Earth: Do you Carry a Repair Kit
Posted by Joseph Anderson
Earth: Rules and Hard Skills
Do you carry a repair kit?
When backcountry skiing even for the day, you are heavily relying on your gear. In the winter snow pack, the difference between having functional ski gear and not can turn minutes of effort into hours, and hours can quickly turn to days. The fact is, when relying so heavily on all of this equipment, your better judgement, I hope, should be working hard to come up with a contingency plan.
Like everything in life, a good “what if” reality check needs to be balanced. Don’t over-prepare for an unintended overnight stay by carrying a sleeping bag and tent on a day trip. You’d be traveling with too much weight: you don’t want to break your gear, or yourself… Don’t get neurotic. There are, however, simple lightweight tools you can bring with you that can be fit into a small pouch of reasonable weight. These tools are light enough that they can live in a pack that you take on every ski tour. So, whether you always bring a 1st aid kit or some sort of rescue kit, today I want to focus on the commonly used and underestimated Repair Kit.
- Duck Tape – (Full article available in February newsletter).
- Multi-tool – You don’t need a very big one. You simply need a high quality one. Cheap multi-tools are common and can be virtually worthless.
- Screw driver (phillips and flat head) – Ski specific screwdrivers can’t get to all types of binding. Make sure screwdriver has at least 2 inches of reach. #2 and #3 sizes work for most settings, although carrying a # 1 star bit and general Allen key set is a good idea.
- Hose clamps – Smaller ones are less versatile, but when used in conjunction with bailing wire or ski straps, these can be an essential part of your kit. The bottom line is, these can hold things together with mechanical force that can help you in a pinch.
- Ski straps – Five is a good number. These aren’t just for skis, they can bind together all sorts of broken gear and body parts. They are light, cheap and very helpful.
- Extra AAA & AA batteries – For you and other group members. Modern GPS and Tranceivers are battery hogs.
- Bailing wire (4 – 6 feet, zip ties.)
- Headlamp – These are so light and powerful now there is no excuse not to have one.
- Scraper and Glop Stopper Skin Wax - It could be that you have ice frozen to the bottom of your skins or wet snow tripling the weight of your feet. It’s important that you bring and use these. You may need to scrape and re-apply Glop Stopper in the field, so bring it with you.
- Extra back clips for climbing skins – If you don’t use back clips, it’s especially important to bring some. Having a huge ascent to get back to the car and skins that won’t stick anymore because of cold blowing snow is a major problem. Bringing some extras for your ski partners is also prudent.