Essential SkiMo Gear

Skimo Gear

Skimo Gear

What’s inside my skimo pack?

The beauty of skimo is that it really is like going for a run. You can go alone, you can get an intense workout in with little time, and you really don’t need much gear. But, you do need the right gear, and you need to understand what that is and if it’s right for where you ski.

Yesterday we talked about what skimo is, and some of the things that make it an entirely separate sport from “skiing”, which is about going down. Clearly, this is gear for going up. In the photo is my kit for a day in the Alps, either skinning up a road and down a piste, or in a place I know well, where I’m absolutely sure I will not get into avalanche terrain. There is nothing here for avalanche rescue!

  1. Skis – Dynafit PDG. Clearly I am a Dynafit fan as they are a brand I know well and are one of the leaders when it comes to skimo gear. The PDG is Dynafit’s all around skimo ski, not their lightest offering, but great for training and racing.
  2. Poles – I’m 173cm tall and use a 125cm carbon pole from Leki.
  3. Dynafit PDG boots
  4. Dynafit RC20 SkiMo pack – what makes a pack for skimo? The Dynafit RC packs have a ski holster and hook for quickly putting your skis on your pack without taking it off. Also, this pack has what they call the “Safety Box”, an accessible large velcro pocket on the side of the pack you can reach back and open, to access whatever you need. Hint hint… it’s a great place for a small camera. Also, there are the usual ice axe attachments. This pack is a super simple design, much like a trail running pack.
  5. Baselayer of choice
  6. SkiMo shirt – Dynafit PDG skimo shirt. This is a key piece and very custom for skimo training. In addition to a warm, fitted hood, it has huge front chest pockets for stashing your skins on descents, to both keep them warm for re-attachment, and for speed when putting away. But also, the front pockets can serve as pockets for your soft water bottles and Trail Butter packs. Because the pockets are multi-purpose, these shirts are ideal for all mountain sports.
  7. SkiMo Pants – Again, the Dynafit PDG Pant. Made to go with their boots with a custom lever hole for fast up/down mode switching, and with a stash side pocket on the leg.
  8. Socks
  9. Puffy Jacket – This is a puffy of your choice, and all you add to ski down. No heavy ski jackets here…
  10. Wind Shirt – I use the Dynafit React Jacket. Weight = 70 grams! For keeping the chill off when skinning in cold wind. Tucks away inside it’s own pocket.
  11. Skinning Gloves – a thin, tight fitting glove that you can work in; skins on, skins off.
  12. Ski Gloves – a warmer glove for long descents. I use the Dynafit Mercury Glove because it has a nylon mitten shell that pulls out of a hidden pocket and covers the whole glove, adding a lot of extra warmth.
  13. Skins
  14. Suunto Spartan Watch
  15. This is a luxury item, and one of my favorite additions to my 2017 kit. Insulated shorts! Seriously, these knee length Polartec overshorts are made to go over the PDG pants adding a huge amount of warmth, right where you need it.  Don’t laugh, try them, the Mezzalama Shorts Overpant! This is an optional item and only goes when it is cold.
  16. A Buff – these go everywhere, year round, always.
  17. Headband – Most all of your gear has a hood, use them! I don’t often take a beanie, instead I use a headband and/or the fitted hood on my PDG shirt.
  18. Sunglasses – I use the Julbo Zebra lenses, perfect for skimo with the fast changing lenses. These work well in bright sun, and low light and contrast.
  19. Soft bottle – 250ml for in my shirt
  20. Soft bottle – 650ml for in my pack (mix sizes depending on how long you are out) Soft bottles don’t take up much room, don’t slosh around, comfortably stuff away in shirt pockets, and disappear when empty.
  21. Multi-tool for repairs
  22. Phone
  23. Goal Zero extra battery for the iPhone. This is the reliable battery for my iPhone, which is entirely unreliable.
  24. Trail Butter! To make your friends jealous.

That’s it! With this set up, my pack for uphill weighs less than 2kg.

A ski mountaineer skinning up beneath the Jungfrau and Mönch from Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland

All the skimo kit laid out on the floor in use and doing what I want it to do, not weighing me down.


Comments 4

  1. Hey Dan! 2 questions:
    1. What socks are you using for long ski tours?!
    2. Do you have a ski specific multi tool?
    Anthony Leutenegger

    1. Post

      Hi Anthony, I use Dynafit’s socks for most of my ski touring and skimo, but also some 100% merino socks from Icebreaker for multi-day stuff where the longterm stink becomes an issue. The main thing is to find a sock that the heel stays tight on, a lot of bad socks bag out in the heel when wet, especially all wool, this leads to trouble. For the multi-tool, at the moment I’m just using an old Leatherman mini, mostly for the pliers. But I see one of those special BD tools in my future, for the star drive tool.

    1. Post

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