How to Pack for a Heli-Skiing Trip

I’m adventuring on a week-long heli-skiing trip this week and that means it’s time to pack! I’ll be in the Canadian Rockies with CMH at the Bugaboos lodge in British Columbia. For a trip like this, it’s best to lay everything out everything you will need early. You want to be sure you have everything at the ready and well fitted.


In case you were wondering, there are BIG differences between packing for a resort or heli-ski trip. The basic idea for all is simple: you will need the hard gear (skis, poles, boots) accessories (helmet, goggles, gloves, neck gator, etc) and the clothing (jackets, moisture wicking base layers, socks, etc.) What sets apart packing for a heli-skiing trip from the rest? A few essential things….


What you will need: When it comes to resort skiing you can wear all the blingy gear, fur trims and fluff you want. For backcountry and heli-skiing things get more technical. You want to be sure inner layers are moisture wicking and outer layers are water repellent. I like to wear my shell a little larger so I can fit plenty of interchangeable layers underneath.


Adjustable poles are key for variable snow depths. Pack a few pairs of mittens, socks and under layers. You will likely be on a wider waisted powder ski, so make sure your Heli outfitter has what you need or you bring the gear with you. Comfortable ski boots are a must! Make sure yours are expertly fitted and very comfortable to ski in before you go. If you go with the boot heaters and gloves, make sure all battery packs are charged before you charge the slopes!


  • 1. Boot glove You can never go wrong with an extra layer of protection & warmth. DryGuy
  • 2. Astis mittens are super warm, comfortable & fashionable!
  • 3. Wool socks I recommend the ultra-light so they don’t interfere with the way your boots fit. Smartwool
  • 4. Hand & foot warmers For my hands I like to wear a glove liner, disposable heat pack, and thick mittens. Don’t buy your gloves or mittens too tight, you want the air to circulate. HotHands
  • 5. Buff headwear & gators are my best friend to help keep frostbite from my neck & face. 
  • 6. POC goggles and helmet
  • 7 & 8. Insulated under layers (moisture wicking wool or synthetics) I always prefer wool, it comes in variable thicknesses. Icebreaker
  • 9. Light down puffy jacket Patagonia
  • 10. Snow backpack, try a few if you can. This needs to hold essential backcountry gear and it needs to fit comfortably.
  • 11 & 12. Water-repellent shell jacket & pants Arcteryx (look for pieces made with Gore-Tex)
  • 13. Glove liners, these are great for layering with heat packs Outdoor Research 
  • 14 & 15.. Avalanche kit  & Adjustable ski poles Black Diamond 
  • 16. Powder skis My favorites are a lightweight, fatty custom design by Telluride local Wagner Custom
  • 17. Boot heaters If you can afford this extra expense then go for it! Just make sure you have time to charge the batteries properly. Hotronic

~ Marla Meridith

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