Logan Pehota spends most of his winters in numerous backcountry areas worldwide. Although primarily known for his prowess on a pair of skis, he is also an extremely talented snowmobiler. Don't believe me? Watch this video of him destroying spots on both his skis and snowmobile.
Workhorse: Logan Pehota shreds the same lines on his sled and skis
Canadian Logan Pehota puts his multi-sport skills on display by sledding and skiing the same lines in the Coast Mountains surrounding his home in Pemberton, British Columbia.
There is an endless list of equipment you can bring into the backcountry, but without a pack-mule, you are limited to your equipment by what you can carry on your back or fasten to your snowmobile. Aside from the absolute requirements for backcountry safety (beacon shovel, probe), you have to pick and choose what will help keep you safe and comfortable out there.
We caught up with Logan to chat about some of his backcountry essentials and must-haves for when he goes skiing or snowmobiling (or both) in the backcountry. Here is what he had to say.
Pehota: Although I love a big gulp of cold water or a Red Bull after the exertion of a long ski lap, I often bring a hot drink when heading out for long days, especially when it is cold out. By choosing a warm drink, your body uses less energy because it doesn't have to heat the liquid to digest it, and of course, it warms you up! Some of my favorite warm drinks to take with me are miso soup for the added sodium or hot sports drinks for the electrolytes.
Pehota: Nothing is worse than having cold hands (other than cold feet.). But if I am ski touring or digging out my snowmobile, often my gloves will get pretty wet. When gloves get wet, it's only a matter of time before they get cold. Depending on the weather, I will always keep backup gloves or mitts, so if my first pair gets wet and freeze up, it's time to swap and put on a fresh dry pair.
Pehota: Having extra ski straps in your bag is a must. Besides holding your skis together, ski straps are handy for backcountry fixes when you are hundreds of kilometers from the nearest repair shop. I often use them to repair everything from broken boot buckles on my ski boots to broken A-arms on my snowmobile. It won't be a leisurely ride back to the truck, but it sure beats walking.
Pehota: Eating lunch high in the alpine on a sunny day is pretty phenomenal. To make it even better, I will whip up a sandwich in the morning, wrap it in a layer of parchment paper, and then wrap it again in a layer of tinfoil. Half an hour before we are about to break for lunch, I will slap my sandwich against my snowmobile's exhaust, squish it between the side panel, and ride until it is toasted to perfection. Pro tip: remember to flip halfway through cooking!
2m climbing sling for sled
Pehota: Straps and slings can come in handy in many situations, from towing out your friend's broken snowmobile to fixing your broken backpack strap. I carry a 2-meter sling in an easily accessible pocket that is easily accessible. The primary function of the sling is to loop around my friends' snowmobile skis to help pull them out when they are stuck. This extra distance away from the snowmobile helps with pulling and keeps you out of harm's way. It will also save you a trip to the chiropractor!
Pehota: When I go out snowmobiling, I always bring my tool kit to make repairs on the go because you never know when things will break; like seriously, never. Some things I have in the kit include a duct tape-wrapped lighter, a multi-tool, a ratchet set (with sockets), and one of the most essential items you can bring, a bag of tie wire and zip ties.
Tie wire and zip ties will save your day; ask me how I know.
Emergency Bivy sack
Pehota: I hope I never have to use this, but an emergency bivy sack will make it much more comfortable if you're in a pinch and have to spend the night. You may think you wouldn't ever have to spend a night with all the satellite phones and devices available, but under certain circumstances, I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.
After reading through Logan's list, I am definitely going to add some of these to my backcountry bag. Which are you going to add to yours?