What to Bring

Cross Country Ski Trip


by Ashley Burke

This equipment list is suitable for the types of ski touring trips that I do in the Kosciuszko alpine area of New South Wales. That is, 2 or more days of cross country ski touring in the Snowy Mountains in winter, where we camp out in tents overnight. Use this list as a guide of what to bring if you are coming on one of these trips.


This equipment list is suitable for the following types of trips:

If the trip you want to come on is not a ski trip then you may need to check one of the other gear lists:

Please contact me directly if you are unsure of what to bring.

Equipment List

IMPORTANT NOTE: On winter ski touring trips, blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures can be expected at any time. Consequently it is very important that all participants are adequately prepared with suitable equipment.

Group Items

The items below are shared between people in the group and I will arrange the supply of these items for the group as a whole. If you have your own tent or stove let me know if you can bring it and whether it's ok to share.

Item Comments
Snow tent 1 tent per 2 people normally. Let me know if you have one.
Stove and fuel Minimum of 1 per tent. Gas stoves are preferred over liquid fuel stoves. Let me know if you have one.


Items That Can be Hired

The items below can be hired on the way down to the snow at a cost of about $60 for a weekend.

Item Comments
Skis Double cambre waxless ski touring skis with nordic bindings or cable bindings. Do not bring skis that require skins for climbing. Skis must have scales on the base for climbing.
Boots Appropriate for the type of binding on your skis. Must be sturdy, warm, waterproof and must fit well.
Ski poles  


Items That You Should Bring

You will need to bring the following items with you.

Item Comments Availability
Warm sleeping bag Good quality down bag with sub-zero rating. Contact me if you don't have a warm enough bag.  
Pack/Rucksack Try to pack everything inside. Any items on the outside of the pack are likely to get wet even in good weather due to contact with snow. Any items on the outside of the pack must be tightly secured.  
Foam mat or thermarest Must be full body length I have a spare to lend.
Waterproof and windproof jacket Gortex or similar. I have an old spare one to lend
Waterproof and windproof overpants    
Gaiters These should cover the top of your ski boots.  
Hat with strap or cord Must be secured so it does not blow away in the wind. Must provide shade protection to face and back of neck.  
Warm woollen hat (beanie)    
Sunglasses or goggles

Sunglasses are better than goggles if you have a choice. Sunglasses that comply with Australian standard AS1067 are best. They must offer maximum UV protection for use on snow. Obtain advice from your sunglasses retailer. They should fit securely and be of a shape to protect your eyes from sunlight entering at the sides, top and bottom.

If you don't have the right type of sunglasses you can take ski goggles, although these are often hot to wear and can fog up.

Sun screen Must be maximum UV protection and must be waterproof.  
Maximum UV protection lip balm    
Gloves (3 pairs)
  • 1 pair of warm gloves for use when skiing.
  • 1 pair of thinner gloves kept dry for in the tent at night.
  • 1 pair of waterproof overgloves for use when skiing
Warm fleece or pullover    
Thermal underwear, 2 pairs, long sleeved, top and bottom.

One set is worn during the day when skiing, the other at night. 2 long sleeved tops and 2 pairs of long johns.

Long sleeved shirt with collar    
Thick socks, 3 pairs    
Water bottle(s) Enough to hold 3 litres is required.  
Torch A small head torch is ideal  

Cooking and eating utensils:

  • Plastic cup
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Pocket knife

The bowl should be aluminium or lightweight stainless steel so it can be used on the stoves for cooking in.



Bring enough food for yourself for the duration of the trip. Normally everyone brings their own food unless specific arrangements are made to share food. Tent partners will often combine their evening meal and cook together on the one stove.

See food suggestions below for help on what sort of food to bring.


Personal items:

  • Toilet paper
  • First aid
Keep to minimum. Do not use soap or anything that will pollute waterways.  
Matches or lighter To light your stove and candle with.  
Candle Always useful to provide light in the tent at night.  


Optional Items

Food Suggestions

It is normal practise for everyone to bring their own food for the trip. That way, each person can eat according to their own preferences and diet, and less time is spent organising communal food. However, often people who share a tent will combine their evening meal and cook together on the one stove. Normally such food sharing is done without prior arrangements. That is, everyone just brings what they like and then combine meals in tent groups as they see fit.

Below are some suggestions on the sorts of food that are suitable to bring on a ski touring trip. These are suggestions only, based on what I normally take on a ski touring trip of between 2 and 4 days in duration. Everyone's tastes and diet are different, so feel free to make any changes to the list below based on your preferences. Also feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about what sorts of food to bring.

General Comments

On ski trips, foods that are rich in carbohydrates, fats and sugars are best. Aim for food with a high carbohydrate loading. Adequate fluid intake is also very important, so your morning and evening meals should include plenty of warm fluids such as soups, stews, tea, hot chocolate.

Things to avoid:







Page last updated 6 Mar 2009.