whenever I grab for it. Its o-ring handle makes for a firm grip while you cut moleskin or slice into packaging or food. It’s lightweight with a combo blade, meaning part of it is serrated for sawing through toug twine or wood. Feeling capable and independent while out in the middle of nowhere is empowering, and a good knife can help with that. $32
G3 Love Glove- I’m guilty of nearly dislocating my shoulder while separating my skins. It would make wanting to do multiple laps feel daunting and I'd blame my skins. Then, a friend gifted me what she called “skin condoms” aka G3’s Love Gloves and my 15-minute transition dropped to five. Watch this video and tell me that this won’t make your life in the backcountry significantly easier. This is a product that I can’t believe I lived without for so long. $34
Skida Nordic Headband –On very cold days, sporting a hat makes sense, but generally, I find that a headband gives me the warmth I need while keeping me from overheating. Vermont-based Skida has garnered a lot of attention for their fun prints and awesome use of materials over the last several years. Made with Poly-spandex jersey with MAX-Dri moisture management technology, I can sweat on the uphill with these headbands, keep my hair out of my eyes and have no problem throwing my helmet right over it when it’s time to ski—no fuss involved. There is also a fleece-lined, “Alpine” option should you need something warmer. They roll up nice and small and so storage is never a problem and they are an affordable gift for the outdoor gals in your life. $18
BCA B-1 EXT Avalanche Shovel- BCA claims this is one of their top-selling shovels and it’s for good reason. The B-1 EXT shovel is made with a lightweight aluminum and collapsible (like most shovels you come across these days) but is a winner due to its great value and its easy handling and packability. The shovel has impressed me while digging out cars and digging pits. It's nimble when piecing together and it handles easily in my petite hands all the while efficiently moving snow. Best part? The price. 10/10, would recommend. $50
Arcteryx Gothic Glove- Lightweight gloves are a must while hiking in snow, but synthetic liners will make my hands become clammy. The Gothic from Arcteryx is made with merino wool with a “next-to-skin” fit and they breath when I’m on the move, so no more sweaty hands. These bad boys have touch screen sensor pads so I can whip out my phone for photos without delayering and they can stand alone for warmth but work perfectly as the underlayer once I put my mittens on to ski. Plus, they store small in my pack until I’m ready for the next use. $39
Krimson Klover Backcountry Base Layer- Made with 95% tencel and 5% spandex, this has become my go-to baselayer because it feels like butter against my skin and ventilates beautifully. Krimson Klover is known for their playful, vintage patterns and I love the simplicity of a ¼ quarter zip on a thin, long-sleeve layer. Plus, it can handle a handful of uses before it needs washing, so this has been an ideal piece for hut trips and overnight adventures. $139
Did we miss a piece of gear or equipment you love? Tell us about it in the comments below.