8 ways to use ski straps in the backcountry


I’ve collected countless ski straps while working as an AIARE instructor and ski guide over the past seven years, and I’m confident you can’t find a more versatile or better performing product for skiing or snowboarding. hiking. Often referred to as the backcountry duct tape – or backcountry rubber bands – they’ve saved my butt more than once, and they should accompany anyone setting out on the skin trail. Here are eight different ways they can help you in the backcountry.

Repair faulty boots

(Photo: Trevor Husted)

Maybe your snowboard boot’s Boa system fails in the middle of a long hike, or your ski boot’s lock mode refuses to stay in place. By tightening a ski strap around the faulty area, you can create a bit more strength and security around the foot, ankle or calf. This is only a temporary fix, but should still allow you to score powder laps.

Tighten a broken binding

(Photo: Jameson Schultz)

Whether you lose a screw, your buckle straps break, or a stopper won’t lock, broken bindings are extremely frustrating and downright dangerous downhill. Keep your snowboard bindings locked by threading a strap through two buckle openings, and snap the strap down. For a touring ski with a toe lever that does not stay in place, place the strap under the toe lever and attach it to the buckle of your ski boot. With sufficient pressure, it should hold the stopper locked.

Manage your skins

(Photo: Jameson Schultz)

Have your skins ever refused to stick to the soles of your skis or splitboard? Fastening straps around your skins and the topsheets and bases of your boards can help keep them in place. Or have you ever arrived at a remote starting point and found that you forgot your skins? (We’ve all been there, admit it.) Pick up some pine boughs (off the ground so you don’t disturb Mother Nature!) and tie them to your skis with a few straps. They should create just enough friction to get you on that trail.

Fasten the backpack straps

(Photo: Mark Powell)

If you’ve ever had a chest buckle malfunction or shoulder strap breakage, you know how aggravating it is to lug around a bag that falls off your body. A carefully placed ski strap can help suspenders rest comfortably and prevent wobbly buckles from coming loose. For the first, attach the ski strap between the two shoulder straps and tighten it on your chest. If a buckle is broken, wrap a ski strap under the adjusters and fasten it.

Administer first aid

(Photo: Trevor Husted)

I always recommend my AIARE students to take a wilderness first aid course courses so that they are all the better prepared in the event of an emergency. These skills, combined with ski straps, can literally save your life. A strap can help control bleeding by squeezing gauze over a wound, and it can create a makeshift splint with your sticks and skins (pictured above). Straps can also be used to extricate and stabilize an injured person by securing them to a sled.

Keep your skis or splitboard on your back

(Photo: Jameson Schultz)

Every once in a while, a backcountry excursion turns into a scramble or a boot-pack. Attaching your skis or splitboard to your backpack is extremely convenient as it allows you to keep your hands free to swing an ice axe, grip poles or hold on to rocks when climbing a slope. Use ski straps to hold this gear more firmly in place on your bag, as shown in the A-frame layout above (the strap holds the tips of the skis together). If your bag doesn’t have the right loops at all to hold your gear, you can attach the straps to your bag’s loops and make them into ties.

Attach equipment to a bike

(Photo: Trevor Husted)

Spring is here and biking to your favorite backcountry trail only adds to the human-powered experience. Luckily, all it takes is a few straps to mount your skis or splitboard to your two-wheeled rig. Hook your straps around your skis, bike frame and/or seat post, one near the tips and one near the tails. Just make sure they don’t get in the way of your legs, the spokes or the chain. Soon you will be on your merry way to that precious corn snow.

Meet your lifestyle needs

(Photo: Mark Powell)

While Voile straps are primarily known for getting skiers and snowboarders out of a bind, let’s not overlook their wearable capabilities. Forgot your belt? Do you have a little too much hair floating in your face? Veil! Use a strap to hold up your ski pants or as an on-the-fly headband.


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