It’s time to make your own tracks away from the lifts. just be sure you have the right gear to keep you safe—and charging hard.


1. Dyanfit Meteorite

At 129/96/114, Dynafit’s “freestyle touring ski” offers up everything we seek out in a hard-charging backcountry plank: It’s nimble, floats and crushes the nasty stuff, no matter if you are hopping down through the trees or harvesting face shots in big, open powder fields, but it doesn’t drag you down on the up. Credit that multi-dimensional performance to a sturdy construction that combines an ash-poplar wood core for lightweight pop with generous rocker—and it still delivers surprisingly confident edge control. $700;


2. Dynafit TLT Radical ST

Tech bindings have always been the best choice for moving fast uphill, but the cost was a sacrifice on downhill performance. No longer. This TUV-certified binding serves up stable power on the down and won’t release when you need it to stay engaged. $450;


3. Scarpa F1

This dreamy skiing slipper features a BOA closure system, meaning you can dial in the right fit and adjust it on the skin trail without having to mess with ratcheting buckles on your sensitive forefoot. But the two-pound-11-ounce (in size 27) F1 is no pushover. A combination of stiff Carbon Core Technology on the shell and X-Cage Evo on the cuff impart the brawn to power through big turns on the down. $699;


4. Leki Aergon 2 Condor

Why did no one think of this before? These easy-to-adjust poles feature a built-in self-arrest fang on one grip and choke-up ability on the other—ideal for those dicey, icy ascents. $150;


5. Patagonia M10 Anorak

Packing down to the size of a softball, this shell is just the ticket for full days of lapping the backcountry (and ice climbing and mountaineering, too). It may weigh in at a silly seven (!) ounces, but it offers up enough protection to cut a fierce summit-ridge wind or fend off a groppel squall, thanks to the three-layer, waterproof/breathable fabric. $379;


6. Osprey Kamber ABS 42

Headed on a hut trip? Meet your new best friend. Not only will this hauler—which features a thermo-formed back panel—comfortably shuttle in 50 pounds of layers, booze and board games, it is also built to accommodate an ABS Vario airbag system (sold separately) if you head into avalanche terrain. $230;


7. Petzl Leopard LLF

Weighing just 11.6 ounces, these sturdy aluminum crampons fit ski boots, making them a welcome addition to your pack when you head out to tackle big objectives. A simple strap and heel lock system make it quick and hassle-free to get them on and off of your boots in a hurry. $170;


8. BCA T3 Avalanche Rescue Package

You will need all of this gear if you hit the backcountry, so why not save some cash and time and get it all in one package? The smart set up includes BCA’s top-of-the-line Tracker3 beacon, Stealth 270 probe and B-1 EXT shovel. Remember these are just the tools—sign up for an AIRE course to learn how to use them. $420;