Best Gifts for Backcountry Skiers and Splitboarders

By: Ben Hogan 

man and woman skiing across flats with mountain in background

We all have those people in our lives that are nearly impossible to shop for. Gift cards have their time and place, but when we can give that person something we know they’ll love and use, it makes everyone warm & fuzzy inside! Check out what we think that backcountry lover in your life would appreciate as a gift this holiday season.

Airbag Pack

Any backcountry skier or snowboarder who ventures into avalanche terrain can increase their chances of making it home in one piece by wearing an airbag pack. While avoiding getting caught in an avalanche is always the goal, data shows that airbag packs increase survivability when the worst-case scenarios occur. Airbag packs have improved each year with better fans and lighter designs which makes their use more and more ubiquitous across the sport.

two people skiing with ortovox litric pack
Ortovox Avabag Litric - electric airbag system
Deuter Alproof 32 airbag pack deployed

Deuter Alproof 32 Airbag


Here in Tahoe goggles and sunglasses are mandatory for nearly any backcountry tour. Personally, I’m a sunglasses guy and can be found sporting only sunnies in all sorts of bad weather. That being said, I do carry goggles and occasionally use them when the conditions demand it. With our stormy winter last year I got a pair of the Goodr goggles and have been pretty impressed. They come with both a chrome and low light lens that attach by magnet for quick transitions. The price point is amazing at $75 and the quality has been solid. Julbo sunglasses and googles are another great option with many models featuring their Reactive (photochromic) lens.

photo of goodr pink snow googles with extra yellow lens
Goodr Goggles
picture of julbo ultimate sunglasses
Julbo Ultimate Sunglasses


Gloves, such a simple thing that can make or break any backcountry tour. For me it is critical to have both a lightweight, tough touring glove as well as some warm mitts to shove your hands into when it gets a bit blustery out there. I remember a ski tour in Colorado when my hands got so cold, I had to turn around and go back to the truck. By the time I made it down to my truck I couldn’t use my hands enough to get the keys out of my pocket and almost panicked; so close but so far from the warmth of the heater. Don’t skimp on the gloves, folks! They’re like having a puffy along, you never know when you’re gonna need them.


It goes without saying that the most important thing to bring into the backcountry is knowledge and avalanche avoidance but transceivers are an important tool for any backcountry traveler. Beacons have become more and more user friendly and easy to use. Some of the newest transceiver technology, like the Ortovox Diract Voice, incorporates voice commands directly instructing your every move as you search for other buried beacons.

Probes and shovels are a standard part of any backcountry kit and are always getting lighter and easier to use. Picking up something that is both minimalistic and simple to deploy can make a significant difference in overall recovery time.

ortovox beacon shovel and probe

Layers & Outerwear

While in the backcountry there are few things as important as having multiple layers to accommodate the varying conditions and degree of physical exertion underway. In the mountains, weather and exposure change rapidly.  There is no better way to prepare for success than by ensuring adequate layers for all conditions. That can mean a sun hat and thin insulating layer or full wind and waterproof storm gear; having what you need for what you’re being dealt can always make the difference in the backcountry. 

Shop men's ski pants

Shop men's jackets

Shop women's ski pants

Shop women's jackets

Check out this blog on merino wool baselayers!

If you’re still unsure after all this, just remember, Tahoe Mountain Sports is a backcountry ski shop! You are in great hands with us, stop by anytime and we will personally help you find the perfect gift for that backcountry aficionado. You can even make a personalized shopping appointment so our staff can help you find the best gear for your needs and your budget. Our experts don’t work on commission and their only goal is to find the right gear for whom ever you’re buying for! Happy Holidays!

Author: Ben Hogan


Ben is first and foremost a local skier. He loves the search for good snow and doesn't mind a long day in the skin track to find it. When there is no fresh snow around Ben entertains himself with Nordic skiing, trail running and mountain biking. Ben loves being a part of the TMS team for the camaraderie and love for the outdoors as well as to check out new gear and offer an opinion. Keep your eye out for "that guy skiing with a baby on his chest" as he shows his new daughter and future ripper, Stella, some of his favorite stashes.

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