Along with skis, ski boots and poles, the backpack is one of the most important items when freeriding. These are available in all possible designs and should not only adapt to the size, but also to the ambitions of the owner. Whether for a short trip or a multi-day glacier bivouac, the most important thing is ultimately the content. That's why Janic Cathomen, freeride expert from Flims, and Fabian from Bächli Bergsport will show you what they pack for freeriding. 

A contribution by Fabian Reichle – Bächli Bergsport

Powder turns ahoy: Janic Cathomen and Fabian Reichle present their backpack contents for an adventure in the snow.

The essentials first: the avalanche equipment. This consists of Shovel, Probe and LVS – the latter being attached to the body and not in the backpack heard. Janic doesn't use the pouch for the probe, since removing it can be tedious under stress.

For the shovel, he uses it SHAX by BCA. The advantage of this is that the shovel handle can be quickly and easily converted into a pickaxe. This can increase mobility and safety off-road.

There is also a small whistle on Fabian's backpack to draw attention to himself in an emergency. Many backpacks now have one integrated into the chest strap clip.

Essential on every tour: the avalanche equipment.

Helpful odds and ends

A case with emergency and spare material is always useful. With Janic, this consists of a lighter, some wire, bandage tape from the pharmacy, a tear-resistant thread, a multi-tool with various attachments, a pocket knife, spare batteries and one Headlamp.

Fabian plays it safe with the batteries and packs the slightly larger AA batteries in addition to the AAA batteries. Janic completes the whole thing with the snow profile material, which consists of a grid, magnifying glass, meter, string, notebook and a pencil.

Why the binding doesn't just belong on the skis

Furthermore, Janic has one Touring binding in backpack. Why? It's actually quite simple, because when he goes freeriding he likes to ride in alpine bindings. Especially with tricks and high drops, they hold much more reliably.

Especially with tricks and high drops, alpine bindings are much more reliable.

In emergency situations, such as an avalanche, or if you have to climb up, the touring binding is very valuable. That's why, by the way, always find his bright space in the backpack. So that the technical possibility of a pin binding remains, he drives with a special system. Instead of drilling the bindings into his freeride skis, he mounted inserts.

An alternative to this would be frame bindings. With these, however, you stand higher above the ski, which changes the power transmission on it. However, the power transmission is also influenced by the incorrect behavior of the ski with regard to the bending line. Here too, as the owner, you have to be clear about the ambitions and requirements for the product. A frame binding can work great. But back to the contents of the backpack.

Prepared for every emergency

The way food is Pharmacy should never be missing. The following things have proven useful for Janic: painkillers, handkerchiefs, bandages, tape, candles and a warming blanket. Depending on your preferences, this kit can be easily expanded. Bringing sunscreen is recommended. In any case, Fabian always packs a greasy cream that protects against nasty winds.

Little helpers

Janic always carries a liter of water or tea and some snacks with him. Fabian likes it a little more detailed here: at least one liter of water in the backpack and a small, additional drinking bag on the shoulder strap. When it comes to eating, he keeps things small with a mix of salty, sweet and caffeinated foods.

Ski straps are extremely versatile. Be it to fix things or even to pinch off bleeding if necessary.

Janic also carries ski straps and Radios With. The usefulness of the former is quite underestimated. Ski straps are extremely versatile. Be it to fix things or even to pinch off bleeding if necessary. In this regard, Fabian swears by good old duct tape, which he tends to wrap around a stick instead of stowing in his backpack.

Incidentally, two-way radios also make sense in our latitudes, because there are dead spots in the mountains in Switzerland too.

Along with a second pair Gloves – even additional inner gloves on very cold days – a second one is also necessary Ski goggles or at least a second glass, as well as the sunglasses in Janic's backpack. A spare pair of glasses is useful in the event of a change in weather, a fall or a cracked lens.

Fabian also always packs a dry spare shirt and a reserve buff. Janic usually has a hat with him to protect him from the sun in spring. He also often takes his GoPro with him. Fabian does without the camera, but never leaves the house without a power bank. the Helmet is part of the basic equipment for both.

Like the backpack, the pack must be adapted to the ambitions and requirements of the person carrying it. Preferences differ when it comes to what should be included. Especially the case with repair material or the pharmacy can be easily expanded.

Order is half of life. This also applies to the backpack.

Last but not least, a small concluding remark on the part of Fabian: order is half the life. This also applies to the backpack. When packing, everything that belongs together comes in separate jute bags. So everything is quickly to hand and there is no confusion. In addition to a clever weight distribution of the material in the backpack, it is imperative that the safety equipment is the one that is ready to hand the quickest.

And what do you pack in your backpack? Are you minimalistic or do you not want to do without anything?

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About Bächli mountain sports

Bächli mountain sports is the leading Swiss specialist shop for climbing, mountaineering, expeditions, hiking, ski touring and snowshoeing. At currently 13 locations in Switzerland, Bächli Bergsport offers its customers expert advice and high-quality service. Published on LACRUX Bächli mountain sports periodically exciting contributions to the topics climbing, bouldering and mountaineering.

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Credits: Cover picture Henrik Morkel, text Bächli mountain sports